I’ve been asked countless times about which authors I look up to, and while I could give the typical responses, I’d be more honest by narrowing it down to one who has crossed multiple genres in his writing. Bob Mayer is an accomplished author of Sci-Fi, thrillers, and informational works. Because of the influence he’s had on me I’d like to review some of the novels that really made me want to write, particularly his Area 51 and Atlantis series, but others as well.
Realizing that all my readers may not be familiar with Mr. Mayer, I reached out to him with a little Q and A. Despite his busy schedule he took the time to answer a brief interview. The questions I asked were based on things I wanted to know as a fan and author, but also what makes him so unique. Here are his responses and following that will be my reviews of his works, as well as links to more info on him. My questions are in bold.
1) At which point in your career did you decide you wanted to get into writing? What was your inspiration?
Bob: I was living in the Orient studying martial arts and other than that had some time on my hands. So I began writing; I had no thoughts of being published. I just wrote.
2) Your Green Beret experience shows in the way you write certain things (Military terminology etc.). Did a lot of what you did help to inspire the thought process of your story concepts?
Bob: I use a lot of my Special Forces experience in Write It Forward, where I apply it to the world of being an author. There’s two sides; the creative side (process) and the business side. I think an author has to integrate the two in order to be successful.
3) You’ve done everything from military thrillers, to science fiction, to historical, collaborative and informative works. Which genre is your favorite to write?
Bob: I’m leaning more and more into speculative fiction. I don’t think I’ll be going back to military fiction as I have a lot of titles there.
4) You’ve collaborated with Jennifer Crusie on a few books now. The both of you seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly in that it really feels as though it is seamless work. How does working with someone else differ than your normal approach and time constraints?
Bob: You need trust. And it helps if you have different strengths and allow the other person their expertise. Going back to what I said earlier, a key is to know your own process and then understand the other person’s process. I work with my wife on everything and she is quite brilliant. The last group at my Write on the River workshop got a glimpse of that when she worked with them for a while.
5) Your Area 51 series is just one of your notables on the New York Times Bestseller list, and continues on through the Nightstalkers series. Since it seems (after the latest Nightstalkers) that you are linking together it and the Atlantis series, do you plan to do so with the original characters as well? There are places as a fan I still would have liked to have seen Mike Turcotte and Company tackle or answer.
Bob: I don’t think I’ll dip back into the original Area 51 world. I have linked a lot of series though with my new Time Patrol books: first, the Nightstalker team evolved into the Time Patrol, so that links those three books; then I have the Cellar, which links those two; and lastly, I have the concept from the Atlantis series, where there are parallel Earths that are battling. Essentially in Time Patrol, they have to keep another time line from changing out timeline and wiping us out. And even with that, I’m bringing in the Rule of 7 from my Shit Doesn’t Just Happen: The Gift of Failure books. So I’ve really connected a lot!
6) Speaking of Area 51 I know a while back you were working on a screenplay and movie rights for it. Is this still something in the works or is there another Bob Mayer title coming to theaters or TV in the future?
Bob: Right now that seems dead in the water. I have a screenplay written by the guy who wrote Alien and Total recall and worked on Minority report. Maybe interest will be renewed.
7) Dave Riley and Horace Chase have finally met in your Green Beret books. They are worn soldiers who stand the test of time. What are some books, movies or authors that have stood the test of time for you, either as entertainment or inspiration?
Bob: It’s hard to believe that my first book was published in 1991. I age my characters—Dave Riley is now retired from the Army. And Horace Chase—well I won’t say what happens to him in my last book The Green Berets: Chasing the Son
8) You do a write on the river and have your own publishing company now (Cool Gus Publishing). Other than getting your past catalog from pen names out in the open again, it seems like your goal was/is to help others along the way. Do you plan to expand Cool Gus?
Bob: We’ve actually contracted Cool Gus. At one point I think we had 16 authors; now we’re down to 7. We have to focus. Our goal now is to get 2 or 3 well-established traditional authors and help them go hybrid. We have the expertise that they need and make that transition very easy for them as we do all the work and they just have to write and get final say on every step of the process.
9) Every hero needs a sidekick. You’ve been an inspiration for writers and fans, and are a hero from your military background. Tell us about your sidekick dogs. They are beautiful pets.
Bob: Gus and Becca are English Yellow Labs. He’s her uncle and we got them from the same breeder on Whidbey Island. They actually have been a tourist attraction in Whidbey and everywhere people come up to the Jeep when I get out because they both just sit there, Becca in the driver’s seat and Gus in the passenger seat and are very calm.
