Continuing our previews of the forthcoming Dane Maddock Kindle World. Today we feature Outpost by Sean Ellis. Sean is well-known to Maddock readers, having co-authored Hell Ship and co-created the Jade Ihara series and Myrmidon Files series. He’s also known for his many action-adventure titles.
A mysterious discovery off the coast of South Africa puts Dane Maddock and his intrepid crew on the trail of a legendary hero, and in the crosshairs of a deadly international conspiracy bent on keeping that discovery hidden forever.
Interview with Sean Ellis, co-author of Outpost
Tell us a bit about Outpost
The story kicks off with Dane and Bones discovering the sunken wreckage of an 1930’s era seaplane off the coast of South Africa. Inside the wreck, they find an odd artifact—the metal blade of a tomahawk. Their subsequent efforts to learn more about the wreck and the tomahawk put them on the hunt for the legendary Outpost—an ancient base hidden beneath the Antarctic ice. Unfortunately, a gang of ruthless killers is looking for the Outpost, too, setting the stage for a showdown at the end of the world.
You’ve done a lot of work in the Maddock Universe. What makes Outpost unique?
This story gave me a chance to do a crossover of sorts with some of my own literary creations, notably my pulp hero, Dodge Dalton. Since Dodge and Maddock exist, not only in different fictional universes, but about eighty years apart, I decided to bring Dodge into the story in a different way…which I will leave the reader to discover.
You’ve written Dane and Bones books, as well as Jade Ihara, and the Myrmidon Files. What’s different about writing each one?
With Dane and Bones, it’s important to stick to the script, so to speak. The readers already know these characters at least as well as I do, and they know what they want from them.
Jade Ihara is also a fairly well-known character in the Maddock universe, but giving her a series of her own requires growing her character a bit. She used to be the damsel in distress, but now she has to be the hero, and that doesn’t happen automatically. The Jade Ihara novels are the story of that transformation.
With the Myrmidons, it’s all about the team effort. The individual characters may get the spotlight for a few chapters, but everyone makes a contribution. There are a couple new characters—Gavin Stone, a descendant of David’s pulp character, Brock Stone, and former mercenary Billy Sievers. Stone is a genius in the Sherlock Holmes vein, while Sievers is more brawn than brains. The Myrmidons rely in equal parts on brains and brawn—Tam Broderick and her agents are ready to meet any threat head on, but they rely on Stone and his protégé Avery Halsey (Dane Maddock’s half-sister) to help solve the underlying mystery.
Your Nick Kismet series has a lot of similarities to the Maddock series. Tell us a bit about it.
Kismet is my take the Indiana Jones-style adventure. Lots of action, stories rooted in archaeology and history, and a hint of the supernatural.
Did I mention lots of action?
Kismet is a former-Army intelligence officer and currently working for a UN cultural agency dedicated to preserving World Heritage sites and enforcing antiquities laws…so basically, he would be the guy arresting Indiana Jones for being a grave robber. But Kismet is also trying to solve a personal mystery that concerns his own origins and a shadowy secret society known as Prometheus (remember that name as you read Outpost.)
If a Maddock reader hasn’t tried your novels, which one would you suggest they start with and why?
If you want to dive into the Nick Kismet series, go with The Shroud of Heaven. It feels a bit like historical fiction now, since I wrote it in 2004, right as the war in Iraq was kicking off (it’s mostly set in Baghdad in the months following the initial invasion). But the books I really wish more people were reading are my Dodge Dalton adventures. They’re high-flying, retro sci-fi action stories… If you like the Indiana Jones movies, or know who Doc Savage is, you’ll love the Dodge Dalton books. (Bones loves them, too!)