Colonel to Award-Winning Author with Ian O’Connor.
By Samantha Skelton
A former Air Force colonel with a flair for storytelling, Ian O’Connor shares his journey from military service to the captivating world of writing. We discover how his background in intelligence and thrilling real-life adventures became the inspiration for his riveting novels, including his latest book, The Pegasus Directive.
I’m so curious about your background. I’d love to know how you got into the military if you ended up being an author!
I was born in Liverpool, England, and when I was ten, the family immigrated first to Canada, then the United States. I received my B.A. degree in political science from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. After graduation, I was commissioned as second lieutenant in the Air Force and retired as a colonel after twenty years. So, I had a wonderful career. I also worked in the insurance industry in the civilian side of the game, so I had the best of both worlds. After my Air Force career, I got into the writing field and have been an author for the last twenty-three years, which has been a wonderful experience too.
What made you want to go into the military in the first place?
During the Vietnam War, I was registered for the draft, and it was almost certain that I would be drafted. Some friends had joined the Air Force and suggested that if I had to be in the military, I should choose the Air Force. Their advice convinced me to join the Air Force, and that's what I did.
And was your family in the Air Force as well? Anyone you knew besides your friends?
No, my family wasn't in the Air Force. My father was a physician, and he immigrated to Canada after World War II due to changes in the British government's policies. So, it was a new path for me to join the military.
While growing up, did you ever consider pursuing a creative path like writing?
Not really. Although I loved reading from a young age and was drawn to novels, I didn't seriously consider writing until later. I was always fascinated by thrillers, and one of the first thrillers I read was "Casino Royale" by Ian Fleming when I was thirteen, which introduced me to the world of James Bond.
What was the transition like from the Air Force to a writing career?
The transition felt like a natural progression. During my time in the military, I gained valuable experience in intelligence, which taught me how to find solutions to complex problems. Those skills translated well into storytelling. When I retired, I was ready to create thrilling stories inspired by the real-life adventures I experienced during my military career.
What do you find fulfilling about storytelling?
Crafting interesting characters and an engaging plot is essential. If you lack one or the other, the story won't resonate with readers. The most important thing is to know the ending before starting the writing process. This way, the story flows smoothly, leading the reader to a satisfying conclusion with twists and turns along the way.
How do you think your time in the Air Force and previous life experiences inform your writing today?
My military experience, especially in the intelligence field, provided me with the background and knowledge to create realistic and thrilling stories. I blend about 80-90% true historical facts with 5-10% fiction, blurring the line between reality and imagination, which has been well-received by readers.
Tell us about your new novel, The Pegasus Directive.
The Pegasus Directive: The Top Secret Kennedy Assassination File is a thrilling story that delves into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It presents a unique and previously unexplored theory of what truly happened on that fateful day. The book combines historical facts with fictional elements to shed light on the assassination, addressing questions that have puzzled people for decades.
What was your favorite part of writing The Pegasus Directive?
Bringing The Pegasus Directive to publication was the most rewarding part of the process. The book's concept originated many years ago, but I had to shelve it due to its controversial nature. Revisiting it in the 60th anniversary year of Kennedy's assassination felt like the perfect moment to share the story with readers.
What do you think readers will find most captivating about The Pegasus Directive?
Readers will be intrigued by the unique theory presented in the book about the how and why of Kennedy's assassination. It combines historical facts with a gripping plot, introducing fascinating characters and exploring the tumultuous period following the assassination. The story is an explosive blend of fact and fiction that will keep readers engaged from start to finish.
Are you currently working on anything new?
Yes, I am working on a new book titled The Masada Option. It revolves around an elite group of renegade Israeli naval officers and sailors who hijack a British Trident submarine with devastating power. The book explores the dire position of Israel in the near future and the drastic measures taken to protect the country. It features my protagonist, Justin Scott, known for his thrilling adventures in my previous books.
Where can people find your current novel, The Pegasus Directive?
You can find the book on Amazon and you can also go to my website at https://ianaoconnor.com/
Check out the book trailer HERE.