Here they are:
One of the supporting characters in the book, Brady, is described as just a remote acquaintance to Paul’s universe. Afterwards, I had the brilliant idea to bring together Paul Trouble’s old spy crew for a book and to give Brady a much more prominent role. Too bad, there goes that idea.
The main character’s name “Paul Trouble” came long before anything else. First the name. Then a long time until the cornerstones of the universe were developed. Then the story for the first book. I knew that I wanted to create a thriller series along the lines of Robert Ludlum’s “Jason Bourne” or Brett Battles’ “Quinn, the Cleaner” and was looking for a catchy name that allows for good word-games in the Trouble-focussed book titles.
·What always appeals to me in a book series is the slow reveal of the main characters and their pasts from story to story. While every book or short story stands by its own, and should be read independently from each other, every book also should do a little reveal about a new facette of the main character or their main supporters. With Paul Trouble, I have the possibility to draw from three different character sources: his ranch youth in Montana, his Army days, and his spy times. Especially in the short stories, I like to explore these past connectors, either by having the story take place in the past or have the past catch up with Paul. Have a look at the collected short stories in “Pieces of Trouble”, more short stories are under way.
I hate these modern “trauma” inventions of writers to give their characters depth. Yes, the death of a close family member is terrible and forms the desperation or motivation of a character. But suddenly every hero in every bestseller has a murdered wife or parents or best buddy. For Paul Trouble, I wanted something more physical, so I came up with the lost-hand scenario. It handicaps Paul in various ways, for example in his ability to drive a car (ever tried a drift one-handedly?) or to operate a gun. In “Troublemaker” I use his handicap as a central plot point when Paul needs to improvise in order to one-handedly load and aim a weapon in order to survive. In other stories, his prosthetic limb becomes a weapon in itself.