Kane Gilmour

International Bestselling Author of The Crypt of Dracula

Interview with Chesspocalypse Author David Wood

Today I’ve got the second in my series of micro-interviews with the co-author’s for Jeremy Robinson’s Chesspocalypse novella series.

Author David WoodDavid Wood is author of the Dane Maddock action/adventure series (DOURADO, CIBOLA, and QUEST) as well as the historical novel INTO THE WOODS and the Absent Gods fantasy series under the pseudonym David Debord. In addition to writing, David is also co-host of the influential “ThrillerCast” podcast. He is the co-author with Jeremy Robinson of the second Chesspocalypse novella, CALLSIGN: QUEEN.


Kane: Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us, David. Let’s start with how you got involved with the project. Jeremy told us that you gave him the idea for the novella series. Were you hoping for a shot at one of them?

David Wood: I hadn’t really intended to plant a seed in Jeremy’s mind. He was a guest on the podcast I co-host, and he was talking about all his many projects and ideas, which brought to my mind another author who was doing co-authored novels in his own “universe.” I mentioned it to Jeremy, eliciting a “hmm…” and was pleasantly surprised to hear from him not long afterward.


Kane: CALLSIGN: QUEEN hasn’t garnered a lot of reviews yet, but the few I’ve seen were very positive. Queen is a very important character on the team and has had a lot of time on the page in Jeremy’s novels for readers to get to feel like they know her. How hard was it for you to find the right feel for writing the character? Was it more challenging for you to write this character of Jeremy’s that is so well loved, than say, writing any other female character?Callsign QUEEN

David Wood: Queen is a fantastic character, and I think the fact that I’m married to a badge-carrying, black-belt daughter of an ex-Marine helped. The challenge in writing Queen is that we know a ton about how she acts on a mission and a good bit about how she acts around her teammates, but comparatively little about her back-story and what really makes her tick. Part of my research for CALLSIGN: QUEEN was to re-read all three Jack Sigler / Chess Team novels and take notes on everything we know about her past and any insights into her personality, and I was surprised at how much of that story is yet to be told. I brought in a particular secondary character as a reflection of one of those glimpses into her early life. The action sequences write themselves because Queen is so capable and clever. The big challenge for me was her interaction with Deep Blue, which had to go through a couple of revisions before it fit Jeremy’s vision of her character.


Kane: How did you come to the idea of setting the story in Pripyat? Have you been to that part of the world? Or explored any other abandoned sites?

David Wood: The setting of Pripyat was one of the few guidelines Jeremy gave me, along with “Don’t maim or kill her.” It was a wonderful choice though, because I had been researching Pripyat as a possible setting for a Dane Maddock adventure. It’s an amazing place with powerful visuals, and the fact that it literally went from burgeoning modern city to ghost town overnight makes it all the more fascinating. I haven’t been to that part of the world but I would love to go. Abandoned sites are cool, but I’m partial to places like caves, cliff dwellings, and ancient ruins—the older the better.


questKane: Without giving us any spoilers, the end of CALLSIGN: QUEEN leads directly into the events of the next full-length Jack Sigler / Chess Team novel, RAGNAROK. How much information did you get about what Jeremy plans for that book to ensure you ended this tale in the right spot? Was it difficult to write a story like this that had definite constraints on both the beginning and the end of the story?

David Wood: The only constraint (other than the no maiming rule) was that, once the story was over, I had to send Queen off in a certain direction with a particular purpose. No spoilers were necessary, so I’ll get to be surprised by the events of RAGNAROK along with anyone else, which is how I like it.


Kane: You’ve just released QUEST back in July and now CALLSIGN: QUEEN is out and doing well. What’s next for you? Another Dane Maddock adventure? Are you cooking up any more collaborations?

David Wood: I’m in the research and outlining stage of the next Dane Maddock, and I’m also working on a YA novel. As for collaborations, I’m kicking around ideas for a horror project with Alan Baxter, my podcast co-host who writes dark fiction and urban fantasy. Finally, in the deep recesses of my twisted mind, I’m planning more adventures for Queen in case Jeremy lets me have another go with her.


