Interview excerpt with author D.W. Ulsterman:
Q: You are well known for your Mac Walker adventure series. Why the jump to the private investigator Frank Bennington character?
A: Mac is/was a great character no doubt, and I don’t think we’ve quite seen the last of him yet, but I wanted to take a character and focus on the here and now, particularly the underbelly of Washington D.C. which these days, is as seedy and backstabbing a place as one can find.
Q: So there will be more Frank Bennington stories after this one?
A: Definitely. I may complete a Mac Walker book first, as promised to readers of that series, before cranking up the Bennington file again.
Q: Bennington is almost an anti-hero. Is that what you intended?
A: In the beginning, yes. Certainly when he was first introduced in The Second Oldest Profession, he was something of a mess both personally and professionally. He’s his own worst critic though, which adds another dimension to his character. Where Mac Walker is a straight up, shoot first, question later kind of guy, Bennington has to navigate around problems instead of going right through them.
Q: Mac Walker makes a cameo in this latest Bennington story. Why?
A: That was an intended, playful little tip of the hat to Mac and his fans. The timeline worked for both men, and I liked how the scene between the two came together. I had envisioned doing something like that before starting the book.
Q: There’s a lot of death in this book. Come to think of it, there’s a lot of death in all your books.
A: Yeah, well, that’s life. There’s life, and there’s death, and the experiences in between.
Q: Your stories tend to have a lot of spirituality in them as well. I assume that is on purpose too?
A: Yes. I find humankind’s relationship to our creator to be among the most interesting aspects of everything both within, and outside of us. I wish for my stories to not only entertain, and inform, but also to inspire. I don’t try to bludgeon readers with my faith, but it is an integral part of me, and so it only makes sense that faith finds itself a part of the telling of a tale.
Q: Would you consider the character of Frank Bennington inspirational?
A: In a way, sure. He’s like a lot of us – a bit broken, trying to do good, but also very aware of his often self created downfalls. There is a complexity about him that I understand all too well. And he’s become increasingly complex over the course of the first three books, and I’m certain he will continue to do so.
Q: Why did you make Bennington a man in his 60’s?
A: The fact you had to ask that question is a big reason why. I find people become the most interesting after having accumulated a few layers of life. And perhaps there’s a bit of hoped for salvation in it for me too, when I am one day as old as Frank, which the way life is flying by now, won’t take long.
Q: You dedicated your first book, DOMINATUS, to your wife, and your second book TUMULTUS, to your mom. Women obviously seem to play a prominent role in your life.
A: Absolutely. My mother passed away shortly before TUMULTUS was published. She would have liked that story very much, and my wife, well, she’s my everything, you know? Simple as that.