When Adam Fuller moved to Kitsap County in 2010, he knew he needed to get serious about his aspiring novel career or it was never going to happen.
Over a decade later, his hard work has come to fruition as his new Thomas Austin crime thriller series, based in Hansville and other areas of the county, has become a hit not only locally, but nationally.
“The response has far exceeded my expectations,” Fuller said, who goes under his pen name of D.D. Black for the series. “I expected there to be some local interest. I didn’t expect it to go semi-viral, which it has. I’m honestly thrilled that so many people are enjoying the stories and having fun with them. I’m setting fictional, horrific crimes in very real locations that we all know and love.”
So far, four books in the series have been published, many of which feature locations locals are familiar with — The Bones at Point No Point, The Shadows of Pike Place, The Fallen of Foulweather Bluff, and The Horror at Murden Cove. In total, Fuller said there will be at least nine books, with more coming later this year. All nine should be out by the beginning of 2024, and he may write more if he continues to receive positive feedback.
The series centers around Austin who was a New York police detective for 20 years before his wife is murdered. Austin decides to retire and moves across the country to run a cafe/store in Hansville, similar to the real-life Hansgrill. Soon after settling into his new life, the sheriff’s department approaches him to be a consultant about a case similar to Austin’s most famous case in New York City.
“I wanted to write something that was local and very much about the setting of my own life, although the books really have nothing to do with my own life,” Fuller said. “Each of the novels in the series works as a standalone book in that there’s one major crime or case that the investigators are pursuing.”
Fuller was born and raised in Northern California. He received his master’s degree at New York University and taught journalism there.
He met his wife Amanda, who is from Eglon, in Florida, and they lived on the East Coast for about 10 years. They then moved to Eglon in 2010 as Amanda wanted to be closer to family, and have since moved to Hansville.
Fuller said he gravitated toward crime fiction because he’s always been a fan of shows like Bosch, Law & Order, True Detective and The Wire. He also knew that kind of genre is popular and would have a better chance of reaching more readers.
“I’ve always been a fan of mysteries and thrillers and crime dramas on TV and in books,” he said. “I knew I wanted to do something that had a chance at commercial viability. I like complex stories that are pretty fast-paced and don’t have a lot of filler. You’re not going to get a three-paragraph description of a tree, you’re going to get a one-paragraph description of the entire scene. I like all sorts of writing styles but that’s what works for me.”
If any production company wants to make the Austin series into a TV show or movie, Fuller said he would definitely have interest in that. He said he wouldn’t be surprised if that happens, assuming the novels keep their current trajectory.
“I don’t have a good entryway into Hollywood myself, and often that’s what it takes, but if the books are successful enough people will find them,” he said. “Readers around the world kind of love small town, hyper-local mysteries. People who don’t live here love to learn about a new area and people who do live here would probably love to see their hometown on a screen.”
Aside from crime fiction, Fuller is working on an epic fantasy project, comparing it to Game of Thrones. He’s also working on a spinoff of the Austin series.
Fuller said his wife marketed the books and got them in local stores. She also helped Fuller with editing and added local flavor from her years in Kitsap. “She’s really a partner in this endeavor,” Fuller said.
The books are available at The Hansgrill in Hansville, Clever Gift Shop and Borrowed Kitchen Bakery & Books in Kingston, BookIt Nook in Poulsbo, along with Spooky’s Gifts and Ballast Book Company in Bremerton. They are also available on Amazon and ddblackauthor.com.