I can still recall walking the narrow back streets and cobbled roads of Florence, Italy, racking my brain to come up with an action & adventure character who possessed all the humanness and fearlessness of Indiana Jones, but who also enjoyed the ladies, more in the vein of The Most Interesting Man in the World, as seen in the old Dos Equis commercials (one interesting factoid is my having spent an afternoon in Florence with the sister of the man who invented The Most Interesting Man in the World ad campaign).
I wanted the series to be different from my usual noir titles which are often seen as, well a bit dark, and I also wanted the series to remain fiercely independent, just like Chase himself. In other words, other than foreign and multi-media rights, I wouldn't be offering the books up to the publishers. Only I would possess the publication rights. Me, my children, and their children, and their children...in other words.
But it wasn't until I caught a movie on You Tube starring Charleton Heston that Chase Baker came alive for me. It was called the Secret of the Incas, and it featured an adventurer and former pilot who's as tough as nails, irresistible to the ladies (in fact, he's sort of a male prostitute), and a mega treasure hunter. No doubt he was the original inspiration for Indiana Jones with his fedora and leather bomber.
The original novel I came up with remains one of my bestsellers. The Shroud Key. It's controversial in that it deals with the possibility that the mortal remains of Christ actually exist. But it's full of romance, and adventure, and exotic locales. The point of the novels is not only to entertain just like the 1930s, 40s, and 50s cliff hangar serials used to do, but I would also make them real in that I would travel to each and every destination I write about. Thus far my Chase travels have taken me to the Sahara, the Amazon, India, Nepal, Egypt, Israel, Africa, China, Russia, and many more special locales. Since I plan on writing many more Chase Bakers (the Young Chase Baker series will be launched early next year), I will no doubt, be flying to many more exotic spots on the planet.
Chase Bake and the Spear of Destiny took both on-site research and some library study. The spear that pierced Christ's side during the crucifixion and that released the holy blood and the water that would become the basis for the holy sacrament of communion in the Roman Catholic church service has always fascinated me. It's a relic that holds special powers. No wonder the Nazis wanted it so badly during WWII. Now a band of Neo-Nazis who wish to oversee the construction of a Fourth Reich want to get their hands on it again. But the only way they can manage it is to kidnap the Pope. Can Chase stop them?
Find out for yourself ...
Grab up Chase Baker and the Spear of Destiny and be thrilled...