The Trials Of Adrian Wheeler by Steve Shear.
Marine Private Adrian Wheeler, accused of murdering Iraqi women and children, arrived home to face nothing less than: An unrelenting father who cajoled him into enlisting, PTSD, sexual Inadequacy, a sensational court-martial trial, a sister with HIV. He returned from Baghdad and the Iraq war disabled and disillusioned an amputee with a bad knee. His brother, John Mike, didn’t return at all. Both participated in a reconnaissance mission seeking proof Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, WMDs, a mission that tragically failed, a mission in which innocent women and children died along with John Mike and other combatants.
As the sole survivor, Adrian carried the details of that trauma deep within his subconscious, and often drank himself unconscious in hopes of hiding from the visitors who came in his sleep; his domineering father, a retired Vietnam veteran, and Rachael, the girl he left behind. In his mental state and physical condition, he did everything he could to avoid her—and the couch they first made love on before he lost his arm. Just when he began taking control of his life, Adrian was charged with the murder of all those women and children. But did he, do it? Could it have been John Mike? Or possibly an insurgent?
Adrian’s only hope was to get beyond his trauma and recall the terrible secret buried deep within the cellar of his psyche. That required Rabinowitz (a psychotherapist specializing in PTSD) and Angelo Benedetti (a renowned court-martial defense lawyer) to help him remember—and to convince the court he was innocent—whether he was or not.
Message From The Author: “From the Author: When I started writing Adrian, the only thing I had in mind was a friend from my poetry critique group, a gentle soul with natural artistic creativity, who was ‘forced’ to join the Marines and fight in Vietnam for his country by his bombastic father. My friend had MS and other bad things after being exposed to Agent Orange. He died last year but not before he published several books of his poetry.
Actually, I had two other things in mind when I began thinking about Adrian. I had been against America invading Iraq and I blamed it on W, our president who made the decision to invade. I had just finished reading Vincent Bugliosi’s book The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, and I wondered how many soldiers regretted their decisions to join up in the first place, like my friend. I’m not talking about those soldiers who died in battle (that’s bad enough), but those young men and women who came back (and are continuing to come back) from Iraq and Afghanistan–only to discover a battlefield far more relentless, and infinitely more lonely. I am speaking about all those warriors who do battle every day in their mind’s eye, seeing, hearing, smelling, and feeling the loss of a limb, their own or a buddy’s–or who experience the last five minutes of their buddy’s life. There’s no special day just for them. There is no Veterans with PTSD day.
Its full name is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; at least that’s what we call it now. In the past it was battle fatigue and shell shock, but a rose by any other name is just as devastating I learned when I started the research on The Trials of Adrian Wheeler. When George W. Bush dropped his first bomb on Baghdad in March 2003, I was so upset I produced what I still consider my best work of art, a painting I entitled The Sisters of Baghdad which can be seen on my website, steveshear.net. Shortly thereafter I wrote a poem, The Bombing of Baghdad which appears at the beginning of Adrian. Around that time, I remember getting a haircut and ranting to my barber, Harold, about how terrible President Bush was. My barber was ultraconservative, although I didn’t know it at the time. His bald head (wouldn’t you know it) turned red, his eyes bulged and his lips quivered. My only thought at the time was to blurt out: “HAROLD, PUT DOWN THE SCISSORS!” Fortunately, I am still alive and Harold is still cutting hair, I assume.
By the time I finished writing Adrian and living in the skins of the characters, George Bush became a bit more than a footnote. The characters and the family dynamics took over, Adrian, Pa, Daisy, Esme, Rachael, Rabinowitz, Benedetti, and the others. Actually, characters like these along with what they do and say tend to get under your skin and go where you go whether it’s at the computer, on a long walk, brushing your teeth, or in my case playing Pickleball. That’s what happens during nineteen drafts and before you ever think about sending out your first query.”
