Evil has invaded my city!
I’m Harmon Waite, a Texas-born private investigator. When Jenny Summers is murdered, her wealthy father demands I find her killer. Then hunter becomes hunted, and my world descends into a living nightmare. I can’t stop, or the blood of The Ripper’s next victim will be on my hands.
Fortunately, fate brings me together with two extraordinary warriors. Smoke is a mountain of a man, part Cherokee, part healer. Eirian, is an incomparable swordmaster. With them at my side, I might even stand a chance against The Ripper.
Of course, that’s when the fallen angel shows up.
“Waite on the Ripper is one intense roller-coaster ride of a story!”
Targeted Age Group:: 18 to 65
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I love good stories. A book a day was my youthful standard. I can still remember exactly where I was when I read classics like Lord of the Rings and Stranger in a Strange Land.
In the 80s, I lived as a writer in South Austin, performing the poems at Chicago House that eventually became A Week of Years. Then, my son came along, and I got caught up in the tech industry. During two decades at Dell, I gathered a pocketful of good stories, and Riding on the Coattails of Genius was born out of those.
Today, I'm back to writing for a living and couldn't be happier. My new series is set right here in Austin. I was going for a Dresden Files vibe, so my favorite feedback is from the critic who summed up my first book, Waite on the Ripper, with one word – Intense!
My hero, Harmon Waite, gets caught up in a series of escalating adventures. Harmon, his Nephilim friends, Molly, his will-he-ever-fall-for-her best friend, and all the rest of the characters are already near and dear to my heart. Still, I will admit, it's the fallen angels with way-too-many-millennia spent dangling in their own twisting thoughts, that have been the most fun to write – so far!
My favorite part of this whole process has been listening to each book come alive through Dan Johnson's thoroughly mesmerizing narration. I searched hundreds of voices, and the moment I heard his, I knew he was the one.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Harmon Waite and his Ripper antagonist have been facing off against each other in my mind for the last decade. When I finally got started writing the series, the rest of the characters, from UT benefactor, Noble Summers, to Harmon's nephelim friends Smoke and Eirian all just made their appearances naturally.
I've just finished an origin story with Smoke, who is one of my favorite characters. It is a free giveaway for signing up on my website. Exploring his background reminded me these are all complex characters with more stories that need to be told. Did you know Eirian was a musketeer at one time in her long life? I'm not talking about the kind with the cute ears either.
Smoke grew as still as the mountain he resembled. “I believe Jack knows we are here. Evil is close and getting closer.” Eirian looked toward the south in alarm, then uttered a word I didn’t know that sounded like a curse, jumped up from her chair, and reached for her invisible sword. I felt the alarm bells go off in my own head an instant before the front door to the bar exploded inward. Two massive, barrel-chested, coal-black canine forms hurtled through the ruined opening.
A rush of adrenaline kicked my perception of time into high gear again, leaving everything around me swimming in molasses. I glimpsed huge fangs and glowing red eyes as I threw myself backward, rolling out of and away from my chair. I came to my feet, pulled my Colt, looking for a clear shot. It wasn’t there.
I blurred toward the stained-glass window fronting the street, and the larger of the two hounds jerked around, focusing flame-filled eyes on me. In one enormous bound, it crossed the space between us. Happily, that gave me a clear trajectory. I fired up and away from everyone, into the leaping hellhound’s face.
My first shot tore a hole in its throat, and my second ripped into its jaw. Blood sprayed, as one ivory fang spun away. My third shot went down its gullet, and I twisted to one side as massive jaws clamped on thin air, the beast rocketing past me, trying to skitter to a stop, adding deep claw marks to the already scarred wood floor.
Behind me, I heard Eirian’s sword snicker out of its sheath. The hound I was dealing with slid to a stop and shook its head. Blood and drool flew all over the place. It started to whip around, but I was already standing over it, firing into the back of its head. The bullets smashed into its skull, but that didn’t slow the beast. Finishing its turn, it snapped at the gun in my right hand. I kicked upward, catching it under the jaw. The beast’s fangs snapped together with a loud crash, and its head jerked back. That chest offered too tempting a target. Time still crawling, with preternatural clarity, I pumped three more hollow points into its center mass. It reared back, then came down on all fours. With six bullets in it, the hound voiced a roar of ferocious rage, and as I backpedaled, it charged me again. Even in hyper-speed, its charge from that short a distance left me feeling well and truly screwed.
The hellhound came for my throat, and I did the only thing I could. I stuck my pistol through those gaping jaws and emptied the rest of my clip down its throat. The hound jerked its head to one side, tearing ragged holes in my bomber jacket, knocking the pistol out of my hand. Its bulk crashed into me. The overwhelming smell of rotten eggs assaulted my nostrils as we both collapsed to the floor. Eye to eye, from less than a foot away, I watched the red flame flicker and go out. Then, the odor and the black hellhound’s weight faded into a pall of shadows.
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