Thanks, David. We’ll keep an eye out for the next Maddock book, and here’s hoping we see you back in the Chess Team universe!

Next up will be Edward G. Talbot, author of CALLSIGN: ROOK.


Interview with Chesspocalypse Author Sean Ellis


Interview with Chesspocalypse Author Edward G. Talbot


  1. Just wanted to say HI. I found your blog a few days ago on Technorati and have been reading it over the past few days.

  2. Shannon

    Hi, Kane,
    Being a big fan of Jeremy Robinson, I read that you are going to contribute to the CALLSIGN novellas (DEEP BLUE), so I’ve been periodically checking your website for updates, but didn’t see any mention of your specific installment. Can you give me an idea as to when DEEP BLUE might be released?

    By the way, I’m really digging your mini-interviews with each of the authors. When will Talbot’s appear?

    Thanks for your time!
    Shannon Marshall
    Elk Grove, CA

  3. Kane

    Hi Shannon,

    Thanks for the interest in CALLSIGN: DEEP BLUE! I’m about 1/3rd of the way done writing it and having a blast! It should be available as an e-book the first week of December-ish. The print version a few weeks after that. Jeremy is usually really good about getting the books out quickly. Not sure if you twigged to it from my mentions in the interviews, but I’m also Jeremy’s editor, so I’m privy to the inside track on his publishing agenda. CALLSIGN: KING 2 — UNDERWORLD is done being edited and should be available soon. BISHOP will probably be next and there’s a chance that my installment with DB might be out before KNIGHT.

    I hadn’t gotten around to announcing the DB novella on my site because I had the idea to do these micro interviews with the others first, then maybe get one of them to interview me for the DB book. 😉

    The Talbot one is done and I hope to have it up tonight or tomorrow. I’ll hold off on McAfee’s until BISHOP is done and ready to be released. (So maybe I’ll sneak a promo about DB in there in the middle while I wait on Jeremy to finish revisions on BISHOP.)

    My own first action/adventure thriller, RESURRECT, should be available for sale in about three weeks or so (and yeah, I’ll be announcing that one for sure on the site).

    Finally, thanks for getting in touch and feel free to friend me on FB and Twitter. No fancy names on either–just Kane Gilmour and @KaneGilmour respectively.



  4. Shannon

    Thanks for the great insight! That all sounds very exciting. I’m happy to see you have your own novel coming out soon too. Can you possibly give me a tease on RESURRECT’s premise? 😉

  5. Kane


    The cover isn’t finalized yet. Still putting the finishing Photoshop touches on it. The premise is below, although the wording for the following description probably also isn’t finalized yet either. But it’ll give you an idea. RES will be the first in a series.

    In the 1850s, a madman proclaimed himself the Son of God and raised an army, taking over half of China.

    In the 1950s, Asia’s greatest explorer faked his own death and quietly slid into anonymity.

    Now, archeologist Dr. Eva Rayjek survives a plane crash in the Himalaya. She is rescued by an alpine engineering team, led by mountaineer Jason Quinn, a man with a past mired in tragedy and violence. As wave after wave of Chinese assassins come after them, they race around the world connecting Eva’s investigations with the machinations of charismatic shipping magnate and cathedral-builder, David Hong.

    As Hong’s scheme to get a private audience with the Pope at the Vatican comes to fruition, he’s heading for a confrontation with Quinn. The results will be explosive, and if Quinn fails to stop Hong’s plan, the entire Catholic Church might crumble.

  6. Kane

    Hi Margret.

    Thanks for the message and sorry it took so long to get back to you. Your message got caught in my spam filter. I’ll have more interviews with the Chesspocalypse series on my blog in the weeks to come as well as the announcement about my first thriller, RESURRECT, in about three weeks, so please do stop back at kanegilmour.com. 🙂


  7. Kane


    Talbot interview is up. 😉


  8. Shannon

    OK, Kane, you hooked me with that premise! I have officially added RESURRECT to my to-read list. I’ll keep an eye open for it at the end of Nov.

    Also, great interview with Talbot. Keep it up!


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