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Where Did They Go - the Prehistoric Super Crocs?

  • Monday, September 15, 2014
  • by
  • Greig Beck
  • Where did they go – the dinosaurs – the land leviathans of pre history? I often track postings to the Lazarus Taxon List – a list that shows supposedly extinct species that have been (re)found alive and flourishing on some remote island – mountain top – deep and dark jungle – ocean trench – or tiny pacific atoll. 

    The rediscovered relic populations range from the tiny such as dolichoderine ants, thought to have gone extinct 15-20 million years ago. To the ancient 300 million year old Coelacanth, also thought to have been extinct for 66 million years. This heavy lobe finned fish, grew to nearly seven feet in length. Then there were the trees – the Dawn Redwood, a Mesozoic Era type of conifer found in a remote forest in China, or the Wollemi pine, a 90 million year old tree recently located in a hidden valley in eastern Australia, only accessible with climbing ropes and a good map. 

    There are giant bugs, mammals, birds, and the list goes on and on. But what I wait for never arrives, so for now, I create them – in my stories. There are ancient creatures still living below the Antarctic ice (Beneath the Dark Ice - http://www.greigbeck.com/books-and-new-projects/beneath-the-dark-ice.html ), in sunken crater basins (The First Bird - http://www.greigbeck.com/books-and-new-projects/the-first-bird.html), or in other subterranean worlds or jungles yet to be found (The Book of the Dead, and Lair of the Leviathan – both coming soon). Clues only glimpsed in ancient manuscripts or whispered in the strange languages of lost tribes. 

    But as it turns out, not all the ancient creatures left us – the adaptable ones followed the changing landscape from the splitting of the supercontinents of Pangea, spreading out across Laurasia and Gondwanaland, and finally to the continents as we know them today. These beasts survived the mass extinctions, and shrunk themselves (this most probably due to less protein available after the dinosaurs died out). 

    Below is Brutus, the Australian saltwater crocodile. He’s around 16 feet in length and weighs around a ton. Brutus lost an arm in a fight with a great white shark. 

    Then there is the massive Gustave, a large male Nile crocodile from Burundi. He is notorious for being a man-eater, and is rumored to have killed over 100 humans from the banks of the Ruzizi River and the northern shores of Lake Tanganyika. Gustave is said to be 25 feet in length and weighing in at more than a ton and a half. 

    The reason creatures like Brutus and Gustave survive is that, biologically and evolutionarily, they are based on a good design that is adaptable, formidable and lethal. They are an apex ambush predator, the largest of all living reptiles, as well being the largest riparian predator in the world. 

    Crocodiles and alligators can live in salt or fresh water, but usually reside in mangrove swamps, estuaries, deltas, lagoons, and lower stretches of rivers. And over the hundreds of millions of years they’ve been on this earth, they have managed to follow the water – when one water mass dried, they were so widespread, they managed to survive quite happily somewhere else – it’s not uncommon to find big crocodiles on the move, over dry land searching for that new water hole. For years a creek, pond or river has been a safe swimming hole – then one day, someone notices a huge visitor has taken up residence. Usually after a few local dogs go missing!

    But as lethal as guys like Gustave seem, compared to the creatures that lived in the warm swamps of the Cretaceous and Miocene periods, they were pygmies. Readers, I give you, the super-crocs:- 

    Sarcosuchus (meaning "flesh crocodile"), is an extinct genus of crocodyliform and distant relative of the crocodile that lived 112 million years ago. It dates from the early Cretaceous Period of what is now Africa and South America and is one of the largest crocodile-like reptiles that ever lived. It was almost twice as long as the biggest modern saltwater crocodile and weighed up to 10 tons. The first remains were discovered in the Sahara Desert. These remains were fragments of the skull, vertebrae, teeth and scutes. In 1964, an almost complete skull was found in Niger, but it was not until 1997 and 2000 that most of its anatomy became known to science, when an expedition led by the American palaeontologist Paul Sereno discovered 6 new specimens, including one with about half the skeleton intact and most of the spine. 

    Purussaurus is an extinct genus of giant caiman that lived in South America during the Miocene epoch, 8 million years ago. It
    is known from skull material found in the Brazilian, Colombian and Peruvian Amazonia, and northern Venezuela. Palaeontologists estimate that it may have measured around 40 feet in length.

    Deinosuchus – the “terrible crocodile” (my favourite) – an extinct genus related to the alligator that lived around 80 million years ago during the late Cretaceous period. The first remains were discovered in North Carolina in the 1850s. Although Deinosuchus was far larger than any modern crocodile or alligator,
    with the largest adults measuring, according to one scale, up to 50 feet in total length, its overall appearance was fairly similar to today’s crocodiles. The Deinosuchus had large, robust teeth built for crushing, and its back was covered with thick hemispherical osteoderms. Deinosuchus fossils have been found in 10 US states, including Texas, Montana, and many along the East Coast. It was an opportunistic apex predator in the coastal regions of eastern North America. Deinosuchus was more than capable of killing and eating large dinosaurs.

    One way in which prehistoric crocodiles were indeed more impressive than their terrestrial relatives was their ability, as a group, to survive the K/T Extinction Event that wiped the dinosaurs off the face of the earth 65 million years ago. 

    Today's crocodiles and alligators are little changed from their prehistoric ancestors, a telling clue that these reptiles were (and remain) extremely well adapted to their environment. But, just how did they survive? There are several theories:- 

    Theory #1: Crocodiles Were Exceptionally Well-Adapted. Theory #2: Crocodiles lived both in and out of the Water. Theory #3: Crocodiles Grew More Slowly than Dinosaurs. Theory #4: Crocodiles Were Smarter than Dinosaurs (huh?)... or...Theory #5: Crocodiles Were Cold-Blooded - Crocodiles possess classically "reptilian" cold-blooded metabolisms, meaning they don't have to eat very much and can survive for extended periods of time in severe darkness and cold. As the meteor strike supposedly created a nuclear winter lasting several years, they alone would have been able to survive, first on the rotting carcasses of the many dead, and then going into a form of hibernation until the sun finally returned. 

    So, the monsters are gone – or are they really? The record for the biggest reliably measured crocodile is something few can agree on. Some say that it was a 21 ft specimen shot in the Fly River, Papua New Guinea. Others say it was a 28 foot, 4 inch male shot on the MacArthur Bank of the Norman River, Queensland, Australia in 1957 by Mrs. Kris Pawloski. 

    The mammoth body was too big to move but was photographed, although, sadly, the photograph was lost in 1968. However, Mr. Ron Pawloski was a recognized expert on crocodiles and carefully measured the specimen. He was astounded at its size (having previously measured 10,287 specimens).  Dr Graham Webb, crocodile expert and owner of Crocodylus Park in Australia believes Ron’s story. Dr Webb says…”I spent three days talking with Ron and everything else he told me about crocodiles turned out to be very precise indeed. I can’t imagine him fabricating something like this.” This giant was never weighed because of the impossibility of moving its immense carcass, but conservative estimates put its weight at over 3 tons. 

    Another infamous giant was witnessed in the 1950s by rubber plantation owner James Montgomery. This particular crocodile dwarfed all others and the local Seluka tribe believed that it was "The Father of the Devil" and threw silver coins into the water to appease it. Investigating, Montgomery found the beast in question sunning itself on a sandbank. The crocodile filled the whole bank and had the end of its tail in the water. Wisely returned later, and found that the sand bank on which the creature had been basking was 30 feet across indicating that the creature must have been in excess of 33 feet in length. 
    Hunting has meant the larger crocodile specimens are disappearing or being forced into hiding. But perhaps not gone for good just yet. There is an old Malaysian proverb that says: “Don't think there are no crocodiles just because the water is calm.” After all, dark water can even hide the Devil. 


    Where did they go – the super crocs? GREIG BECK for ThrillerCentral. Sep 2014
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    The Gods of War by Graham Brown

  • Wednesday, August 27, 2014
  • by
  • Dave
  • Graham Brown's The Gods of War is available on Kindle at a special price! Today only, it's $1.99.
    The price begins to climb tomorrow until it reaches its full retail price.

    This dystopian/Sci-fi thriller about a dying Earth and the desperate effort to colonize Mars has been called "...military science fiction at it's gritty, page turning best." - Jeff Edwards, award winning author of Sword of Shiva.
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    The Lost Island by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

  • Friday, August 8, 2014
  • by
  • Dave
  • The Lost Island is the third book in the Gideon Crew series. Gideon is a former high-level art thief who is employed by Eli Glinn (a character who will be familiar to readers of Preston and Child's other works) to apply his particular skills in Glinn's service. Hanging over Crew's head, or rather, lurking inside his head, is a terminal condition that has given him only months to live.

