When award-winning authors LynDee Walker and Bruce Robert Coffin teamed up to write a new action-adventure series, the result was an exhilarating treasure hunt. In this exclusive Career Author interview, the two co-authors discuss their series debut, The General’s Gold, which bestselling author Karen Dionne described as “smart, fun, and utterly engaging.”


What’s the title of your book—and was that always the title?

LynDee: The General’s Gold, and yes—it was the first title that came to mind and the one that felt the most natural to both of us, but it had to survive voting rounds with the marketing folks, which, happily, it did.

 Who’s the main character of your book—and was that always their name?

LynDee: Avery Turner and Carter Mosley share title billing as our series’ main characters, and to me, these were always their names. Bruce and I did talk about that after we agreed to write together, and he didn’t have any objections, which was good since Avery is named for my eldest daughter. Carter… I don’t really know. In Chapter One, when Avery was running to change for her diving trip, that was the name that came out of her mouth, so I went with it, and Bruce didn’t object there, either. 

At the start of the book, what’s the character’s goal?

LynDee: Avery’s opening-scene goal of finding something interesting to fill her days quickly becomes a quest to find out what happened to her old friend Mark Hawkins after she’s notified of his death, and Carter’s goal is largely consistent throughout the book: He wants to be where the action is. 

What was the core idea for this novel—a plot point? a theme?—and where did it come from?

LynDee: This one started with the characters and the money. A handful of years ago I was working on another book or driving or walking the dog, and I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to have truly unlimited resources? Private jets, a car for every purpose, a personal assistant, and nothing you’re obligated to do every day? What would I do with resources like that? How would a person even come by them if their last name wasn’t Rockefeller or Kennedy? 

And there was Avery Turner: a brilliant young woman who made billions in her 20s thanks to her intelligence. Her personal assistant? I didn’t want a young woman in designer suits and Manolos, I wanted Alfred from Batman. I put them in my idea file, figuring if a story came to me they’d be fun to follow around. Then a couple of years ago I was at Malice Domestic, and spoke with several readers who told me they were tired of reading dark stories about sad people who do desperate things to try to escape terrible places. They wanted fun, adventure, and money.

So I went back to Avery and her assistant. She could use the money and influence to do good things, but also to have adventures. Scuba diving, skydiving, fighting bad guys… hunting treasure! But how could Avery go from being a computer genius to treasure hunter? Because someone she loved was murdered while hunting treasure. And who would goad cautious Avery into crazy adrenaline-chasing adventures? Enter Carter Mosley, a social media influencer who is always all in for the next adrenaline rush. And… now we have a book. 

At what point did you come up with the final version of the first line?

LynDee: This was the easiest first line ever. I can’t swear that we didn’t tinker with it, but if we did it wasn’t much and it was early on. When I first started putting together the outline for Bruce (we still call it an outline even though it clocked in at more than 50,000 words—and I still haven’t heard the end of that), that line was just where Avery’s story started for me, and it stuck through about a zillion rounds of revisions and edits. 

Did you know the ending of the book when you started?

LynDee: Not really. Flying by the seat of my pants is what makes writing fun for me, though, so while I usually have a vague idea of where I’m going, I’m never sure, and I’m okay with that. But what makes this series so much fun is, where the story ended for me wasn’t where it ended for Bruce—literally. Even though Bruce had the finished plot outline, he didn’t read ahead while he was working because he said it was more fun to wait and see what was coming next. But when I got the finished draft from him, there was a surprise for me at the end, too, because he had a whole action sequence I hadn’t thought of, and it brought the ending around just brilliantly.

Bruce: I honestly had no idea either. While writing from the outline I just got swept up in the action and didn’t want it to end.

What’s something in this book that you’ve never done before?

Bruce: Believe it or not, before writing these books I had never written any historical fiction. While I love history, and usually find a way to weave it into my novels, I had never before written in the time and place of that history. The opening sequence of The General’s Gold is set in the middle of a nautical battle during the Revolutionary War. It’s the kind of action-packed scene that grabs you by the lapels and won’t let go.

LynDee: I can confirm that—I was riveted when I got those pages back from him—for a first swing at historical fiction, he knocked it out of the park. For me, the new thing about this book was a whole new kind of research. I do plenty of research for my other two series, but it’s usually straightforward things involving shoes or guns or locations. For these books, we had to become veritable experts on diving, luxury brands, and internet trends. The research took almost as long as the writing did.

