Drillbooks – Behind the Scenes

As some of you know, I’ve been dealing with a severe case of writer’s block for the past year or so. This has prevented the completion of the next novel in the Drill series, Winter of the Drill. I’m now settling in at my laptop for the last leg of this journey, and it will be finished this time, one way or another.

I thought it might help me to reconnect with Decker and the gang if I did a few blog posts that gave you an inside look at some of the characters and events nestled between the covers of #Winter.  If you read and enjoyed Shadow of the Drill, you might find these posts interesting. If not, hopefully this little series won’t bore you too much.

I thought I would start by telling you a little bit about the character of Decker, the title character in the Drill series, and how he came to be. 

When I started writing #Shadow, I knew almost everything about Decker before I first put my fingers to the keyboard. Because he was a composite of a couple of the street enforcers I’d known in my youth, I had to create a single image of what he looked like. Not a problem, I thought. I already knew that he was somewhere in the vicinity of six and a half feet tall. I knew that he was Italian on his father’s side, and that his mother was European. I knew how old he was, how much he weighed, and what his body looked like. I could even hear his voice. The only thing I couldn’t see was his face. And without a face, it was pretty hard to bring life to the man.

Then one day a movie came out that starred one of my favorite actors. My seeing eye son and I had both been looking forward to it, so we went. There was an actor with a fairly large supporting role in the film who caught my eye almost immediately. I’d never seen him before, but he did make an impression. 

Then, at one point in the film, it happened. The camera caught him in just the right way, and I realized I was looking at Decker. From that moment on, he existed for me in no way other than as the Drill. I went home and began to write.

Bringing Decker to life was suddenly so much easier for me. And if writer’s block reared its ugly head, I went back to the movies. I saw that film almost 40 times in the theater. Then it came out on cable, so I was able to watch it at home. THEN it was available on DVD so I grabbed my copy, ran home, and begin the first of countless viewings. The image of Decker was now complete in my mind, and for the first time, he was fully alive to me. 

Here is a picture of that actor. Do you recognize him? If you do, please email his name to me at rhanidchae@gmail.com. I’ll draw a name from those who have answered correctly, and that person will receive a $10 Amazon gift card.

Many years have passed since #Shadow was originally written. Almost 20, in fact. A few years ago, I rewrote the book and published it on Amazon. But as I began working on the following books in the Drill series, I realized that a different actor had taken center stage in the Decker part of my brain. Now, when I write him, this is who I see. The eyes are wrong, of course, but I’ve been living with Decker’s eyes for so long that I automatically see them now.

This man is much easier to recognize, and if you do, please email his name to me, because I’ll be giving away a second Amazon card.

So now you know a little bit about the men who gave Decker life, and lit the fire behind the ice-blue eyes. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and I hope you will join me for the next one. I don’t know who I’ll be talking about yet, so I guess that will be a surprise to us both. Thanks for stopping by today, and I hope to see you next time.

Contact information

Twitter @rhanidchae @rhanidchaebooks

Email rhanidchae@gmail.com

Phone (253) 224-7410



  1. Mark Schultz · January 8

    Good Post Rhani! It’s nice to hear about some of the behind the scene stuff! I don’t know who either of the gentlemen are, so someone else will win! I am looking forward to Winter!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rhani D'Chae · January 8

      Hi Mark, thanks for stopping by. I’m looking forward to #Winter, too. Lol I’m really hoping that these posts will help clear the brain song and get me back on track. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ


      • Mark Schultz · January 8

        I think it will work like gangbusters! You are going to do great!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rhani D'Chae · January 8

        Thank you. Hey, I’m going to need a beta reader in a week or so. I know you’re terribly busy, so I won’t impose on you, but is there anyone you could recommend?


      • Mark Schultz · January 8

        I am sorry to say I don’t know any betareaders. I would suggest a search #betareader on twitter. Maybe I should have that as a category on my twitter home page.


      • Rhani D'Chae · January 8

        Okay. Thank you, though.


  2. Shirley Harris-Slaughter · January 8

    For the life of me I don’t remember the names of either, although the second actor seems to be right on the tip of my tongue. Rhani I thought Decker was based on a real life character that you knew. Wouldn’t that be the face or is there some legal ramifications to showing someone you know?

    Your post gives us something to think about. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rhani D'Chae · January 8

      Hi Shirley, thanks for stopping by. Yes, both Decker and Rudy are based on people that I knew, but they are each composites of a couple of people. My boys, as they exist in the books, are fictional characters. Which is why Decker originally had no face. Lol


  3. John W. Howell · January 8

    I don’t know who these guys are, but I want to wish you the best with your next Decker book.

    Liked by 1 person

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