    In Lost Island, Crew finds himself in search of a mysterious substance that might have the potential to cure him. While the story begins with Gideon pulling off a spectacular theft, it quickly morphs into a classic action-adventure story, with treasure maps, myths and legends, mysterious creatures, and plenty of action.

    While the duo's Pendergast series remains my favorite, The Lost Island tops my list of Gideon Crew stories. It's great fun and highly recommended for adventure lovers.
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    Ethan Continues by William Dietrich

  • Monday, August 4, 2014
  • by
  • Dave
  • When HarperCollins decided last year that the series had run its commercial course and declined to contract for book eight, I thought they might have a point. I warned readers of this blog that Ethan looked headed for retirement.

    But a bunch of you shouted, ‘No Way!’ and urged me to keep the Gage family going – possibly through independent publication.

    So I am, because I find Ethan and Astiza irresistible. Exactly when and how the next Ethan Gage will appear is yet to be determined (other publishers are pondering) but I can tell you I’ve got him struggling in a Russian snowstorm, while writing on superb Pacific Northwest 80-degree summer days.

    Young Harry is standing alertly by, as well.

    Congratulate yourselves. It’s all your fault.

    The next Ethan Gage novel is in fact one of five book projects I’ve got underway, three of them already written and poised for publication. If you tote up all the other Gage novels I’ve sketched and other book ideas that are somewhere in the idea-to-started stage, you come up with about fifteen more, which should keep me busy until Valentine’s Day, at least.
    I’ve found I have as much trouble trying to predict the future as the characters in the most recent Ethan Gage novel, The Three Emperors. Nonetheless, the writing life does seem to keep me busy.
    So here’s a forecast:

    Aimed for a September publication is a young adult eco-adventure novel set in prehistoric Africa called The Murder of Adam and Eve. This is going to be an indie, with my own publishing company. First time I’ve tried that, so it’s a steep learning curve. But I think readers will be intrigued. It doesn’t follow the expected formula, editors have told me, but it’s a strong narrative with big ideas.
    It’s a teen thriller that is a survival story, a romance, and an eco-fable.

    In October comes The North Cascades, a gorgeous coffee-table pictorial by Mountaineers Books in Seattle, with me doing the lead essay and other parts. It’s a joy to be connected to a project that is so pretty, and so important.

    Napoleon’s Rules: Life and Career Lessons From Bonaparte is kicking around the New York publishing ranks right now. This could be a good indie as well.

    And I’ve linked up with a fascinating scientist to help with what could be a real blockbuster of a book, but one that is a few years off from publication.

    The Ethan Gage I’m working on, with the tentative title of The Trojan Icon, takes our peripatetic heroes from St. Petersburg to Constantinople, with a lot of bumps along the way. Much writing to do yet, but if it winds up an indie it would appear sometime in 2015.

    Then comes the hard part: deciding which of several good ideas (besides more Ethans) to do next.
    The easy part is that you readers have got my back. You’re the wingmen, the Sancho, the Cyrano. So thanks for the encouragement – and happy reading!
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    Dead Ice- Desolate Settings

  • Tuesday, July 29, 2014
  • by
  • Thriller Central
  • Whenever I start planning a new book, I first pay a visit to my "Google Doc of Big Ideas." It's a
    single document where I save links to all the cool articles I stumble across online and think "I could use this in a story." It could be one of many things: an interesting or challenging setting, an unsolved mystery, a story from history, a scientific advancement, or a fascinating creature (real or imagined.)

    The next step is to group the elements that I think would go together, and see if any ideas bubble to the surface. While going through this process, it would be easy to succumb to temptation, drop what I'm working on, and dive into whatever new idea I develop, so I console myself that at least I won't forget the story idea whenever I come back to it. (Forgetting cool ideas is another article in itself.)

    When Steven Savile and I sat down to plan our collaboration, we started with the Google Doc and the first thing that resonated with us was the setting: Wrangel Island. Wrangel is a Russian island that sits due west of Alaska's northern coast. Its frozen landscape and remote location made it a perfect setting for an adventure/thriller. 

