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Detach And The Gold Adventures

Welcome to my page for everything to do with Detach and his search for gold.

This is the place where you’ll find all the latest info on what Detach is up to including the latest releases and everything to do with his friends and colleagues.

NOTE: For new stuff, scroll down to the bottom of the page.

The first release coming down the pike is going to be Lusitania Gold.


While searching for treasure, a discovery is made that will alter history.

Lusitania Gold is an adventure/thriller that starts as a search for gold and ends with the discovery that the wreck of the Lusitania is not where it should be.

Detach, a professional diver and salvager, learns that there may be a large shipment of gold stashed on the wreck of the sunken luxury liner Lusitania. The gold is disguised as bullets, part of a scheme to smuggle them to Germany through England. Once he reaches the wreck site in Kinsale, Ireland, he discovers unexploded improvised depth charges and signs of recent damage as if someone were trying to destroy the site. He’s also warned off with a note and bomb in his hotel.

More determined than ever to get to the truth, Detach delves deep inside the ship and discovers that it’s not the Lusitania. When he finds the real ship hidden deep in another location, he comes face to face with those that will do anything to keep it a secret.

Lusitania Gold is a thrilling adventure set in the present day with plenty of action, interesting locations and a twist on the history of the early 20th century.

Here are some free shots I found on the net. They show various angles of the real Lusitania.








The Lusitania was quite a massive ship. Though more lives were lost in the Titanic disaster, and it got much more publicity, there was one big difference between these two disasters. In the case of the Lusitania, it was deliberately sunk.

Release date!

Lusitania Gold will be released August 25th!


Out Now!

Lusitania Gold is now live.


It’s available at all the usual outlets like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.

It’s also available at the publisher’s web site at

You can find out the latest events and happenings at


New radio interview with James Kelly on his Aspects of Writing show.

Subject: Writing with the character in mind.



Limnophobia is the fear of marshes or lakes. People with this phobia tend to fear they may drown in the lake, get sick from the water or attacked by something in the lake. The origin of the word limno is Greek (meaning lake) and phobia is Greek (meaning fear). (From Google)


For those of you that have read a Detach adventure, you are aware that he’s got Limnophobia. His phobia is restricted to fresh water lakes and not swamps, specifically, as you all would’ve found out if you read Lusitania Gold. His fear stems from almost drowning in a lake where he grew up in Palmdale, California. This lake was known as “the bottomless lake” and is the setting for an upcoming novel called Palmdale Gold. You may think it odd that he was a Navy diver, but he trained in salt water and I did extensive research and discovered that there are SOME divers that trained exclusively in salt water and swimming pools and it’s entirely possible he could’ve avoided fresh water lakes, depending on where and when he got his basic water school training. So, I left it vague in his background history (a writing tool!) and that, my friends, is why he can still dive in oceans and never have a hint of fear of lakes. It’s an odd combination, but hey, there are some pretty strange phobias out there and this one doesn’t hold a candle to some of them. It also plays a key role in Palmdale Gold, which is the third Gold series book. More on that in a later installment.

I decided to title this newsletter the Limnophobic Chronicles on a hoot. In it, I’ll be giving news and info on Detach and his world. Here, I’ll give fiction versus reality on each of the Gold series books.

First up is info on Lusitania Gold and the fiction versus reality section we weren’t able to attach to the end of the published book.

So, sit back, relax, and get ready for the occasional spoiler and other bits of info. I’ll always put SPOILER in bold before a paragraph that affects part of the book. If not, you don’t have to worry about it. For those of you that have already read the book, it might answer questions about why I wrote something the way I did.

Let’s rock!



The main character, or hero of the story is an amalgam of people I knew in real life and people I completely made up. He’s also got a smidgen of me in there somewhere, but not a lot. His name came from someone I knew in elementary school. His appearance came from a guy I didn’t know, but used to see working at the rubber extrusion plant I worked at in Oklahoma. His personality is all over the map and is just my imagination plus, like I said, a little bit of me, a little bit of this and that.

The name Detach…

Joseph “Detach” Datchuk derived from a kid I knew in elementary school. A different first name, of course, but half the kids couldn’t pronounce his last name so someone started calling him “Detach-butt” and it kind of stuck. It was probably mortifying to him, but I’m sure after all these years, he must be over it by now. At least I hope so! He was a friend of mine, at least a little bit, best I can remember. When I was pondering a name for my hero, I wanted something quirky. I wanted something different and I’d never heard of ANYONE with a hero named Detach. It sounds like a verb to most people. In fact, at the latest Las Vegas 2018 Writer’s Conference, I was in a class and one facilitator asked me to tell her about my book. When I gave my slug line and mentioned “Detach,” she went “Huh?” That certainly got her attention and I ‘splained the origin of the name.

