Occupant began as an experience that was told to me by my then father-in-law, Leonard Lutwack. He had just returned from a month in the mountains of New Hampshire, near Lake Winnisquam. He rented a very isolated cabin that was owned by a former CIA operative. He found books in Russian and about Russia on the shelves. There was a gun locker. The tennis group he joined told him that the man was very secretive and was thought of as a bad-ass. Lut did not look rested when he came back from vacation.
My father-in-law had a very active mind. He was certain that the noises he heard outside the house in the woods at night was someone coming to exact revenge on the owner of the house for something that he had done to them or to someone in their family in the past. In fact, the noise was most probably bears looking for an easy meal. It was a very close-knit town. He would receive stares when he walked through the streets. He felt the weight of each long look.
His re-telling of this experience at his 50th wedding anniversary celebration at the University of Maryland made me want to create my first book. I went home that night and started. I began writing the book on my first computer, a huge beige Compaq, in my basement in the pre-dawn hours before I had to leave for work at the Washington Post. My adolescent son would often sneak out of his room and sit on my lap while I wrote. After work I would often continue, forcing my son to stop playing Oregon Trail, his obsession. Dysentery, snake bites and Indian attacks would make way for gun battles and car chases. Great memories. I expanded the storyline, but put the book away when my marriage broke up and my job became more intense. I dusted it off, updated and re-wrote it, starting in 2010. The two sequels that have followed flowed naturally once the book became part of me again. I have begun a fourth, that follows the Compromised Agency Trilogy, a futuristic novel.
Occupant was published in May of 2013. In early 2015, after a change of management, a new cover was designed.