Avan Amiri and Adnan Khashoggi

Image by Roland Godefroy (CC BY 3.0)

Image by Roland Godefroy (CC BY 3.0)

Many years ago at a restaurant in Aspen, I was introduced to Adnan Khashoggi. At the time, he was still very well known as being the richest man in the world, one that lived a life of opulence and intrigue.

He gestured for me to have a seat next to him, and immediately engaged me in conversation. I was eighteen at the time, and surely had nothing of consequence to say. But I will always remember the way he spoke with me. Despite his large dinner table of guests, he acted as if I was the only person in the room. It was astonishing how interested—and interesting—he was.

It was a chance encounter very long ago, but those ten minutes have always stuck with me. Avan Amiri, the retired billionaire arms dealer in Exposure and Troubleshooters, is the Khashoggi I met that night in Aspen. A man that lived in a world of secrets and extravagance, but was a gentleman master of personal interaction.

Uncle Merv

My wife is a Kiwi, and we spend a bit of time in New Zealand each year. When I set about creating Jackson Chase, I wanted to bring some of the beautiful charm from that side of the family into his character. But I also needed him to have an interesting and capable background. As a result, his backstory included serving in the New Zealand SAS.

A bit about Jackson Chase's name

Many years ago, I wrote a children's story for my son about a boy detective named "Chase Jackson". It was around that time that I started writing notes for what came to be Exposure, so I thought I would be clever and simply reverse the order of his first and last names. (Turns out it wasn't so clever, because it made things rather confusing!)