I thought a lot about writing fiction over the years…but I took a circuitous route to completing my novel. I was absolutely elated when we finally landed in Texas, and arrived at the airport waiting area for military basic trainees. Things quickly went down hill when a short, stocky sergeant wearing a Smokey the Bear hat, and a tan short-sleeve cotton shirt and tan trousers, known as 1505s, began screaming at us at the top of his lungs. Needless to say, this demanded my attention, and the attention of the other unlucky young men, or so it seemed, who hand been ordered to form a single line, really fast. This was my unpleasant introduction to the United States Air Force in the summer of 1967 and, honestly, writing a book was the furthest thing from my mind!
My life changed drastically over three-plus decades in the military: I married, had two sons, became an officer, and moved at least sixteen times, living in the States, and in far-off places like South Korea, and Germany––mostly in military housing. We knew we’d move again, every two to three years. In fact, my wife and I became experts in preparing to move to the next assignment, but it was hard for the boys (making new friends), especially as they got older. That all ended in August 2001, 34 years after that shocking experience at San Antonio’s International Airport. I retired from the Air Force, and get this; my last assignment, of all places, was at the White House. Believe me, there was never a dull moment during that assignment!
I left the military just over one month before the worst terrorist attack in the history of our nation. The country was still reeling from the horror of 9/11 when we moved into our new home in Northern Virginia. The big consolation was we didn’t have to worry about moving again. But, the attack prompted me to go back to work. So, I started a new career in the post 9/11 era. I worked for a brief time as a contractor at the United States Department of State, with Diplomatic Security. It was pretty interesting work. Then I lucked out, and landed a senior position at the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) doing exactly what I wanted to do: working intelligence and security-related issues. There were lots of talented people who were serious about improving the safety of our traveling public, and our nation’s transportation system. They were simply decent Americans. I left USDOT after 12 interesting and fulfilling years of work. This time, I actually retired, and remain happily so today.
What I didn’t realize is that my time in the military, and civilian career in the government, gave me plenty to think about, not to mention lots of material to craft my novel. So, the coast was finally clear for me to work full-time on writing my first book. I weaved into my novel unique real-life experiences I had in both the military, and my work in the federal government.
About the Book
The Private Investigator is a story about courage, persistence, and international intrigue. It’s a thriller that opens in the nation’s capital after the firm, Hutchison and Satterfield International Investigations (HSII), relocates to D.C. from Philadelphia. The main character, Allan J. Williams, who prefers to be called A.J., is smart, industrious, and passionate about his work. A.J. not only has to deal with his boss’s quirky personality, but also has to interact with the likes of Phil Jacoby, a talented federal government contractor who is arrogant and rash.
Raymond Lee, a wily North Korean operative who portrays himself to Jacoby as a South Korean businessman, successfully recruits Jacoby, and gets the government contractor to commit espionage against America…
Read more ,and download a free excerpt, HERE.
Van Tellfaster was born in Philadelphia, PA, and grew up in South Philly. After he graduated from high school, he enlisted in the United States Air Force as security specialist and eventually received a degree in International Relations from St Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. He later received a commission and became an intelligence officer. Thirty-four years later, he retired from the military in 2001 as a Lieutenant Colonel. Following his retirement from the military, Tellfaster started yet another career and briefly worked at the U.S. State Department as a contractor, then was hired on at the U.S. Department of Transportation where he worked intelligence and security matters for the department.
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