    Once we chose the setting, the other elements came naturally. Wrangel itself gave us our "Man vs Nature" conflict, its location in Russia gave us our "Man vs Man" conflict, and also our historical back-story. Our "Man vs Beast" conflict also related to the frozen setting, but I'll say no more here. All in all, it quickly evolved into our new novella, Dead Ice. Check it out, and give Steven's work a try while you're at it!
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    SAVAGE--Adventures in research

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014
  • by
  • Sean Ellis
  • If you’re a fan of James Rollins or Steve Berry, then you’re used to seeing an ‘afterword’ where some of the stranger bits of historical or scientific lore employed in the stories turn out to be based solidly on fact, which makes them even more intriguing. I have thought about doing the same with my novels, and perhaps one day I will, but for now, this will have to do.

    This week marks the release of SAVAGE, which I wrote with Jeremy Robinson. It is the latest installment in the Jack Sigler/Chess Team series, and my third (or fifth, depending on how you count it) outing with the characters.
    Without giving you any spoilers, I thought I would share a few of the historical and geographical curiosities that found their way into the novel.
    SAVAGE brings the Chess Team to the Dark Continent—a term that was coined in the days of European colonial explorers like the notorious journalist Henry Morton Stanley. Stanley figures prominently into the story, mostly because of a curious footnote in his biography.
    If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “Dr. Livingstone I presume” then you’re already a little bit familiar with Stanley. In 1871, Stanley set out on a widely publicized expedition to find Dr. David Livingstone, a Scottish missionary who had been missing in Africa for nearly three years. Stanley found Livingstone after an arduous journey, and accounts of the meeting famously reported the two men greeting with the aforementioned salutation. Like most sound bites, there’s more to the story. Although Stanley reported it that way, we’ll never know for sure what really happened that day, because the pages of Stanley’s diary that contained the firsthand account of the meeting were removed by Stanley himself. Why? What was the most famous explorer of the nineteenth century trying to cover up?

    I can think of one possibility....

    There are two African lakes that figure prominently into SAVAGE. One of these is Lake Natron in Tanzania. To truly appreciate Lake Natron, you need to see it…or at the very least, see some pictures of it. Lake Natron first came to my attention when I read about how the waters can actually turn birds and other animals to stone!

    Okay, it’s not quite as dramatic as it sounds, but it’s not an exaggeration. The alkaline water can have a deadly effect on animals that ingest it, and in some cases, if the animal dies in the lake, the dissolved chemicals in the water can cause rapid fossilization. If that made it sound too boring, just look at these pictures, and you’ll see why Lake Natron had to be in SAVAGE.

    Most of the action in the story however takes place near Lake Kivu, which sits on the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. One of the really interesting (and scary) things about Lake Kivu is what lies beneath, which in this case is an enormous bubble of methane and carbon dioxide. How enormous? Estimates put the carbon dioxide bubble at 256 cubic kilometers and the methane at 65 cubic kilometers. Oh, and incidentally, all that gas is the result of volcanic activity under the surface. Methane, as you probably know, is explosive, and it probably wouldn’t take much to set it off, but the real danger is from the carbon dioxide. If the gas trapped at the bottom of Lake Kivu were to rise to the surface—the technical term for this is ‘limnic eruption’—it would suffocate the people living on the shore. A similar event occurred in 1986 at Lake Nyos in Cameroon. The eruption happened quickly, with no warning, and the odorless, colorless cloud moved at more than sixty miles per hour, instantly snuffing out all animal life within sixteen miles of the shore. More than 1,700 people died, along with many thousands of animals.
    The bubble underneath Lake Kivu could be as much as five thousand times bigger, and there are more than two million people living in several cities on the shore. Steps are being taken to reduce the threat of a limnic eruption at Lake Kivu, but the problem with bubbles, as any kid will tell you, is that sometimes when you mess with them, they pop.

    On a lighter note, there’s a little Easter Egg in the story that I hope will provide fodder for discussions among Chess Team fans. It relates to another interesting historical footnote which has to do with one of the most famous wristwatches in the solar system. I present the following excerpt from the official NASA website without comment.

