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Martin and Hawke


authors of the Jake Tyler series


PART ONE reveals how Kim and Mykel began the collaboration and journey that created the Jake Tyler series and IN THE DARK OF THE SUN.

Kim, how did this start for you?

Quoting Kim

Several years ago, the idea of me in the middle of an Amazon jungle, let alone researching a book set against the backdrop of the Colombian Drug War, would have been as far-fetched as hitching a ride on the space Shuttle. And in the company of a machete-wielding Special Forces operative? Me? Southern gal whose fair skin burns in the time it takes to twist the top off a tube of sun block, who is deathly allergic to most stinging insects, who had not seen the inside of a sleeping bag since childhood? And yet, there I was. The story had been buzzing in one form or another in my mind for years prior, but with our unlikely collaboration, Jake and Callie had come to life.

Over the course of developing, researching, and writing, I have been privy to the mechanics and mindset of a modern-day warrior. Most people see them showcased on CNN, in splices of combat footage, sometimes in happy homecomings or, sadly, as mourned heroes. I have seen so much more, and I began to think about the challenge for such a man to slip in and out of "normal" life, jobs, relationships, to have dreams and ambitions beyond the warfront. I wondered how he would exist and evolve in that twilight.

Thus, In the Dark of the Sun is more than just an action thriller...it is the launching point for our series in which Jake and Callie will navigate that delicate balance of his darkness and her light. They are two extremes of the spectrum and blending will not always be easy. Jake's missions and work will take him to the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, Russia, the Orient, Latin America, and just about every political hotspot on the globe. He thrives on the edgy, the unexpected, the unknown, and while he is strongly attracted to Callie for reasons he can't quite grasp, he has grave concerns about the relationship. As a man who has always had a firm grip on his mug of coffee, she is like a fine china teacup that feels awkward in his hand—and so utterly breakable. But there is a nagging thought that perhaps this is the key to a door he's always wondered about. He wants to unlock it, step through and try the light.

For Callie, it's just as much an unexpected attraction. Jake represents everything that she has avoided in her own life: intense action, spontaneity, risks, exotic places; life, love, and lust with passion and high-impact. In fact, just prior to meeting Jake in Costa Rica, Callie's quiet and comfortable life had been tossed into turmoil by the actions of a stalker. Everything she's known in her prior "normal" life has evaporated. Landing in Jake's realm is like suddenly being surrounded by the Amazon jungle...without sunscreen and insect-repellant. But it's exotic and the sense of danger intoxicating.

And, for you, Hawke?

Quoting Kim

So, I'm taking a rare bit of down time from ops and I hear from an old Vietnam-era Special Forces buddy, who now runs up and down the Amazon bringing western physicians and indigenous shaman together for mutual learning and treatment of the tribes. He says: "Hawke, there is a lady writing a book that you really should meet." He was a bit mysterious, and something in his tone piqued my interest.

With that, Kim and I began a collaboration that I can only call serendipitous.

It seems she had this concept evolving around a lead male character with a Special Forces background. Not everything was quite right at that point, but what struck me—and resonated—was that it was all eerily familiar. So we talked a bit, and I was hooked. And then something truly amazing happened. She told me that the name of this character was to be Hawke. But because she'd already cast another character with the name of Falcone, she'd changed it to Jake. Okay, now I was really feeling like the hand of fate was playing her cards.

Since I had just come from a rough year fighting in the Colombian drug war, and lost a lot of friends along the way, I was impressed with the amount of research Kim had conducted. It's not easy to get a bead on the actual pulse of what I do, how I think, what I feel, how I operate. The Special Forces warrior in the modern-day world...with so many shades of gray in between.

Jake? He's seen a lot and experienced things that he will share with no one—or, maybe someone. Maybe. But when that happens, he fears he might change. And he doesn't want to change. He needs to be impenetrable. But he's craving something more. And, with that, a risk. Is it worth taking? It might not be a good fit in his world—it's something he's going to have to figure out.


PART TWO contains IN THE DARK OF THE SUN spoilers.

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