Just like the real kid, Joseph had the same issues in elementary school in Palmdale, California where he grew up. That’s also where I went to first grade and then high school. I went to elementary school in another town where I knew the real Detach-butt. However, in this case, Joseph spent his entire childhood in Palmdale, embraced the Detach name, took on the moniker and carried it into adult life. In fact, many people throughout his life never even knew his real name, even in the military.

The rest of the “real” Detach came from many different sources, as I explained above. More and more of his personality will come out in each book in the series, so discover more about him as the books come out!



They say about business and home, location location location. I chose the locations for a lot of reasons. Unlike some of the other upcoming novels in this Gold series, being the first one, I wasn’t able to visit the actual sites. I had to rely on either books or the Internet. All apologies to any details I got wrong, despite my best efforts! More on that below.


Mason industries is located on Galveston bay. In an effort to keep it as realistic as possible, I left details vague. Based on maps back in 1995, the original location was Houston, but I thought it would better be suited closer to the water. Many of the personnel commute from Houston. Now, given that the area has drastically changed in the 22 years since I originally wrote the book, plus several major hurricanes, just before publication, I did a Google Map search and made sure to turn on the satellite feature, hoping for the latest images. I also did a bit more research and looked for “before and after” images after the latest hurricane. Folks, the location of the Mason Industries buildings doesn’t exist! If you were to travel to Galveston and try to look the place up, or the area, good luck! You not only won’t find the address, which I never mention in any of the books, you won’t find any significant landmarks or features to give an exact location, or even a vague one where the buildings might be. Hey, this is a story, not a historical document! If I ever were to use a real location, I wouldn’t want to get sued or get something wrong and have someone that actually lives there call me on it. I’m just happy to be able to feature the town, which probably doesn’t get enough recognition as it is.




The Lothar is the disguised tramp steamer, which is actually a modern luxury craft that Detach and the crew use for their forays into the world. I thought this up back in 1995. To my surprise, Clive Cussler used it in his Juan Cabrillo stories, as well, a decade and a half later.

We both have a superb vessel, disguised as an old junker. We both have advanced technology to run them. We both have moon pools in the hull so we can dive in secret if desired.

However, the Lothar isn’t armed. It also uses conventional propellers and has a different power source.

If I recall, Cussler isn’t the only author to use such a ship either, though I can’t recall the other authors I’ve seen this same setup from at the moment and I’ve been struggling to recall it ever since I wrote this description in mid 2017.

There’ll be more on the propulsion system in a later post.




The oil rig idea was inspired by a guy I used to work with in the rubber extrusion plant I was employed at in Oklahoma. He’d worked oil rigs in not only the Gulf, but Southwest Asia, mainly around Indonesia and thereabouts. I interviewed him off and on for weeks and weeks, getting details about how oil rigs operate and what would and wouldn’t work in the North Sea. Along with research I did on line, I came up with a way to make my icky bug (the ancient shark creature) come alive. Any details I got wrong are on me.

I ran the scenario by him of what I wanted to do and we hashed out the possibilities and if it were possible or not. He’d heard of similar events happening, though not to the extreme I take it in the book. Of course, dramatic license wins out every time! It was based on a multiple of real and imagined events and exaggerated to give birth to the icky bug. That in itself (the icky bug) is an amalgam of inspirations from several classic movies and stories, some of which I’ll talk about in a later installation as well.



Becky is a bit of a girl I used to work with in Spain and a whole lot of just strong women I’ve known over my lifetime. They include a crush from high school, a bit of a few actresses, a bit of this and that thrown in and a whole lot of nobody at all. I know exactly who she looks like in my mind’s eye, but to you, the reader, I only vaguely describe her, at best and leave that up to you.

As a reader for over sixty years, I discovered in myself that when an author describes a character, I rarely, if at all grab that image in my mind. Once in a while, I’ll grab onto a detail here and there and it will stick with me. However, I generally paint my own picture, regardless of what the author describes. On the other hand, I’ve witnessed some readers who hated a book because the author described a character that closely resembled someone they personally despised! Or, the author described a character looking like some Hollywood actor or famous musician or other celebrity that a person could not stand and they hated the book because that character reminded them of the real person. Go figure.

If you’re expecting me to describe any of my characters in detail, or looking like so and so, forget it! Some of you may be like me and will ignore my description anyway, and draw your own picture. Instead, I’ll leave those descriptions vague and let you draw your own picture. Besides, if this series ever gets picked up by Hollywood, the casting crew is probably never going to go for who I have in mind anyway, and I’m pretty sure if you have someone in mind, it’ll probably not be them, either!

So, with that in mind, Becky is a strong female presence to keep Detach in check, keep a bit of unfulfilled love interest going, and keep a spark there for future endeavors. She’s a yin to his yang, to borrow a well-worn cliché. Keep in mind that unlike the Meleena series, which has a female protagonist, the protagonist here is centered around Detach, a male character, so he’s top banana. On the other hand, that doesn’t mean Becky will just be a prop. Plan to see her around a lot in every book in the series.



I’ve been to New York but never to walk around. Therefore, I used anecdotal info to describe certain areas. I don’t think I was too far off the mark on that for Detach’s short visit. We stopped over in New York briefly, on our way to and from Turkey back in the 80’s. We took an R&R trip to visit the family and had a layover at Kennedy (at the time) airport. Maybe it had already reverted back to LaGuardia by then. Anyway, we had to take a bus into town to stay at a hotel for a few hours before we got right back on the bus to the airport and another plane. That was it. The closest I ever came otherwise was when I dropped my car off there a few years before at Bayonne, New Jersey.

I based Detach’s short stay, at the beginning of Lusitania Gold on TV, movies and books, so forgive me if I got something incorrect. I had to rely on that instead of actually walking the streets. I kept it general and never named any specific streets, which would’ve got me in real trouble! I also based it a bit on incidents I remember from the news years ago. Those incidents of people ignoring chaos on the streets, closing their windows and doors, ignoring what was going on below is NOT unique to New York. In reality, the chances of someone calling it in in ANY city are relatively high. However, and that’s where I took literary license, there is the possibility cries for help would be ignored. I want to emphasize, that is NOT unique to New York. It could happen ANYWHERE. Plus, if you think about it, with so many of us glued to TVs, cell phones and other electronic media, there are so few left that are paying attention to what’s around us, is it any wonder people notice what goes on right next to them? Think about it.



The Cooper is the fancied up utility vessel in the Mason Industries fleet and the one used by Detach and his crew for show. With the same propulsion system as the Lothar, that’s the only thing disguised with a standard diesel engine. It’s the ship they use for normal business. The Cooper is named after the Alice Cooper Band, not the singer (sorry, Vince). Both Jams (because he’s old enough) and Detach (because he was exposed to the band through his dad and uncle) are fans of the band. Like with the Lothar, they broke tradition and named the ships after something they both loved. Another thing to think about. An Alice Cooper Band member has a significant, though indirect role in a future Gold novel. Stay tuned!




Seeing as how I’d just wrote an icky bug (b-movie horror) novel, The Greenhouse, I couldn’t resist throwing a bit of creature feature into Lusitania Gold. Think of the old movie Beast From 20,000 Fathoms.

Nothing real about that!

I rest my case, so any biologists out there, don’t crucify me! My impossible beast is just that, impossible but just maybe…

There’s also a bit more to it. Drama, excitement, action! Nothing like adding in a bit more of a complication to the mix. I also added a possible seed for another novel. However, after six of them, so far, I still haven’t found a use for the critter yet, nor have named it.

Another bit of coinkydink. As I’ve stated many times before, I originally wrote this novel back in 1995. It was my third effort, and it came out rather quick, given the time and my burning muse. Even with all the edits over the years, despite numerous tweaks and parings of thousands of un-needed words, not one bit of the plot was altered, including this here icky bug.

I say this because a funny thing happened a decade later (or thereabouts). I read an early novel by James Rollins and became an instant fan. In his earlier work, he employed icky bugs as part of the plots of his thrillers. He had good background for it too, because he’s also a veterinarian and using creatures was a natural for him. As it turns out, I found a kindred spirit, seeing as how I did the same thing back in 1995 with this story. In subsequent novels within the Gold series, I can’t say the same, at least to the extent of the shark creature, but you’ll another critter or two later down the road. Anyway, I finally got to meet one of my favorite authors, James himself at a writer’s conference in 2005 and we’ve stayed in contact ever since. We met again at another conference a few years later and then again last year (2017) here at a book signing. You can now read his endorsement of Lusitania Gold on the back of this book! It all ties into the use of an icky bug.




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