Monday, December 15, 2014

Meet Bradford Wheler - Author of Inca's Death Cave


A 500-year-old puzzle catapults an archaeology professor and his brilliant grad student into the adventure of a lifetime in INCA’S DEATH CAVE, a new mystery thriller from author Bradford G. Wheler.

What happened to a band of Inca rebels who journeyed north in Peru to seek the fabled cave of the true gods – and escape the disease and destruction brought by Spanish conquistadors? They were never heard from again. Did they just melt back into their villages or was something more sinister involved? What trace or treasure did they leave behind?

The ingenious plot of this thriller is full of twists and turns, excitement and adventure, archaeology and technology. Readers will meet fascinating characters they’ll never forget: a high-tech billionaire, a quick-witted professor, his beautiful young student, and her still-tough grandfather, a retired Marine gunny sergeant.

Cornell University professor Robert Johnson and his star PhD student are hired by a billionaire entrepreneur to solve a 500-year-old archaeology mystery in northern Peru. But first, they will have to survive corporate skullduggery and drug-lord thuggery. And why, 6,700 miles away in Vatican City, is the old guard so upset? What dark secrets could centuries-old manuscripts hold?


1) What originally inspired you to get into writing?

In my business career all my writing was business related, proposal, contracts, and other business documents. When I sold my business and wanted to do something different, I took my collection of a couple thousand quotations that I’d written on 3” by 5” cards and created the book “SNAPPY SAYINGS wit & wisdom from the world’s greatest minds.”

Next I decided to invite artists to submit images from their artwork for the next books. From this came my art themed quotation books “DOG SAYINGS wit & wisdom from man’s best friend”, “HORSE SAYINGS wit & wisdom straight from the horse’s mouth”, CAT SAYINGS wit and wisdom from the whiskered ones” and, “GOLF SAYINGS wit & wisdom of a good walk spoiled.” Each book features the artwork of over 50 artists from around the world.

I’d been thinking about writing a novel and with my wife’s encouragement, I decided to write INCA’S DEATH CAVE An Archaeological Mystery Thriller.

2) Where did the idea for Inca's Death Cave come from?

I had a general idea of the plot line. I knew I wanted the setting to be in Central or South America. However, I didn’t know exactly where or if it would involve ancient Aztec, Mayan, or Incan culture. As I researched, Peru and the Incas seemed to best fit the story I had in mind.

3) Was there any particular character that you liked or felt able to relate to?

I liked aspects of most of the characters. There are several of the characters that, if they existed in real life, I believe I would enjoy meeting.

4) Was there any particular character that you dislike?

I would find it hard to like Dr. Lois Stone.

5) Were there any scenes in particular that were hard or easy to write?

I found if I could visualize the scenes in my mind it was easy to write. When I was having a hard time with a scene I would take a walk or even a nap and let the scene develop in my mind.

On one walk my wife said. “You look lost in your thoughts.”

I answered. “I’m not lost, I’m in a cave in Peru.”

6) Did you draw on any personal knowledge or experience for this book?

I guess I drew on all the knowledge and experience of my life. I would watch how different people would behave in different situations and how they would talk and interact with the others. I also did lots of reading and research to try and properly represent the history and technology.

7) Have any of your characters been inspired by real people?

Yes, parts of each character have traits that I’ve seen in real people. However there is no one character that is identical to a real person I know.

8) Are there any particular authors or books that have inspired you?

There are so many, I’m not sure I can make a full list. I’ve read many of the classics. I enjoy the writing of Wilbur Smith for the way he is able to paint the scenery of Africa. I like George MacDonald Fraser books because they have such great characters. Robert Crais and Robert B. Parker have snappy dialog that make their books fun to read. I love Mark Twain’s wit. I like Walter Mosley. His books that are set in Watts in the 1950s and 1960s are a great insight into a part of American culture many of us are not exposed to. I also read David Baldacci, Kingsley Amis, Carl Hiaasen, Janet Evanovich, Ken Follett, Clive Cussler and many more.

9) Do you have any future books planned?

Oh yes. I’m working on the next of my art themed quotation books. This one will be “LOVE SAYINGS wit & wisdom from romance, courtship and marriage.” It will feature artwork form about 50 artists paired with quotations. It will be the sixth book in the popular wit & wisdom series. I hope to publish in January 2015.

Then Professor Rob Johnson and Abbey Summers will be off to a new part of the world for a new adventure. Hopefully it will publish in the fall of 2015.

About the Author:

BRADFORD G. WHELER is the former CEO, President and Co-owner of Allan Electric Company. He sold Allan Electric to a New York Stock Exchange listed company.
Brad’s lifelong love of history, art, books, and the inherent humor in man’s nature led to the founding of and the publishing of Inca’s Death Cave as well as GOLF SAYINGS: wit & wisdom of a good walk spoiled, CAT SAYINGS: wit & wisdom from the whiskered ones, and four other books.
His community involvements include being a Trustee of Community General Hospital in Hamilton, NY, and chairing their Finance Committee. He is the former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Cazenovia College.
Brad played polo on Cornell University’s men’s polo team for four years and was a member of the Cazenovia Polo Club. In 2012 he was inducted into the Manlius Pebble Hill Athletic Hall of Fame.
He holds a BS and ME in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University as well as an MBA degree from Fordham University.
Brad, his wife, Julie, and their golden retriever Quincy live in Cazenovia, NY and Fort Pierce, FL.

Review by Nancy Famolari:

High Tech and Archeology

Professor Johnson and his graduate student, Abby, are asked by Walter Falcone to come to Peru to investigate legends of an Inca Death Cave. It sounds like a wonderful opportunity and the adventure of a lifetime. They agree and setup their base for a year at the Falcone ranch in Peru. 

Walter promised them a team and while the team calls themselves “The Rejects,” the young people are bright, technologically competent, and able to put high tech to good use to find and explore the Death Cave. 

I have mixed feeling about this book. The plot is great, the information, first class, and the characters interesting. The problem is that this is a fiction book. The dialog is poor. In the opening chapters, Abby and the Professor call each other by their names in almost every piece of dialog. People just don't talk this way. In addition, the dialog, particularly in the opening chapters is almost all data dump. Luckily this data is interesting or I would have put the book down immediately. 

The other problem is that the project team is too good to be true. All the team members are bright. They help each other, and Professor Johnson is everyone's favorite boss. While this isn't totally unrealistic, it sounds a lot like Shangrila to those of us who have managed projects. 

I would have given this novel five stars, but the writing so amateurish that I have to go with four. If you are interested in archeology, you'll enjoy this book. If you want a well written novel, this isn't it. 

I reviewed this book for Net Galley.

Books Available From: 

Autographed copies of INCA’S DEATH CAVE and past works from may be purchased at a discount through visiting the website The book is also available in ebook and audio book form.