After writing seven books in the Payne & Jones series, I wanted to stretch my creativity and try something different—but not too much. (Although a Payne & Jones musical could work!)
Truth be told, my readers, publishers, and agents wanted me to continue writing in the same genre, so it made sense to create a new hero whose sole purpose was to find ancient treasures. Unfortunately, I had seen that formula (Indy, Dirk, Lara Croft, etc.) way too many times, so I decided to create something new: a team of strangers with diverse backgrounds who were hired to find the most important treasures in history.
And just like that, The Hunters were born.
The first book in the Hunters series (The Hunters) featured a brand-new cast of characters that I quickly fell in love with. Financed by a billionaire philanthropist, this elite team—a soldier (Jack Cobb), an historian (Jasmine Park), a computer whiz (Hector Garcia), a weapons expert (Josh McNutt), and a thief (Sarah Ellis)—was asked to locate a Romanian train filled with riches that disappeared in Russia during World War I. The book received some of the best reviews of my career and was optioned for a major motion picture.
The second book in the series is called The Forbidden Tomb, and it was released in 2014. The Hunters were asked to find the legendary tomb of Alexander the Great and the extraordinary riches that are rumored to be concealed within. While following clues in Egypt, they encountered hostile forces that will do anything to stop them. Before long, the treasure hunt became a deadly rescue mission that will take the lives of hundreds and leave a city in ruins. As the danger continues to mount, the Hunters must rise to the challenge to find the ultimate prize.
The third book is called The Prisoner's Gold, and it was released in 2015. At the end of the 13th century, Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan gave an Italian merchant unfettered access to his kingdom. The traveler was Marco Polo, and his journey would become legendary. Aided by a special passport that protected him throughout the land, Polo amassed unbelievable wealth and hid it before his return to Italy. The Hunters were tasked with finding the massive treasure. Guided by firsthand accounts of Polo’s travels, they quickly discovered there were hostile forces willing to do anything to stop them from taking the riches from Chinese soil.
To my pleasant surprise, the Hunters series has been overwhelmingly successful. Every book in the series has hit #1 on Amazon, and The Prisoner's Gold won the ITW Thriller Award for Book of the Year. Believe it or not, I am the first adventure writer to win a prestigious Thriller award. Prior to my nomination, the only adventure author to be a finalist was Clive Cussler back in 2007. Previous winners include: Stephen King, Jeffery Deaver, John Sandford, and Lisa Gardner.
As I mentioned above, the Hunters series was optioned by Hollywood. In order to help the producers with the project, I felt it was important to flesh out the back stories of my main characters. If you've read The Hunters, you know the book opens in the middle of a daring heist as four strangers attempt to steal an important relic from Russian mobsters. But have you ever wondered what happened before the events in Brighton Beach?
That was the purpose of The Hunters: Origins.