Always an avid reader, Ian A. O'Connor decided to learn the fine art of fiction writing. He immersed himself in college-level writing courses, then attended workshops and seminars around the country, honing his craft under the tutelage of some of the genre's most successful authors--such as Florida International University's Les Standiford, author of Havana Run; James W. Hall, creator of Forests of the Night, and retired Secret Service officer, Gerald Petievitch who wrote the memorable thriller, To Live and Die in L.A. Then it was time to go to work as a writer.
Ian's first novel, The Twilight of the Day, was a military-themed thriller which received high praise in the Military Times for its realism and chilling story line. This was soon followed with the first printing of The Seventh Seal, by Winterwolf Publishing Company. Here, readers were introduced to retired FBI agent Justin Scott. Both books were re-released in May, 2015, and are available in print and Kindle editions. Early in the summer of 2015, the second Justin Scott Thriller, The Barbarossa Covenant, was published in both formats.
Ian is a retired Air Force colonel. He has held several senior military leadership positions in the field of national security management, and it's that expertise in neutralizing nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare threats against the United States which provides the backdrop for The Barbarossa Covenant's compelling reality, and electrifying sense of urgency. He also co-authored SCRAPPY: A Memoir of a U.S. Fighter Pilot which was published by McFarland & Company to rave reviews in the military aviation community
Ian is a member of Mystery Writers of America, and lives in South Florida with his wife, Candice, where he is hard at work putting the finishing touches on his next thriller.
For most people, one career is more than enough, but not for Ian O'Connor.
This retired Air Force colonel of Palm Beach Gardens had one career in the Air Force Reserves and a second parallel career in the commercial insurance business. Still not satisfied, O'Connor pursued a third career when he wrote and published his first book, The Twilight of the Day, in 2001.
He retired from the Air Force five years ago, and is now back to two careers — working for Landmark Insurance in Palm Beach Gardens and writing books from his home.
"I'm blessed. I have had a career in the Air Force, in the insurance business and in writing," he said. "I really enjoy the work I'm doing."
O'Connor's second book, The Seventh Seal, is in bookstores now and his third book, "Throw a Nickel on the Grass," a biography of Col. Howard C. "Scrappy" Johnson, is scheduled to be released soon.
Even though his bachelor's degree is in political science and he spends his days selling insurance, O'Connor says that he has always loved writing. He attends at least two writer's conferences a year and sometimes gets up at 2 a.m. to write before getting ready for work.
Like most writers, he occasionally has writer's block and like any good career military man, he promptly found a solution to that problem the first time it happened.
"I edit what I've already written. It'll unblock your mind just like that," said O'Connor.
Born in Liverpool, England, O'Connor, spent most of his childhood in London and Dublin, Ireland. by the time he entered high school, his father had moved the family to Canada. O'Connor earned his degree at Benedictine College in Atchinson, Kan.
He joined the Air Force after college and spent five years on active duty as an intelligence officer in Southeast Asia. It was during those years that O'Connor made a decision that eventually led him to South Florida.
"I decided on Christmas Day — I don't remember if I was in Saigon — but I promised to live somewhere warm," he said.
O'Connor made good on that promise when he moved to Miami in 1972. Five years ago, he and his wife Candice jumped at the chance to move to Palm Beach Gardens.
"We love it," he said. "Every day is a holiday."
O'Connor is already at work on his fourth book, which features FBI Agent Justin Scott, his protagonist in The Seventh Seal. O'Connor describes his latest book as a thriller. It's the story of an ambassador whom the police believe killed his mistress and stuffed the body in the trunk of his car. The ambassador is Francis Cardinal Kettering, an envoy from the Vatican.
In his first book, O'Connor wrote about a group of American military pilots, all of whom have a background in nuclear physics. The Twilight of the Day was selected for inclusion in the Naval Academy Library. Also, The Seventh Seal has been nominated for the 2006 Edgar Award in the trade paperback category for best murder mystery.
O'Connor figures he spends 10 to 15 hours a week writing. His books do not contain gratuitous sex or foul language.
"It wasn't necessary to keep the story moving," he said.
The Seventh Seal can be found at all major bookstores and on the Internet at Amazon.com and on O'Connor's Web site, www.ianaoconnor.com. Even though it was just released, O'Connor says the response has been good.
"People tell me that they can't put it down."
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