    “NASA supplied each of the Apollo astronauts with a standard issue Omega Speedmaster Professional manual-wind wristwatch…
    The timepiece was intended to be worn for intra and extra vehicular activities including the moonwalks on all the missions. Inside a pressurized environment the watch was worn conventionally but during EVA (extra vehicular activity) the astronauts wore the watch on the outside of their pressure suits, the long Velcro strap was designed to accommodate this change in 'wrist' dimension…

    Of special note, it is understood that Buzz Aldrin's watch was lost in transit in or about 1971 whilst en route to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum whilst Buzz was attempting to loan the item for display. Its current whereabouts are not therefore known. It may well be the first watch worn on the moon. Buzz recounted in his autobiography that, during the EVA, Neil Armstrong left his own Speedmaster in the Lunar Module as a replacement for the in-cabin timer which had malfunctioned.”
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    Steven Savile on Writing Across Genres

  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014
  • by
  • Dave
  • Steven Savile, author of the Ogmios thrillers, is a guest on the Nook Press blog:

    I suppose I should start by introducing myself. So imagine we’re sitting in a smoky bar in Cuba with the music playing and the far-too toned dancers shaming us slightly out of shape writers as we smoke our cigars and sip a nice single malt in the sweltering heat. What? That’s not how you imagine a writer’s life? Okay how about a garret in Soho with a wire-framed bed and a typewriter straight out of Naked Lunch perched on the windowsill, filthy curtains filtering the sunlight, the pasty-faced writer hunched over the keys bleeding onto the white page? Better or a bit too noir? Depending on how we’re meeting I’m Steve, though I could be Alex, or Aaron, and pretty soon to a whole new generation I’ll be Matt...

    Read the rest on the Nook Blog
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    The World Beneath by Rebecca Cantrell

  • Friday, February 14, 2014
  • by
  • Dave
  • The World Beneath (A Joe Tesla Novel) is the newest thriller by author Rebecca Cantrell. While I've read her collaborative efforts with James Rollins, this was my first foray into her solo fiction, and it did not disappoint. Tesla is a millionaire whose agoraphobia forces him into the New York City underground. While this is a setting that's been explored in other thriller novels (Chaos by David Meyer and Reliquary by Preston and Child come to mind) there are always new depths to plumb (pun intended) and new discoveries to be made. Thus, it's one of my favorite places about which to read.

    Tesla and his service dog Edison are soon on the run from the bad guys and the "good" guys. Twists and surprises abound in this entertaining adventure story! I particularly enjoyed Tesla's character and the way in which his major flaw impacts the story. Cantrell has done a fine job with what I hope is the first in a series.

    Here's a little more from the publisher:

    Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Cantrell drops you into a vast, dark world: 100 miles of living, breathing, tunnels that is the New York City underground. This subterranean labyrinth inhales three million bustling commuters every day. And every day, it breathes them all out again... except for one.

    Software millionaire Joe Tesla is set to ring the bell on Wall Street the morning his company goes public. On what should be the brightest day in his life, he is instead struck with severe agoraphobia. The sudden dread of the outside is so debilitating, he can't leave his hotel at Grand Central Terminal, except to go underground. Bad luck for Joe, because in the tunnels lurk corpses and murderers, an underground Victorian mansion and a mysterious bricked-up 1940s presidential train car. Joe and his service dog, Edison, find themselves pursued by villains and police alike, their only salvation now is to unearth the mystery that started it all, a deadly, contagious madness on the brink of escaping The World Beneath. 

     *I "read" the audiobook version, which is very well done. It's narrated by the superb Jeffrey Kafer, who has worked with many of my favorite thriller authors, including Jeremy Robinson, Bob Mayer, and that David Wood guy. Great work!


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    A "Thrilling" Social Media Experiment