What part of your tour (or launch week) are you most excited about?

Bruce: I think we’re both excited about finally being able to get our novel into the hands of our readers! We’ve been working hard on this series for the better part of two years, so it feels like this has been a long time coming. But I think we’re most excited for our launch slated for April 24th at Elaine’s Restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia. Novelist Jeffrey Higgins and his wife Cynthia have graciously offered to host the event at their restaurant.

LynDee: What he said.

Who in your #writing community deserves a special shout-out for supporting you in writing this story?

Bruce: Where do I begin? The support we received prior to writing this book was overwhelming. It’s a long list that includes Reed Farrel Coleman, Paula Munier, John Talbot, Andrew Watts, and Karen, my better half. Entering into a coauthoring partnership seemed like a daunting challenge. I mean, it’s scary enough wandering the halls of my own gray matter without inviting someone else inside. But for all my apprehension this has been a wonderful experience. Collaborating with LynDee has made writing fun again.

LynDee: A thousand times yes to that! The whole reason this series came into a conversation with my agent and publisher at all was because I was feeling beaten down and overwhelmed by the darkness of my police procedural mystery series, and I needed a break from trying to come up with an new way for serial killers to cut people up and have a good reason for it every six months. I wanted to write fun, funny stories about characters whose worries were mostly of their own choosing. My agent, John Talbot, and the head of my publishing company, Andrew Watts, made that possible here trying to save my sanity.

Special thanks also to Paula Munier, Amber Hudock, and of course Bruce, who agreed to gamble his career on my crazy idea, plus my friend Hank Phillippi Ryan, who was intrigued and on board from the first time she heard about this project all the way up to squeaking time out of her super busy tour schedule to read an early copy and write a blurb that made me cry it is so fabulous. And of course, my husband Justin and my three very tall littles, who cook dinner and bring Dr Pepper zeroes with ice to the study when mom is on a deadline, and serve as my in-house sounding boards when I get stuck.

How do you want readers to feel when they close the book?

Bruce: I hope they feel like they just stepped off a thrill ride and are thirsty for more treasure hunting adventures with Avery, Carter, and Harrison.

LynDee: Yep. Exactly that.

What did you learn from this book?

Bruce: I think writing this series taught me something about myself as a writer. It’s okay to try something new. The prospect of stepping outside your genre for the first time, not to mention cowriting, was daunting. But now that I’ve made the leap, I couldn’t be happier with what LynDee and I have accomplished. Hopefully, readers will agree!

LynDee: I learned that trusting other people doesn’t always have to be hard. Bruce will tell you that was difficult for me at first (I told y’all about the 50,000 word “outline,” right?), but working through this first book taught me that he had so much to bring to the characters and the story, I didn’t have to make this successful all on my own. Like he said, I am so proud of what we’ve accomplished here, and I think the second and third books, which will both be out later this year, are even better. I hope readers have as much fun with Avery and Carter as we have! 


lyn dee wallacegenerals goldLynDee Walker writes about strong women who can’t seem to stay out of troubleincluding recently No Secrets Remain. Her books have appeared on finalist lists for the Agatha and Thriller awards—and once, on a major national bestsellers list smack in between two of her writing heroes. An award-winning journalist, LynDee has covered everything from ribbon cuttings and high school football to capital murder trials and high-level police corruption. She’s the national bestselling author of 19 novels in three series, as well as several novellas and short stories, so she’s usually writing when she’s not juggling laundry and children’s sports schedules. You can find her online at www.lyndeewalker.com, and connect with her on Facebook at lyndeewalkerbooks or Twitter @LynDeeWalker.


bruce robert coffinBruce Robert Coffin is an award-winning novelist and short story writer. A retired detective sergeant, Bruce is the author of the Detective Byron Mysteries, co-author of the Turner and Mosley Files with LynDee Walker, and author of the forthcoming Detective Justice Mysteries

Winner of Killer Nashville’s Silver Falchion Awards for Best Procedural, and Best Investigator, and the Maine Literary Award for Best Crime Fiction, Bruce was also a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel. His Anthony Award nominated short fiction has been published in a dozen anthologies, including Best American Mystery Stories, 2016.