Compassion International

Thursday, October 30, 2014


The adventure that launched Nick Baron’s Triple Seven Chase from test squadron to black ops team releases on e-book next Tuesday from Berkley Books at Penguin Random House. 
Haven't we seen Wraith before?

Sort of. 

But not this Wraith.

The original version of Wraith was supposed to be a fun experiment. I had written short stories, poetry, and some classified technical manuals, but I wanted to know if I could write a novel. Frustratingly, somewhere along the way, I forgot that it was supposed to be a fun experiment, and started believing I was a real author. 

I arrogantly thought I knew all that I needed to know about writing.  A year and a half of querying literary agents without so much as a nibble should have been a good indication that I was not, but it barely scratched the hardened veneer of my hubris. Instead it sent me into the waiting arms of a small, independent publisher.

By the end of 2009, Wraith had successfully landed on the desk of TotalRecall Press. Once publication was immanent, Clive Cussler and Publishers Weekly both agreed to read the manuscript. They made some nice comments, but that was purely upon their grace and the grace of God, not upon the merits of my writing.

It was not until I reached ThrillerFest in July 2010, after Wraith had already hit the shelves, that I realized what a big mistake this all was. Meeting real authors that had spent years honing their craft opened my eyes and shattered my arrogance. You can read more about that humbling experience on the ITW website here. I realized on that trip that Wraith should never have been published, but my realization came too late.

I spent the next couple of years working at my craft, absorbing all that I could and creating  the Triple Seven Chase anew—starting ten years down the road as their covert ops journey came full circle. You may know that story as Shadow Catcher. I spent the rest of my free time trying to get Wraith off the bookshelves. I absolutely did not want it to be there. I was only partially successful. There are still used hardcovers and bootleg PDFs floating around.

Fast forward to 2014. A few months ago, Berkley agreed to release a re-vamped, digital version of Wraith as the prequel to the Nick Baron series. I worked my fingers to the bone and tried the patience of my employers and my family to bring the book up to the level worthy of publication before the deadline. I also brought Wraith in line with the Triple Seven Chase as it exists in Shadow Catcher and Shadow Maker.

That is the difference between the used hardcover and paperback Wraith on Amazon and the new e-book.  The action and characters now comprise a prequel to Shadow Catcher, and, in my personal opinion, the new Wraith is much more worthy of your time as a reader.

I hope that you will consider taking a look at this new Wraith, or sharing it with a family member (like everything I write, it is free of sex and foul language and safe for your teens and your mom). Above all, I hope that you will enjoy discovering the origins of Nick Baron’s Triple Seven Chase as much as I enjoyed re-creating them.

God Speed and Thanks for Reading,

James R. Hannibal


  1. I'm so excited for the ebook release! I'll definitely be re-reading and will be sharing with my husband & son! Yay!