Often people stopping by my table and looking at the six books ask me “Which one is my favorite book?” That’s a tough one to answer because it is akin to asking a parent who is his or her favorite child? The flippant answer is that I like them all!
So after saying that, then how does the conversation go? It varies, but what follows are the questions and short versions of my answers. Part of the trick is not to give away the plot.
What do you like in a book? If they like lots of hair raising flying scenes or wanted to know what it is like to fly a helicopter in a combat rescue, I point to Big Mother 40 and Cherubs 2. There’s also a night ditching a helicopter and dodging surface-to-air missiles in a Piper Navajo in Inner Look. Render Harmless has sneak and peak into the Soviet Union that, from a flying perspective, gets “entertaining.”
Do you like interesting characters? All the books have them, but the most interesting ones are in Forgotten and Render Harmless. In Forgotten, the wife of one of the POWs who gets left behind at the end of the Vietnam War is a member of the Student For the Democratic Society’s Action Wing. After her husband was shot down and captured, she is sent to Cuba to learn how to be an assassin. In Render Harmless, you meet a German SS officer forced to investigate his comrades, a Luftwaffe ace who hasn’t lost his love for Adolph Hitler and a German paratrooper who loses his moral compass.
Which do you prefer spy/espionage thrillers or counter terrorism yarns? Those who like spy stories will usually buy Inner Look or Moscow Airlift. For lovers of counter terrorism stories, Render Harmless fills the bill.
If these answers don’t help, its time to switch gears. Moscow Airlift and Inner Look are in many ways, books about revenge. Cherubs 2 is a novel about leadership and the fine line between being a coward and overly cautious. Big Mother 40 is a book about love, friendship and persistence and oh by the way, the good guys have to shut down a secret missile base in North Vietnam run by a North Vietnamese and Soviet officer whose governments are pushing different agendas.
Which one is the best seller? That’s easy. Big Mother 40 outsells them all at events and through distribution. The one is second or third place always varies and is, I’ve decided, beyond my modeling capabilities to predict.
Here’s the bad news. I have more “book children” coming and it is going to make the answer more difficult because it’ll be, when I’m done writing, a big family. I already have six ‘kids,’ I mean books and a seventh on the way.