In Your Next Beach Read, we want to introduce you to a new author every day in June in the hopes that you’ll find the next book you want to take with you to the beach, the pool, or the comforts of air conditioning.
Today’s author is Wade Cox, author of Caribbean Danger.
What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Wade Cox, that’s not a pen name, that’s the name I was born with. I was named after my great-grandfather on my dad’s side. I never met the man, he died 40 years before I was born, but I’m learning things about him, and apparently, we share a lot of traits.
How long have you been writing? How did you start?
Well, the short answer is 20 years, but that’s not the whole truth. I started writing in high school (10 years earlier). I started out writing movie blurbs for fake movies that my friends and I made up, and occasionally a few short stories sprang out of that. Then, in college, I took a few creative writing classes to satisfy my English requirements, and that kicked it into high gear.
Who are some of your influences?
I started writing like Stephen King for a while. He was the most famous writer I knew, so I copied him until I found my own writing ‘voice.’ I was also majorly influenced by Jimmy Buffett. He’s been on the fiction AND non-fiction best sellers list. He has a more conversational style, like talking with him, or he’s narrating the story to you.
What is your book about
It is the first of a series that introduces our hero, Lee Gibson, as an ex-soldier with PTSD who’s been through a lot. He got out of the army on a medical discharge and decided to become a detective. He gets hold of a missing persons case that just won’t let go, and becomes more dangerous at every turn.
Where did you get the idea
When I was a kid, one of the things I wanted to be was a private detective. I combined that memory with some of my readings and role-playing games to come up with the story, which was originally set in Denver, CO, in 2072. It was originally written as a Shadowrun RPG novel.
How long did it take you to finish it
Surprisingly, not long. It is a fairly short book, only about 100 pages, but that came together quite quickly. I have a great memory, that helps me to pick up just where I left off with a story. I got this story together in a few months, and when somebody published a Shadowrun story that was strikingly similar, I rewrote it in a few more months.
Is this your first book, or have you written more than one
I have written several other. Two have been published previous to this one, but this is my first series. I published a book of short stories, and another story about a mob war between an Irish gang and an Italian gang in 1927 over bootleg liquor during prohibition.
We all like to write about people we know, even if we never name them. Who are some people who inspired characters or situations
I have written about former co-workers that I thought would make fascinating characters, I took a lot from conversations I had with a very good friend in Texas, and for the hero of the book you’re profiling, I took from a friend of my parents, who is a Vietnam Vet with a fairly mild case of PTSD.
What’s your favorite scene in the book
Toward the beginning, when Lee goes to the Oily Dragon club to extract information from the master hacker, Merlin, about his mark, of whom he knows next to nothing. I patterned Merlin after a character in the latest Tron movie, and made him exceedingly polite and eloquent. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll instantly recognize Merlin the hacker.
What’s the best piece of writing advice you ever got
Not only to write what you know, but to write what you WANT to know. Unless you’ve live the circumstances you’re writing about, then writing something is going to involve LOTS of research, so write about something you really want to research.
What’s the worst
“Ooh, I’ve got a great idea for a book. Imagine if ………” When I tell people I’m a writer, I get that response a lot. I hate that response. Ok, so it’s not writing advice, but it is something related to writing, at least.
Where can we buy your book
Like many authors’ books, it is NOT available in brick-and-mortar bookstores, but it IS available on websites like Amazon, B&N, Books A Million, etc.
Wade Cox was born and raised in Salem just outside of Roanoke, in Southwest Virginia. He was always a storyteller, but didn’t really consider himself a writer when he was young. He developed a love of fiction early, however. His younger brother was always an avid reader, and Wade picked up the habit from him.
He graduated from Radford University with a degree in Marketing, but after a few failed sales jobs, found that marketing and sales was not really the path for him. After being downsized out of a sales job in Los Angeles, California, he sat up all night writing down a story that had been bouncing around in his head for a while. The creative writing classes that he’d taken in college certainly helped stoke his passion and skills.
That first story turned into his first novel, Bootleg Spirits. It took him 4 years to write it, working a day job the whole time. It took another 4 years of trying to get it published. Bootleg Spirits is the story of a mob war between Irish and Italians during the Prohibition era of 1920s Los Angeles.
His second book followed 2 years later, and was a collection of short stories called Splintered. Five dark tales of greed, revenge, and the horrors one visits on another populate the short collection.
Wade’s literary influences range from Stephen King to Jimmy Buffet. When he started writing, Wade leaned more toward the Stephen King style, and emulated him as much as he could until he found his own literary voice.
Many people know Jimmy Buffet for his music and his restaurants, but not as many know that Jimmy has written extensively, and has been on the fiction AND non-fiction best seller’s lists. The tales of the Caribbean flow through his writings, and now Wade’s as well.
Wade has traveled extensively, living in California (where he wrote his first book), Virginia, Florida, and Texas. Early in his teenage years, Wade traveled to the Caribbean and immediately fell in love with island life. He has been back many times, and he currently resides in Deltona, Florida.
Caribbean Danger marks Wade’s third published effort and he has authored numerous short stories that have appeared in various anthologies.
In addition to his writing, he also works in film, on both sides of the camera. He has written for film, directed, run sound, produced, and acted.