Stillwater author Chuck Logan had written a successful series of novels and signed the rights to a major motion picture when the publishing industry turned fickle. Instead of counting himself out, Logan has reinvented himself as a self-publishing author and is giving the fans what they want — for him to keep writing. A new installment of the “Broker” series hits shelves March 1.
From 1997 to 2006, Logan penned six books for Harper Collins that follow the life of main character Phil Broker, a Vietnam veteran turned undercover cop.
“After the sixth book, they decided the series was over,” Logan said. “My agent wanted me to work on something more commercial.”
In 2013, the sixth book in the Broker series, “Homefront,” was adapted into a screenplay by Sylvester Stallone and starred Jason Statham in the role of Broker. With the increased attention, Logan wanted to continue adding to the series and hoped his New York City agent would agree.
“In ‘Homefront,’ the daughter is an important character and I wanted to write a novel about her as a teenager,” Logan said. “That idea didn’t go anywhere.”
As a Vietnam veteran, Logan also pitched the idea of writing a novel about wounded veterans.
“When I started out, publishers were not interested in touching on issues like Vietnam veterans,” Logan said. “I was essentially told that nobody wanted to read about PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder].”
Without publishers or agents, Logan set out to start over in the industry as a self-publishing author.
“Now I feel free to play with those themes,” Logan said.
Logan said he was “fundamentally changed” by his experience in Vietnam and has given some of his own experiences to his characters. He wrote about an Iraq War veteran who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a book called “Fallen Angel.” The book was finished in 2013 and published in paperback in 2014. In his first foray into self-publishing, Logan said he made some mistakes but has learned from the experience.
“When I was out at the premiere of ‘Homefront’ I met with some producers who asked what I was working on,” Logan said. “All I had was an e-book at the time.”
Logan said that when “Fallen Angel” was published through Conquill Press, he bucked the usual path of book-turned-film and sent a copy straight to Hollywood without the involvement of major publisher. Logan said he is working on making “Fallen Angel” into a movie.
“I’m working at getting reestablished as an author,” Logan said. “The fan base keeps asking for another book.”
Instead of picking up Broker’s story where he left off in “Homefront,” Logan decided to give readers a prequel set in and around Stillwater.
“I think we default in our imaginations to the time of our youth,” Logan said. “1979 was a much more edgy and exciting time.”
In the new book, “Broker,” the titular character has returned from the Vietnam War and is persuaded to go undercover as a bodyguard to a drug lord.
“I set some of the book in a fictionalized garage based on Happy’s Diagnostic and Car Repair,” Logan said. “We actually plan to have an event at Happy’s in late April after the book comes out.”
Logan said he recreated Stillwater in the late 1970s, including details like long-removed pay phones.
“I spent a whole day at the library trying to figure out if you used a dime or a quarter in the pay phone in the 1979,” Logan said.
“Broker” will be release March 1 and will be sold at Valley Bookseller in Stillwater and at other book retailers. To learn more about Logan and the Broker series, visit chucklogan.org
Contact Alicia Lebens at [email protected]