A Woodinville man, who’s had careers in teaching and in the Army, has combined his interests in security, writing and making history come alive to write a fiction book, “Supreme Truth.”
“I made the big switch from army regulation writing to teaching writing to the middle school kids to this,” said W. Mace Brady, the author.
Brady taught language arts, social studies and computers on Mercer Island. He spent 30 years in the U.S. Army Reserve, including stints teaching a security management course, commanding a chemical battalion and serving as Washington state’s emergency preparedness liaison officer.
In the Army, he learned about homeland security and trained to respond to terrorist attacks. But as a teacher, he was dissatisfied with the “caricature approach” to teaching history.
“I hated the history that I got out of textbooks, where it’s just a bunch of stuff,” Brady said. “To me, having a story makes it more interesting.”
“Supreme Truth” tells a story based on the real events of a terrorist attack in Japan in 1994, in which members of the cult Aum Shinrikyo released deadly sarin gas in the city of Matsumoto, killing eight people and harming more than 200.
To bring that history to life, Brady explained, “I created characters who could have been in a position, who might have been able to find out” about the attacks.
The protagonist, Captain Kelly Byrnes, is an intelligence officer stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.
“She represented the stereotypical woman in the Army at that time, who I admired,” Brady said. “They had to work harder than a man and prove themselves so they could be treated equally.”
Byrnes learns about the chemical attack in Matsumoto and begins investigating, trying to prove a man’s innocence, even though she risks getting in trouble with her boss for meddling in local affairs.
“As she delved into certain things, she started putting the pieces together to figure out what was going on,” said Brady, reluctant to give away the book’s ending.
She gets help from a character who might sound familiar — an Army Reservist from Seattle, who Brady based on himself.
“I’m also hoping to build a respect for Reservists,” he said. “The Reserves are your support services, who have the knowledge and training.”
It took Brady six years to write “Supreme Truth,” including two years of research, and he said the book he finished isn’t the one he intended to write. He began writing about a better-known terrorist attack, in which the same group released sarin gas in the Tokyo subway in 1995. He’s now 12 chapters into a sequel about that event.
He self-published “Supreme Truth” through Amazon’s CreateSpace, but said he’s reluctant to do “shameless advertising” to promote the book. However, he held a book signing at Starbucks last month, where he’s a “regular” and often worked on writing the book.
“I had zero expectations, and I was blown away,” he said. “I sold 27 books in an hour and a half.”