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Local writer to speak at Robert Trail Library's Meet the Author

Craig MacIntosh

Rosemount's own Craig MacIntosh will be at Robert Trail Library at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22 to discuss his new novel, "WOLF'S Inferno," as part of the library's Meet the Author series, sponsored by the Rosemount Area Arts Council.

The book is the third in a series about former Navy SEAL Tom Wolf and retired Green Beret Sam McFadden. MacIntosh said the book finds McFadden and Wolf facing an enemy from their past when a Manila assassin tracks them to San Diego and teams up with a local Asian gang in an effort to kill them.

In some ways, the book draws on MacIntosh's own experiences in the Army. He was raised in a Navy family and spent three years in the armed forces, including one year as a platoon leader in Vietnam.

"Some of the times when I'm relating about combat, I dig into my own background," he said.

He said the inspiration for his latest book came when he was staying with a friend and fellow Vietnam veteran in San Diego. His friend's home was situated on hill overlooking the city, and as MacIntosh gazed down at the public park below, he wondered whether anyone had ever attempted to wander up the hillside into the properties above. He asked if his buddy ever worried about home invasions.

"I thought, 'This is great. You've got the high ground. That'd be kind of cool to have somebody creeping up the hillside to kill this guy," MacIntosh said.

MacIntosh said he prides himself on his thorough research.

"I really want to go into sometimes excruciating detail," he said. "I do like to make sure that what I'm talking about is correct."

When MacIntosh knew he wanted part of his book to take place in Baja California, Mexico, he traveled to the San Diego border and took notes and photographs to make sure his descriptions were authentic. He watched YouTube videos of the border crossing at Tijuana so he could know exactly what it felt like to be stuck in a traffic jam at the border check. He used Google Maps to drive down streets he couldn't drive in person.

"If I'm going to write about a street, I don't want to make one up. I want to use the real locations," he said.

In the case of his Wolf series, MacIntosh used his neighbor's nephew, who was a captain of the Navy SEALS, as a major resource. He even borrowed the man's name, Wolf, for his main character. His neighbor was able to introduce him to others in his circle who were willing to talk to the author about their experiences in combat.

"You write what you know, and if you don't know it, talk with people who lived it or know it and they fill in those blanks for you," MacIntosh said. "I have been in touch with Navy SEALS, Green Berets, a guy who flew with Delta force, which is the very best we have in the military to do special missions. I've been fortunate to have those people look at my manuscripts and give me suggestions."

MacIntosh said he loves the fact that he can create his own worlds and characters in fiction writing.

"You can pour into them, for good or for evil, all of the things that you have learned, the people you've encountered and all their personalities and backgrounds," he said. "You can make the women strong and intelligent and the equal of any guy on the novel."

MacIntosh, who describes himself as a poor man's Tom Clancy, said he enjoys painting, drawing, and taking photographs in addition to writing.

"I'm doing it for fun right now, but I wouldn't mind if lighting were to strike, if my ship were to come in," he said.

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