Today I have the pleasure of introducing Don Helin, whose military thriller, Thy Kingdom Come, will be released by Medallion Press on March 1.
Don is a retired Army officer. During his career in the military,he spent three tours in the Pentagon. He uses this knowledge to create the top-secret, fictionalized world of Colonel Sam Thorpe. Thorpe is a member of the Pentagon's elite anti-terrorist task force.
Welcome, Don! Can you tell us a little about yourself and what caused you to write Thy Kingdom Come?
During my time in the Pentagon, we would receive periodic reports that white supremacists had inflitrated the ranks and were using their military training to rain terror on minorities.
I did research and found that while most Americans believed the threat from white supremacists ended with the death of Timothy McVeigh, the Southern Poverty Law Center has documented a 48% increase in hate crimes since the year 2000. They show 888 hate groups in the U.S., with 33 of these groups in my home state of Pennsylvania.
The threat posed by these groups is real and the threat is now. For example, two white supremacists were arrested this past October for allegedly plotting to go on a national killing spress, shooting and decapitating black people. They planned to then assassinate the then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Tell us a little about Thy Kingdom Come.
Thy Kingdom Come is a suspense/thriller in which a white supremacist militia located in central Pennyslvania plans to steal enough cesium-137 for a local university to make seven dirty bombs. Colonel Sam Thorpe, a member of the Pentagon's anti-terrorist task force goes undercover, and assisted by FBI agent Alex Prescott, must find a way to stop them.
How did you arrive at the title?
The Christian Identity Movement, a religious movement imported to this country from England in the 19th Century, preaches racial discrimination. Quentin Oliver, a disgruntled ex-Marine and advocate of this religion, commands the militia, and wants to create a new kingdom where whites will rule supreme.
Please share your sale story with us.
I read about Medallion Press in the Writers Digest. The first novel I sent to them got turned down. Two years later I forwarded them a query letter on Thy Kingdom Come.. It took about three months before they asked for the entire manuscript. One day at lunch six months later, the phone rang. When I picked it up I heard, “This is the Acsquisitions Editor at Medallion Press..."
What are you working on now?
I'm working on the next novel in the Sam Thorpe series, Sons of My Lai.
What are your favorite books and movies?
I love suspense/thriller books and I guess that's why I write them. Some of my favorite authors are Lee Child, Jon Land, Robert Parker, James Patterson and John Sanford I also enjoy suspense movies, although I'm a sucker for sad movies that end on a happy note.
How can readers keep up with your writing and books?
I'd encourage everyone to check my website periodically, www.donhelin.com. I'd love for readers so send an email and tell me how they enjoyed my books and any ideas on how I can improve. I also am looking for places to make presentations and do signings.
Most Americans believe the threat from local white supremacists ended with the death of Timothy McVeigh. The Southern Poverty Law Center, however, continues to document significant increases in hate crimes. Most of our most sensitive areas, including nuclear plants, lack adequate security, and the nightmare of an armed militia stealing nuclear materials is real. Enter Colonel Sam Thorpe, a member of the anti-terrorist task force, to go undercover and train “The Patriots,” a homegrown militia in central Pennsylvania.
His job: Get close to self-appointed general Quentin Oliver and uncover the core of evil. And evil is what he finds. Oliver, a disgruntled ex-Marine colonel, plans to steal cesium-187 from a local university and construct seven dirty bombs. During training sessions, Sam also uncovers a link between Oliver and the French Separatist Movement in Quebec.
The world is in trouble, and Sam is isolated with only one person In his corner: FBI covert agent Alex Prescott, a kick-ass woman with spiked blond hair and a personality to match. Will she be enough? Or is the world about to realize its worst nightmare?
"Thy Kingdom Come crackles with authenticity." ~ CJ Lyons, bestselling author of Lifelines
"Thy Kingdom Come is a scary, prescient thriller that confronts us all with the very real possibility of an attack on the U.S. from the inside instead of the out. Don Helin's taut tale of one brave man confronting white supremists with plans to outdo 9/11 is reminiscent of the best work of Stephen Hunter and Vince Flynn. Terrific in all respects." ~Jon Land, best-selling author of A Walk In The Darkness