Attack of the Pius Trilogy

Jon del Arroz mentioned the other day that A Pius Man: A Holy Thriller was coming soon from Silver Empire Press.

At which point, I’m certain that the first question on everyone’s mind is simple … starting with, “Why is pious spelled wrong?”

Now that the book is available from Amazon, it should probably be spelled out a little better. The really short version is that I am a history nerd. I had a dual BA, in history and Catholic philosophy, and an MA in history — mostly because history has tales more outlandish than any I could come up with while writing thrillers.

Along the way, I came across the usual BS about and around Pius XII. I had a class on the History of Total War, so I thought I would use it as an excuse to do some research. Three months, miles of microfiche, and a stronger eyeglass prescription later, I had a forty page research paper, with 7 pages of endnotes.

And boy, was I pissed. I had grown up with a ton of lies around this particular topic, and the best way to piss me off is to lie — to me, about me, it doesn’t matter. And the truth MATTERS, damn it. It’s one of the reasons why I had politics, since that worships sophistry above truth.

But I had a solution.

At this point, I had already written about a dozen novels that I hadn’t published yet. I had a universe in my head of characters, events, biographies, and how people were linked together, because doesn’t every writer? When I started this in 2004, I figured that more people had learned fake history from Dan Brown than they had in the entire duration of their existence. And Hell, I had a history degree, experience with writing shootouts and fight scenes, and my characters were already more interesting. I could do this! I can actually slip in history between the fight scenes, and wouldn’t that be awesome!

And then it spiraled.

800 pages later, I had every character I had ever written, as well as a small history of the World War II, the Cold War, modern Europe and the Middle East, a political science paper, six shootouts in and around the Vatican, a kidnapping, a trial, a full scale invasion, and a body count to rival the entire 24 TV series.

There’s a reason why my writing career can be summed up by “an then it spiraled.” Before then, I never knew that “I can do better than THAT hack,” is actually writer speak for “hold my beer.” I had apparently created a Spetsnaz Moriarty and didn’t realize it at the time. He just wouldn’t die, no matter what I did to him. Along the way, I wound up with discussions on faith, holding the line when it’s “just principles” at stake, and when it’s more important to die for what you believe in than taking the safe way out. Some of my heroes were normal, everyday folk, but would stand up and be counted, even if it meant they got killed. Some were just plain insane, but wouldn’t let that stop them. And let’s send them up against an Army of Darkness without any chainsaws or Bruce Campbell, because why not?

But this is why the first time I had heard of the Superversive moment, my first thought was, “Isn’t that called Tuesday?”

After wasting time going for a PhD at a college in the Bronx that shall remain nameless, and plenty of rewrites, I had a trilogy on my hands. I ended up with an agent at the worst possible time — when it was slowly becoming evident that Traditional Publishing was dying. Random House had literally had a a minor bloodbath only a few months before, and employees had been fired were slashed in the ten-thousand range in one month. There’s a reason I believe in the Nicene Creed and Murphy’s Law …. usually in that order.

Fast forward through six more years, self publishing, a half-dozen cover changes, five friends who will never talk to me ever again, and we come to last year. After Russell Newquist of Silver Empire held a gladiatorial competition between me and Brian Niemeier for his Dragon Award vote, he read A Pius Man. I believe I had joked if he would be interested in it –which would include reediting it. rereleasing, recovering, the whole nine yards.

And here we are.

This is the short version. The long version is … really long.

But at the end of the day, A Pius Man: A Holy Thriller is about truth, justice, and a lot of bullets.

And that’s only book one.

And it’s out for Preorder from Amazon right now.

So, sound interesting enough yet? Just click here, and you can preorder it.

 And, if you’ve done that….

The Dragon Awards are open and ready for nominations, and I have a list of suggestions you might want to take a look at. If you already  have a good idea of what you want, just click here to go and vote for them. The instructions are right there.

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About Declan Finn

Declan Finn is the author of Honor at Stake, an urban fantasy novel, and nominated for Best Horror at the first annual Dragon Awards. He has also written The Pius Trilogy, to be released by Silver Empire Press. Finn has also written "Codename: Winterborn," an SF espionage thriller, and "It was Only on Stun!" and "Set to Kill," murder mysteries at a science fiction convention.