  • Monday, January 27, 2014
  • by
  • Sean Ellis
  • As an author, there are no words I hate writing more than "buy my book."  Oh sure, I want you to buy it, but I don't want to come across as desperate.  I may post a link to my latest release, but by and large, using social media to advertise my books is the Internet equivalent of standing at the freeway on-ramp with a cardboard box sign that says "Will Write Books for Food!"
    There's no denying that social media is a powerful platform, but I'll admit to being a little stumped when it comes to figuring out new ways to make good use of it.  Whenever somebody figures out a new way to get a little publicity, pretty soon everybody does it and suddenly it doesn't work anymore.  I call this "the supermarket checkout line effect."  You know, when you're waiting in a long line at the store and a new checkout lane opens.  Unless you're the first person in that new line, your situation won't change that much.
    I've been pondering how to use various social media platforms for a while now, trying to come up with something unique and interesting to say, and one idea that I've been kicking around is finally about to bear some fruit.
    Now, when I say social media, I'm referring to interactive platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and so forth.  Technically, people have been socializing on the Internet since it began, instant messaging with IMC chat and posting back and forth on newsgroups and forums, but these dedicated social networks have thrown the doors wide open.  Initially, this was a great way to get the word out about a new book, but it's become a very crowded room, and unless you've got something distinctive to say, no one really listens very closely.  And unless you can say something interesting every day, you aren't going to make a very deep impression.
    A couple years ago, I had the idea of telling a story in daily Twitter posts.  If you aren't a Twit (as I lovingly call my fellow Twitterers) then all you need to know is that Twitter posts are limited to 140 characters, including spaces and punctuation. How long is that?  Well, this paragraph hit 140 with the "s" in the word "Twitterers."
    As I pondered this idea further, I realized that this limitation might give me the opportunity to explore a new kind of storytelling.  Much like the daily comics in  newspapers (not Cathy or Andy Capp...I'm talking about the superhero strips and daily dramas) where a story advances only a frame or two at a time, I would have to devise a way to tell the story in a brisk, precise fashion, with no words wasted. 
    I'm pleased to announce that I'm finally ready to launch God Dance, a Twitter adventure.
    Here's how it will work.  Every weekday, starting today (January 27, 2014) I will post the latest "frame" of the story on my Twitter page @thrillersean .  I will post a few times throughout the day, and probably on  my Facebook wall as well.  Every Friday, I will collect the week's progress together and archive it on a Tumblr blog where I will also post additional material relating to the story. In fact, you should visit it right now to learn about the hero and get an advance look at the mystery at the heart of God Dance. http://twitteradventureseries.tumblr.com/
    I hope you'll join me for this unique experience.  I don't know how it will turn out, but I can guarantee it will be an adventure.


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    Interview with David Sakmyster

  • Friday, January 24, 2014
  • by
  • Dave
  • 1-   You've recently released your Morpheus Initiative series in a single omnibus edition. Tell us about the series.

    The Morpheus Initiative series was really born out of a phase in my reading where I was obsessed with all the mysterious structures around the world and the apparent clues as to lost wisdom and technology… And then I came across a book about modern day psychics – and the CIA program using ‘remote viewers’ to spy on enemies and foreign locations.   That got the ball bouncing around in my brain – what if there’s this team that could actually see into the past, albeit with difficulty and often unpredictably? From there I took as my first target (or in the field’s lingo, ‘objective’), the Pharos Lighthouse – one of the ancient wonders of the world. There are all sorts of legends about it housing the treasure of Alexander the Great and being full of traps and puzzles.  So that was the basis for the first book – and of course I worked in a neat angle on government conspiracies and an ancient society determined to protect the secrets.  And from there, I wanted the team to tackle other mysteries – Genghis Khan was next, and that was a lot of fun speculating on his tomb’s location, since there are several multi-million dollar expeditions going on right now to find him. And from there, the characters set their sights higher – and I  worked in secrets of NASA and the Spear of Destiny, among other quests.  There are also two short story prequels in the omnibus that help fill in the blanks about some of the major characters, and allow them their own adventures (one involving the Taj Mahal, and another the Grand Canyon).
      

    2- Kevin J. Anderson described your work as Indiana Jones meets the X-Files. If you had to choose one, would you be Indiana Jones or Fox Mulder?

    I’d love to say Indiana Jones, because I look good in hats, but I’ve always associated with Mulder, feeling like we share a common crusade to discover the truth, no matter where it takes us or how many enemies we make along the way.


    3- You write the sort of globe-trotting adventure I really enjoy. Of the various places you've researched and written about, which is your favorite and why?

     My favorite would have to be Mars, because I somehow doubt I’ll get there in my lifetime.  But if I had to choose a terrestrial location, I would stick with the first one, the Lighthouse of Alexandria.  As a premiere model of engineering and architecture, a beacon of hope and light, a symbol that influenced so many later designs including our Statue of Liberty (see my book 3), the Pharos was really the most compelling and fun research subject.  And to read so many varied descriptions of it, trying to sort through the legends and word of mouth descriptions after its collapse, and then speculate on what may have been its true purpose, was a great experience.


     4- What's next for you?

    I’m currently finishing a standalone thriller about modern-day druids and environmental warfare.  I may also work in a collaboration about zombie dinosaurs, and then, in the not-so-distant future – possibly a return to the Morpheus team. Got some new mysteries needing to be solved...

    To learn more about David and his work, visit him online at www.sakmyster.com.
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