When writing a series there are a number of advantages in that, rather like a TV series, there are a set of identities associated with the series. In the case of the Steele series the obvious identities are those of the Patrick himself, and those of his team. Where you have those identities you have Achilles heels.
Castled was an exercise in testing how vulnerable Patrick A Steele could be without destroying him. It was a situation where as the author I could play God and decide the level of stress and risk under which I could subject the team. The title, Castled, comes from the manoeuvre in the game of chess that allows the king to be swapped with the rook (castle) and so escape threat. Steele executed a similar exercise to escape his persecutors.
This style of threat was tackled to challenge the qualities of my central character.
How would the big man react?
In what way did he cope with the loss of a valued member of the team?
These are aspects of ordinary lives that occur to nearly everyone in some degree and it is what makes us human. I want Steele and his group to be humanly accessible to my readers and if they can empathise with a character they are more likely to enjoy the reading experience.
Rather than just me blowing my own trumpet read this extract about the Steele books from Bert Carson of Huntsville, Alabama
I know David and I know Patrick, and I love the way David tells his readers the Steele stories. I can't compare David's style to any author you've ever read because David Atkinson has his own unique style. It's one I love and think of as his "kitchen table style." By that, I mean, when I read a Steele story I feel like I'm sitting at David's kitchen table and he is sitting across from me. As we sip our coffee, or tea, he tells me about Steele's latest adventure.
Bert is very kind and has correctly discerned the style that I wanted to convey in my writing. I believe that writing books is to entertain, not confuse and bore.