Thriller Writer Tj O'Connor

The Pappa Files: “Whisper’s Legacy Begins…”

Jun 26, 2024

Pappa Date: June 23, 2024. Somewhere in Winchester, Virginia.

I am Pappa. There are many pappas. But I am unique. Trust me. I am an anti-terrorism consultant by profession. An author of numerous novels by devotion. A Harley Davidson pilot, man about dogs (and now cats), and an adventurer. I am a father to five and Pappa to eight and counting.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the bookstore . . . relieved that I was almost gone . . . no more sappy posts and weird Facebook comments about talking with Ana, Cat, Hunter, Trick and whomever.

Previously on The Pappa Files …

We learned that lightning strikes twice for me once again. The great folks at Level Best Books signed me to a multiple-book contract including my latest thriller, The Whisper Legacy. Since we’re a few months out from it hitting the shelves, I thought I’d introduce you to some of the story and my new characters.

Here’s the short version: 

Curran’s enemies thought he was dead.

They were wrong.

He thought his past was left on the Voula Beach Road.

He was wrong.

Now, that nightmare is drawing his enemies out.

The halls of power are being targeted—but by who?

Is the secret of the Voula Beach Road behind the chaos?

Curran knows the answer.

It’s all from The Whisper Legacy.

Here’s the first thing you need to know.  

Whisper is not who or what you think. Yeah, yeah, I know, all my books are built on that theme. But then, if they weren’t, there wouldn’t be mystery and suspense and thrills. Right?  

For me, the main characters are real people. Disclaimer here: Any similarity to people living or dead is a figment of your imagination. This is a work of fiction. Ok, I got that out of the way. Now, truth is, nearly all the characters in The Whisper Legacy are based, at least in part, on people I’ve known throughout my career as an anti-terrorism consultant, former military federal agent, and all-around adventurer. Even the bad ones—especially the bad ones. Many of the places I discuss in the novel are real places, too. Places I’ve been. Lived. Worked. And had some thrills and “moments” at. And the characters at these places belong there, or came from there.

For example, Lowe Curran—pronounced Ker-Ran—is a washed-up intelligence and protective agent coming to grips with getting old. In his youth, he was a hotshot working for the intelligence community and State Department protecting some of the baddest of the bad in their care. Like captured terrorists, spies coming over from the dark side, etc. Except on his last mission some fifteen years prior, he screwed up on the Voula Beach Road in Voula, Greece. Lots of friends died. He nearly did and still suffers his wounds. Years later, he’s a struggling security consultant and private investigator—the only work he can get after being disgraced.

Now, a few factoids here: first, I lived and worked in Athens, Greece for more than three years in my military federal agent days. I ran anti-terrorism operations there, and a series of operations took place on the Voula Beach Road. Yep, in fact, my very first operation after arriving in country was the bombing of a shuttle bus filled with US military right on the Voula Beach Road. Thankfully, no one was killed for the grace of stupid terrorists who timed their detonation wrong. Phew, lucky us. Over the next three-plus years, I ran ops in and around Voula and Glyfada, (suburbs of Athens). So naturally, when I needed an exotic locale to have Curran’s failed mission, I instantly relived my work on the Voula Beach Road.

Me in Athens, Greece 1988

Before any of you who know me start thinking I am once again my main character, stop. Nope. Not me. First, I did not get a bunch of people killed on the Voula Beach Road. Second, I am not a washed-up former operator (former, yes, washed-up… eh, I think not). Third, I do not live alone in the loft apartment of a beautiful farmer’s barn. Hold it, wait . . . yes, I once lived alone in a farmer’s loft apartment after first leaving OSI. She was not ugly, but certainly not an aged beauty.

Moving on. 

It is true that like Curran, I am constantly complaining and coming to grips with getting older. My joints crackle. My back hurts. I lose thoughts. And old injuries from my bygone years cause me torture. Other than that, Curran and I have nothing in common. So, yes, we’re both former government protective agents. Yes, we both had an adventure on the Voula Beach Road. Sure, we both lived in a farmer’s loft apartment. And, well, I’ll give you that we both are struggling with age. But I’m not washed up. My farmer landlord was not an aged beauty. And no, I’m not in my early fifties.

Harley Davidson pilot
Me with my Harley, 2023

See, Curran is not me!

Back to my point—whatever that was. (See, getting old steals short-term thoughts.) Oh, yeah. The Whisper Legacy follows Curran as he tries to make ends meet in Northern Virginia many years after his failing on the Voula Beach Road. All that time, he thought that part of his life was over and the best he could get was doing questionable consulting gigs for Tommy Astor—a rich entrepreneur and kingmaker on the Washington circuit. Little does Curran know that the Voula Beach Road has found him again. This time, it just might kill me, er, him.

Marlowe Sam Curran—Lowe—was named by his mother who had a crush on Bogart from Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep. She also loved everything Dashelle Hammett and Sam Spade. Hence the name. Despite his distaste for the name convention, he could have been Dashelle Marlowe Curran, right? Talk about getting beat up on the playground—by the teachers!

Humphrey Bogart 1940s

The Whisper Legacy takes on a few plots and subplots that will linger into coming sequels. For this first adventure, Lowe has to find out who’s trying to kill him, frame him for murder of his beautiful landlady’s husband, and stop the murders of some of Washington’s most important elite. (Truth is, I wish he wouldn’t worry about the elite in DC, we could do with a few less politicians. Am I right?)

Along the way he tracks down a hacker who stole from the wrong people—Tommy Astor included—, steels an abused Labrador (hurray for Bogart), and runs interference for the beautiful farmer’s widow at risk of losing her fortune (gee, sounds like an old farmer’s daughter joke, doesn’t it?) Oh, yeah, and he totally gets dragged back into international strife all at the hands of Whisper.

So, what have we learned from all this: 1) I am not Lowe Curran. 2) Curran has his hands full. 3) I have a devious mind of plots and subplots all rooted in my own life’s work. Oh, and 4) I am a sucker for damsels in distress and cool dogs.

Stay tuned for future talks about Curran and his trials and tribulations in The Whisper Legacy.

Coming in Winter, 2025 from Level Best Books!

Oh, and don’t forget, Oliver “Tuck” Tucker and his Dead Detective Casefiles returns with the original trilogy and three more mysteries beginning this fall!

Until next time, Yassou, Adieu, Adiós, and all that—see ya soon and be safe!

Welcome

I first fell in love with writing while in grade school and over the years continued to dabble with characters and stories whenever life allowed. Lately, I've focused my energy on pursuing this dream—interrupted only by life as a security consultant and the demands of two Labrador retrievers.

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