10) What are you working on right now and what are you planning for future releases?
Bob: I just finished a draft of Burners, which will be out 6 October. I’m very excited about it because it comes out of the best idea my wife and I have had; we started it four years ago and it only all came together this year. It’s the first book in a new series and I’m already outlining the follow-on book. It’s post-apocalyptic, about a society in Puget Sound where society is divided into four classes based on life expectancy. And it’s all run by Dealer, a super-computer. I don’t want to say much more, but I’ll have the pre-order up soon and more information on my web site at http://www.coolgus.com
Area 51 series: Originally Mayer wrote this under his Robert Doherty penname. Area 51 follows the adventures of Special forces officer Mike Turcotte and Dr. Lisa Duncan. This is the series that made me really want to write. It made me enjoy reading more than I already had. Mayer’s visual descriptions and knack for unraveling ancient and more modern mysteries make these all a compelling read. Each book deals with a threat, but continue through until the overall plot is revealed. I remember waiting for the next books to be released while reading these because I couldn’t/can’t get enough. After the original series story was completed he began anew with his Nightstalkers series. New characters and situations in an alternate world are presented here. Despite being science fiction, both series are believable and a lot of fun. His next novel begins the Area 51 Time Patrol books and will be out later this month. The books in order are: AREA 51, AREA 51 THE REPLY, AREA 51 THE MISSION, AREA 51 THE SPHINX, AREA 51 THE GRAIL, AREA 51 EXCALIBUR, AREA 51 THE TRUTH, AREA 51 NOSFERATU, AREA 51 LEGEND, NIGHTSTALKERS, NIGHTSTALKERS THE BOOK OF TRUTHS, NIGHTSTALKERS THE RIFT, NIGHTSTALKERS TIME PATROL, TIME PATROL BLACK TUESDAY
Atlantis Series: If you plan on reading the Area 51 books then make sure to read this series as well before you get to the Nightstalkers. I won’t say how, but they do tie in at some point, so it’d be better to familiarize yourself with them. Plus, like Area 51 I find this series one of the best series of all time. From characters to plot to outright unexpected twists and turns there isn’t a rating high enough to give. The books in order are: ATLANTIS, BERMUDA TRIANGLE, DEVIL’S SEA, ATLANTIS GATE, ASSAULT ON ATLANTIS, BATTLE FOR ATLANTIS
Psychic Warrior and Project Aura: This really makes you wonder about what the government is working on behind closed doors. Astral projection always intrigued me, but this series takes it to the next level. It’s been years since I’ve read these, but they stick with me to this day. I highly recommend them.
Agnes and The Hitman: Co-written with Jennifer Crusie, this book appeals to male and female audiences equally. Romance, action, and humor make this feel like a true mob story that’s a hell of a lot of fun. The dynamic that Mayer and Crusie have makes the reader smile and laugh out loud at times while still giving a thrill ride full of adrenaline.
Green Beret series: Despite having worked for the government alongside various branches of military service I had no particular interest in reading military thrillers. My respect for our military goes beyond words, so I gave it a try, and again I couldn’t put it down. While I felt the series started a little slow the characters really drove it home. They are relatable and very human with decisions that push them to the limits. Each installment is better than the one before it, and I can’t wait to see where it ends. The beauty about these characters is they age as the books were written over years. Although the situations in the earlier books might be dated by events in real time, that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable. What I mean is younger audiences might not be able to relate to having anything other than touch phones etc. The novels begin in the early 90s and the latest was just released a few months ago. The novels in order are: EYES OF THE HAMMER, DRAGON SIM-13, SYNBAT, CUTOUT, ETERNITY BASE, Z, CHASING THE GHOST, CHASING THE LOST, CHASING THE SON
I’ve read a handful of Bob’s other novels as well, and hope to catch up on the few I’ve missed due to my own writing projects. I’d be all day if I kept going on every one I’ve read, but you get the point. Bob Mayer is an author you don’t want to miss. No matter what your tastes in reading he has something for everyone, and also an informative selection of non-fiction books you might want to check out as well.
Have you read any of his works? If so, comment below and share your thoughts.
I’d like to thank Mr. Mayer for his time and countless hours of great reads. Keep up the great work, and I look forward to what’s still to come for many years.
August 13, 2015 | Categories: Reviews | Tags: area 51, Atlantis, Author, Author interview, Bob Mayer, Book Review, Conspiracy, Cool Gus Publishing, Green Beret, Greg Donegan, Military thrillers, Nightstalkers, Robert Doherty, Time Patrol | Leave a comment