Ian A. O’Connor is a retired USAF colonel who has held several senior military leadership positions in the field of national security management. In his page-turning thriller, The Barbarossa Covenant, released in July 2015, it’s the author’s expertise in neutralizing nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare threats against the United States which provides the backdrop for the story's compelling reality, and electrifying sense of urgency.
He is also the author of The Twilight of The Day. This debut novel garnered high praise in a lengthy review in the Military Times for its realism and chilling story line. It was soon followed with the publication of The Seventh Seal by Winterwolf Publishing Company, a thriller that introduced readers to retired FBI agent Justin Scott. Both books were re-released worldwide in 2015 in Kindle and softcover formats.
Ian co-authored SCRAPPY: A Memoir of a U.S. Fighter Pilot published by McFarland & Company to rave reviews in the military aviation community. He is a member of Mystery Writers of America, and lives in South Florida with his wife, Candice, where he is hard at work writing the next Justin Scott thriller, The Masada Option, due to be released in late 2016.
Tell us about your book! What is it about and what inspired you to write it?
Ian: The Wrong Road Home – A story of treachery and deceit was inspired by true events. It’s the story of a friend of mine who practiced medicine as a surgeon—first in Ireland and later in Miami—and did so for over twenty years armed with nothing more than a Chicago School System GED certificate and a several fake diplomas. The exposé exploded as a front page story in The Miami Herald, Sunday Edition two decades ago. It was a scandal that gained national notoriety.
Tell us about your publishing process. What was it like? Did you go indie or the traditional way?
Ian: I decided to go the Indie route in publishing TheWrong Road Home. I needed to change the names of not only the protagonist, but of all of the people he had deceived on his fraudulent journey as well as the names of several hospitals and medical clinics where he practiced. This could have presented a problem with a legacy publisher’s legal department. Sometimes such differences take years to iron out, and often publishers will ask for changes to huge chunks of the narrative.
How did you choose the title for your book? Did it come to you right away, before you started writing the story, or did it come later?
Ian: The Wrong Road Home – A story of treachery and deceit inspired by true events came to me in a serendipitous moment, and I knew instantly it was the perfect description for Desmond Donahue’s wasted journey through life.
Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like?
Ian: I wanted the cover to reflect the powerful lifetime influence the sea has had on Desmond Donahue. Following a hard-hitting prologue written to grab the reader’s attention, chapter one opens on the cliffs overlooking Clew Bay in Ireland where a five-year-old boy and his mother behold a beautiful rainbow far out at sea. Desmond’s mother promises her frightened child that another rainbow will come for him one day and transport him to a faraway place called America. The story opens and closes with those images, so I knew the cover of the book had to reflect the majesty of the sea.
Who is your cover designer and how did you find him/her?
Ian: The cover was designed by DianasGraphics, and I found Diana on the Internet. I contacted several artists before selecting her. I think you will agree, her cover art is mesmerizing. Diana worked with me every step of the way, suggesting changes and improvements until it was perfect. I couldn’t be happier with the results!
How was your experience working with the designer?
Ian: She was the absolute best!
What has been the readers’ response to your cover?
Ian: Readers remark how much better the cover looks in person. Everyone says how the cover shown at Amazon Books does not do it justice, and I agree.
What tips would you give to authors who are looking for a cover designer?
Ian: We have all heard the old saw, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Well, I say bunk! Nothing could be further from the truth. People make up their minds about a book within one or two seconds based solely on a favorable impression of the cover. I cannot overemphasize its importance.
Anything else you’d like to say about your book?
Ian: In many respects this story was the most challenging of my six published books to write, but I think it’s my best. This is a story people everywhere can relate to and make it their own – The doctor who operated on them was a nothing more than an imposter. Now that’s enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine!