More About the Author
John Schettler has been writing and publishing professionally since 1980. John graduated from Loyola University with a degree in English (writing emphasis.) After graduation he served as a volunteer teacher for four years in Alaska where he taught native Eskimo students at St. Mary's Mission near the Yukon River delta, which inspired him to write the mystery thriller "Dream Reaper." During that time he also spent a year as Communications Director for the volunteer organization in which he served.
In 1989 he met Jonathan Paul, who became a long time business partner and associate. Together they founded The Writing Shop in 1991 to offer writing, desktop publishing and web design services for personal and business applications.
A prolific writer, John has also authored fourteen novels, including the fast selling Kirov Naval Fiction Series, the award winning "Meridian" series quintet, which won the Silver Medal for Science Fiction in Foreword Magazine's annual "Book of the Year" contest, (2002). John has also designed numerous historical simulation games as a professional war game designer in both the board and computer gaming industry, including four featured games for the industry leading magazine Strategy & Tactics. His love of military history is evident in many of his novels, including Golem 7, an alternate history hunt for the Bismarck campaign, and the popular Kirov Series naval fiction novels. All these stories focus prominently on the Royal Navy and the famous admirals and captains that served in the actions described.
To my British friends and readers in the UK.
As much of the plot and action in the Kirov Saga takes place during WWII, historical figures in the British Government, armed forces, and particularly the Royal Navy are referenced or depicted in this story. While I have endeavored to present these figures to the best of my ability, no fictional work will ever measure or hold the character and courage of some of the men I attempt to bring to life in these novels. I present them as characters with the greatest respect and admiration, from the highest post of the Prime Minister to the lowest able seaman shown in action in the naval sequences of the novels.
Also, please understand that while the Kirov Saga rests on a strong historical foundation, the events presented are fictional and this is an alternate history of WWII, though it plays out amid actual historical operations. Events in the chronology of the war and other details in the history and the personnel involved have changed as a result of actions taken by the officers and crew of the battlecruiser Kirov and other events yet to be revealed in the story line. Examples of this: the raid on Petsamo & Kirkenes By Wake-Walker's Force P is canceled when Kirov is first spotted. The Dieppe Raid is canceled in Book II and Force X under Admiral Syfret returns to Gibraltar early. The Italians have moved and deployed naval units to react to Kirov as well. Two planned raids, one in North Africa and one against Rhodes are canceled. Furthermore, men have died who should have lived, and others have lived who should have died. This is Admiral Tovey's dilemma as he considers the need to establish "The Watch" to monitor the consequences of these changes.
Astute readers in the UK will quickly note that the story also references a "Queen" and not a "King." This is intentional, as in this alternate history King George VI is killed on September 13th, 1940, when a bomb landed near a Buckingham Palace courtyard. (Revealed in Book V). The eldest daughter of King George, Elizabeth, ascended the throne as a minor, but given the fact that she was not of age the Regency Act of 1937 declared Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, as Regent. However she was Queen in name and fact, and much loved, even before she comes of age.
Therefore... Please enjoy this as a story, and not a non-fiction presentation of the history of WWII. I beg your gracious forbearance as I "muck about in the history" to tell my tale, and I hope you will find it plausible, compelling and entertaining along the way.
- J. Schettler