“Who do you represent?” I asked him.
“That was a good question, Pierre. Did you find out?”
“He said it did not concern me. I asked him if it was the church.”
David was even more curious, “And?”
“The priest said I should ask no more questions, but that he represented sovereign monarchy—one who had absolute power. Well, it got me thinking. Who has that kind of unfettered control?”
David looked puzzled and asked, “Who, indeed?”
“Yes, an absolute power who would not give up their secrets or allow anyone to steal or copy them. I wondered if he meant the Vatican, but was too scared to ask. Who else could it be? Then he told me to stop all my research in Florence. His exact words were, ‘Halt all investigations if you value your life.’”
The extract above is from 3 WISE MEN and suggests that other groups are also after Jak’s secret formula. But, who are these religious zealots? Does the priest indeed represent The Vatican – a state that has absolute power and doesn’t want it to be lost to meddling researchers like Jak and his friends? Read 3 WISE MEN to read more about this mysterious and unexpected meeting.
What’s in a name – a character’s name, that is? In 3 WISE MEN the protagonist, Jak Daniels, was a very simple name to think up – a name, like the author’s, that causes confusion and mistaken identity. Jak meets a woman on the train – and her name is Sasha. In the early draft she had a different name – an older name, and one less fitted to her young looks and outgoing personality. ‘Sasha’ fitted her persona better and it was a name that worked well alongside ‘Jak’. But I wanted to mention another name used in 3 WISE MEN – Ambrose. His name was, in the first instance, ‘Ambroise’. One reader commented that he found it difficult to say ‘Ambroise’ correctly. Therefore, I reverted to the simpler spelling – ‘ Ambrose’. Again, this small revision made the text much easier to read. Finally, and one that I struggled with, was the name of Jak’s dog. I laugh thinking about it, because the first manuscript had a glaring error – I had given Jak’s dog three different names! Yes, names in a novel are important and need to provide – for a thriller at least- a measure of contrast and good (or bad) character-fit. The names of our 3 daughters also appear in the book, which was a nice touch to honor them. Another name – Andrea – was used (with permission) following a very special tour around Milan by someone of the same name. It took quite a while to come up with names that matched, but I do hope you find the names used in 3 WISE MEN appealing.
3 WISE MEN is now available in a 2nd Edition-released for 2019. This new version has approximately 10 more pages. It has the same action-packed plot with a few typos fixed and more detail added in a few places; plus one more final chapter. At over 80,000 words, 3 WISE MEN continues to be a thriller that is ‘difficult to put down’ and has received rave reviews. Yours for just under a few cups of coffee, or less for the Kindle version. 3 WISE MEN, 2nd Edition, is available from Amazon at this link.
Yes, it is very encouraging to get such great feedback on the tension and pace that keeps readers of 3 WISE MEN engaged and unable to put the book down! One reader commented that the book had no title on the spine. I agreed that this was an oversight and remedied it by making a change to the cover to include the spine. But then I discovered something very interesting – bookstores have to show the front cover when there is no text on the spine. Therefore, I decided to drop the spine text and leave it blank – an action that suits a thriller in some ways. Therefore, dear readers, 3 WISE MEN now has a blank spine – all the spine-tingling action is in the body of the book! Even the Chapters section is deleted too. Why? Since it added nothing to the plot or layout and took up space. You will notice that 3 WISE MEN is now just less than 80,000 action-packed words.
In 3 Wise Men James Hayden takes a formula that’s been tried and tested by Dan Brown, turns it on its head and brings in an edge of seat thriller based on fact and markedly better than any of Brown’s thin and insubstantial efforts. This is a classic thriller with fairly short chapters, which is always good, punchy, gritty realism, gloriously exotic locations and chapter endings that leave you hanging, another tried and tested formula that began with Edgar Rice Burroughs back at the turn of the last century. Thrillers don’t come much better than this – huge fun and very entertaining!
We met another reader this weekend who said, “I couldn’t put the 3 WISE MEN down – a very good book!” Many thanks for the positive feedback!
Thanks to a reader for the following feedback on 3 WISE MEN. “I don’t think many readers will realize how factual the details are in this thriller. I loved revisiting places I had been to before!”
I was at a lunch outing last Sunday with my wife and two friends, when someone I knew came up to our table and verbally accosted me about 3 WISE MEN. This is what he said,
“That book of yours – I can’t put it down!”
Of course, that is the sort of feedback that an author enjoys, but I was still surprised at his enthusiasm to share it with me – as well as other restaurant patrons. All I could say was “I’m sorry, but thank you.”
That kind of comment makes me want to write more!
It was a great conversation with a colleague over a recent lunch. We had both studied Geography at university and he mentioned the value of being able to view the world through a geographer’s eyes – looking at the landscape and how it was formed. I suddenly realized that this training had helped me connect different events to help construct the background details for 3 WISE MEN. Here is one example:
My wife and I were enjoying a late lunch in a piazza in Florence when we noticed a priest hurrying past. I could not resist a picture (below). When constructing details for the wider plot, it occurred to me that this innocent priest might play an important part.
“I had just left the Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, and was crossing the piazza outside the church when a priest approached me. He was obviously in a hurry as his cassock was waving wildly behind him. When he reached me, he paused and whispered, ‘I must see you urgently at the Statue of David at 7 o’clock tonight. Be there!’ Then he took off, heading for the hotel nearby. I was taken by surprise.” [extract, pg 192]
I am sure that readers will be equally surprised when they discover what the priest wanted to say to Pierre when he met him at The Statue of David!