Steve is happy to say that The Trials of Adrian Wheeler has been optioned as a movie by a production studio in Los Angeles, Filmed Imagination and Daniel Dreifuss (producer of the Academy Award nominated move, NO), and the screenplay has been completed. Steve is also a published playwright, having co-authored with his wife, Susan, The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal, interactive courtroom dramas published by ArtAge Publications. You can learn more about Steve and his other endeavors (as a painter, sculptor, poet, and retired intellectual property attorney) at www.steveshear.net.
Paperback: 438 Pages
Publisher: Catalina Sun Press; 1st Edition (January 1, 2014)
War & Military (Action Fiction)
War (Military Law)
Drama and Plays
Message From Author Steve Shear: My early paintings (1986 – 2013) can best be described as expressionistic and surreal portraiture/figure, often larger than life. Most are from live models and from my sculptures, but others come from my imagination. My objective was to elicit an emotional response through composition, color, shapes, and the application of paint, while at the same time retaining the correct anatomy, either realistically or through purposeful exaggeration. In the latter part of that earlier period, I pushed the envelope by combining abstraction with these real and surreal approaches to the figure in order to create a synergistic result. One example of combining these approaches is the Sisters of Baghdad.
Many of my ideas came from my drawings (virtually thousands of them) which were created out of my head on almost a daily basis. An example of this is The Chess Queen. In 2013 I put the paint brushes and sculpting tools aside and began writing fiction, first poetry then novels, screenplays, and stage plays. Six of my novels have been published and two of my stage plays. See below.
In 2020 I began painting again. This time I turned to color and shapes rather than portraiture and figure. My paint is applied in thick layers exaggerated even more so by multiple layers of glue serving as an underpinning. The glue not only adds thickness to the paint but also runs in ways which produces unique shapes that take on lives of their own. Several examples are shown on this website.
Two of my more recent paintings (immediately below) are truly larger than life depictions of a ‘Vase of many Colors’ and of the Greek mythological bad lady Medea. Each painting is 32×48 and relies heavily on multiple layers of glue to add ‘serious’ thickness to the paint.
In the past, my work was exhibited at a number of galleries in Boulder, Denver, Tucson, and here in Brentwood California. I spent five years painting under the watchful eyes of Jean Packard, a graduate of the Chicago Art Institute, two summers at the Charles Cecil Art Studio in Florence, Italy, and several years at the Boulder Art Academy in Boulder, Colorado. I also trained in sculpting under Valentin Okorokov, an accomplished Russian trained painter and sculptor.
The Trials of Adrian Wheeler was my first published novel (L&L Dreamspell, 2011). It was awarded runner-up in the San Francisco Book Festival 2015. I am happy to say that The Trials of Adrian Wheeler has been optioned as a movie by EVW Entertainment (producer of the movie Break the Stage), and the screenplay has been written by Erik Wolter and me. EVWE is now looking for partners to produce the movie.
The Wild Rose Press published The Fountain of Youth, my second published novel, in May of 2017. It has received exceptional reviews, some of which appear on Amazon and Goodreads. Also, the stage play has just been completed. The screenplay has also been written by Erik Wolter and me. EVWE is now looking for partners to produce the movie. The Click, my third novel, was published by The Wild Rose Press in September of 2019, again the screenplay has been written by Erik Wolter and me. EVWE is now looking for partners to produce the movie.
All three books of my trilogy, Confronting Religious Fanaticism – An Eye for an Eye, Black Hearts & Hungry Bears, and Ira Neebest and The First Coming have been published. In addition, my first book of poetry, Metaphorically Speaking was just published.
My wife, Susan, and I collaborated on The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal (published by ArtAge Publications), courtroom plays in which the audience serves as the jury. Both are being produced around the country.
I have been writing poetry for over fifteen years (some of which has been published) and am also a portrait and figure artist and sculptor, having been represented by a number of galleries in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. I am presently represented by the Delta Gallery in Brentwood, California and online by Vango Art. I spent two summers at the Charles Cecil Art Studio in Florence Italy and several years at the Boulder Art Academy.
I practiced patent, trademark, copyright and other forms of intellectual property law for over 40 years, and I was the executive director and founder of Silicon Valley Seminars. We conducted intellectual Property workshops throughout this country, Israel, Germany, and Canada since 1984.
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