I had the honor of interviewing Declan Finn, author of the Love at First Bite series, A Pius Man series and the more recent Saint Tommy, NYPD novels.

Tamara Wilhite: Your blog is “A Pius Geek”, You have a novel series called “A Pius Trilogy”. Where else have you used the term pius, and why do you use it?

Declan Finn: I use it largely as a pun. My first “serious” book was A Pius Man: A Holy Thriller. (As opposed to my first novel, It Was Only On Stun!, which was as far from serious as I could manage).  The novel was based around around the historical “mystery” of Pope Pius XII – usually called “Hitler’s Pope” by leftists. Though “mystery” is stretching it. The answers are readily available if you enjoy diving through spools microfishe. I’m a historian, so that’s right up my ally.

A Pius Man turned into The Pius Trilogy … which, like the Dune trilogy, is more than three books, which include an anthology, and an entire book on the history behind the novels.

Tamara Wilhite: Whether it is a modern spy/intrigue novel or supernatural horror, why do so many of these stories center around the Vatican and the Catholic Church?

Declan Finn: Because I’m Catholic, and there is so much to utilize in Catholicism that no one thinks to use – even a lot of Catholic authors. Heck, Catholic history has the last stand of the Swiss Guards in 1527, or the Winged Hussars saving Vienna, and the only ones who make a big deal about it are a Swedish metal band called Sabaton. It’s enough to make me tear my hair out.

In terms of my books… The church has been around for two thousand years. So why wouldn’t they know about vampires? We certainly know they’re aware of demons. Who needs to invent demonic powers and abilities? There are whole books on the subject, using historical accounts. Father Amorth, the Vatican exorcist, wrote two. Heck, I use Thomas Aquinas on properties of a resurrected body in order to discuss the powers and abilities of vampires.

Again, there is so much thought, and stories, and history, that it’s just sitting there, waiting to be mined. Why not? And I blow up a lot of stuff in my books. Catholics make up a third of the military, and the numbers of Catholic cops and firemen are off the charts. The odds in real life skew Catholic for the characters I’d be dealing with either way. So I might as well use what I know.

As for The Pius Trilogy thrillers … okay, that may have more to do with me being a historian than being Catholic. After seeing one too many lies, all of which were easily refutable, I sort of flipped out and decided that smashing that particular historical myth into the ground and grind it under my heel was a good use of time. As I tell my fans, “The Pius Trilogy is what happens when you piss off a historian whose favorite Christmas movie is Die Hard.”

Tamara Wilhite: Can you explain the trope of the albino monk assassin to me? You used it, and it does appear to be a trope. For example, we even see the variation of it with the albino assassins in “The Matrix” trilogy.

Declan Finn: I can’t explain The Matrix. Most fans of the movies can’t explain past the first one. Though in my particular circles, the “albino monk assassin” goes back to The Da Vinci Code, where the albino monk assassin was (A) the one with the most character and back story, and (B) the most ludicrous character created for a thriller. (Be honest, you want an assassin that can blend into a crowd and be able to catch up to anyone running away. DaVinici Code had a six-foot albino with a limp.)  So it’s a bit of a running gag.

Tamara Wilhite: I loved “Love at First Bite”. If there is an unknown supernatural threat or mere zombie apocalypse coming, I want you on my team. Holy water mixed into water trucks so you can blast vampires with water hoses and super soakers. You have a lot of innovative weapons like that. What are your favorite or most surprising solutions in that regard?

Declan Finn: Throwing Stars of David.  In part because it gets a laugh every time I mention them. Under surprising? I didn’t expect one of my vampires to use a blessed host as a suicide pill.

Tamara Wilhite: You’re writing a lot of Catholic fiction, and you’re honoring Catholic tradition and doctrines in the process. It is the opposite of “The Da Vinci Code”, if readers need an explanation. What percentage of your readers are Catholic?

Declan Finn: Honestly? Not many. To my knowledge, only a handful are Catholic. Offhand, I can only think of three or four. I’ve seen more reviews start with “Wow, this is awesome. And I’m not even Catholic” than I can recall. I just handle the faith in a way that isn’t preachy, and alienates no one of other faiths … except for those who consider Leftism an article of faith. For some reason, when I compare abortion to Carthage’s worship of their deity Moloch, Leftists tend to go into a tizzy, then rampage through my novels, leaving one star reviews of everything I’ve ever written. Who could have guessed? Heh.

Tamara Wilhite: And how do you describe your own books?

Declan Finn: All of them? Hmm. Action novels with good characters and snarky dialogue in between explosions and gunfire.

Tamara Wilhite: What are you currently working on?

Declan Finn: Hopefully, I can cover it all.

  • I’m working on outlines for my next two Saint Tommy novels.
  • I just sent in a contribution to an upcoming Kevin J Anderson anthology called Movies, Monsters and Mayhem.
  • I’m going to be in an anthology for Daniel Humphreys’ Z-Day universe.
  • I’ve joined a company designing an RPG, and I’m working on the execution of the world.
  • I’m editing two anthologies for Superversive Press. I’m working on promoting my next Saint Tommy novel – Deus Vult.
  • I’m currently in the process of self-publishing three older thrillers of mine in a serial format.

So, I keep busy.

Tamara Wilhite: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Declan Finn: I can be found at DeclanFinn.com, @DeclanFinnBooks on Twitter, and contacted via [email protected]