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Dan Speers

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Press, Publicity and News Stories
Local Author Predicted Exploding Panties
Published @ MyFox Community, Channel 25 Boston
    If Homeland Security and Secretary Janet Napolitano had read a local author's novel about terrorism and spies last February, they would have known all about using panty bombs to blow up airplanes—and they could have taken steps to uncover the explosive underwear.

   She and FBI Director Robert Mueller would have told President Barack Obama long before Tuesday's security update exactly how to construct the weapon using a liquid igniter, a flammable detonator, and plastic explosive, and more importantly, how to conceal these in a pair of lethal undies.

   It's only a few pages into Chapter 4 of “Master Spies Die Laughing,” published in February of last year, that author Dan Speers not only describes the exploding panties but how a group of passengers help thwart the sabotage. That excerpt has been posted at

   Although the flight in the novel originated from Newark and the terrorist bomb was defused by an on-board U.S. Marshal, there are striking similarities between the fictional story and the Christmas Day attempt by Umar Farouk AbduMutallab to destroy the aircraft. Just as in the actual story, the fictional device failed to fully detonate and set off a fire.

   However, the fictional bomb was smuggled on board by a woman and the resulting fire produced a small explosion that blew the stuffings out one of the rear restrooms.

   Based on events that we now know took place during the last one hundred days of the Bush administration, “Master Spies Dies Laughing” is a send-up of an embattled President, duplicitous agents, clueless spy agencies, half-baked terrorist plots and befuddled bureaucrats desperate to start a war with Iran that they think will save their reputations and put their guy in the White House instead of Obama.

   Although Speers is gaining a reputation for being able to predict the future, or least writing fiction that turns into reality, he says that what he writes is more a matter of inevitability than prophecy.

   In Master Spies, for example, Speers wrote a fictional account of an imaginary conversation in the White House about creating some sort of incident that would trigger a war with Iran. Within months after publication, there were reports that such a conversation actually took in the office of the Vice President, Dick Cheney.

   While this may sound obvious in light of recent revelations about various internal operations of the secretive Bush-Cheney administration, Speers' prophetic account of how Chinese hackers infiltrated the United States computer network anticipated the actual revelations by more than a year.

   Speers also foretells the advent of full-body scanners, sniffers, a new generation of puffers that is just now coming on the market, a still secret method of reading private mail without even opening the envelops, a still undisclosed method of tapping telephone calls, and numerous other espionage technologies. He's even posted a picture of a woman undergoing a full body scan on his website,

   Call it chance, but the chain of bizarre coincidences do not end with Speers' foresight on matters of national security. In March of last year, in partnership with Publishers Weekly and Penguin Group West named Speers' forthcoming novel, “Boxes Lie Waiting,” as a “Breakthrough Novel of the Year.”

   The mystery novel opens with the discovery of a body in the woods at an actual castle in his New England hometown of Haverhill. Winnekenni Castle is a Medieval-like stone structure crowning a glacial-era hill that overlooks the Merrimack Valley. On the very day of this announcement that was occasioned by a story in his local newspaper, The Haverhill Gazette, a body actually was discovered in the castle woods.

   Spooky? Perhaps, says Speers, “but I've come to expect it. It's like a curse I can't even escape at the end of the year.” Speers says he got a notice from his publisher on December 30 that told him that chance had struck again.

   Although the print edition of Speers' latest book, "Tiger Woods: Ten Ways to Play the Lie," is not due out for another two weeks, his publisher had already released the electronic version, with the Kindle version going live on on December 30. The significance. That was Tiger Woods 34th birthday.

   “I swear it wasn't planned that way,” Speers said. “I had no idea exactly what the pub date was but it never occurred to me that it would be on Tiger Wood's birthday. It's all about his peccadilloes. Can you imagine what kind of a birthday present that had to have been?”

   Speers claims no special prognosticative abilities other than what he jokingly refers to as his bank account. Others are not so sure, including his wife, Carol. She is currently lobbying him to write a novel about how she wins the lottery.



People, Places and Things:

Author Speers to read at Buttonwoods


  Author Dan Speers will talk about and read from his latest novel, "Boxes Lie Waiting," as the Buttonwoods Museum and Haverhill Historical Society kick off a lecture series, Book Talks at the Buttonwoods.

  Both of Speers' books will be on sale at the event. There is a $5 admission fee ($3 for seniors) to benefit educational programs at the museum. Light refreshments will be served.

  The Buttonwoods Museum is at 240 Water St. Call 978-374-4626 for additional information.



Dan Speers named Artist of the Month


HAVERHILL — Poet and writer Daniel Speers is May's Artist of the Month.

  Speers is a former journalist, columnist and author of computer program and application textbooks and novels. His novel, "Boxes Lie Waiting," was recently named a quarterfinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest this year. He recently published a new novel, "Master Spies Die Laughing."

  He is also known for his poetry and won the 2005 Tom Howard/John J. Reid Poetry Contest in 2005. His first book-length collection of poetry is scheduled for publication later this month.

Speers has donated a framed copy of his poem "A Hot Summer Night in Haverhill" to the city. It is on display in the mayor's office.

  "This is the first time we have chosen a writer as the artist of the month, but I recognize that creative gifts express themselves not only in the visual arts but also in the literary arts," Mayor James Fiorentini said.


Local writers to gather in Haverhill


Julianne Webster
Staff Writer

HAVERHILL — Visitors will have a chance to meet their favorite local authors face to face at the Local Authors Gathering this weekend at the Haverhill Public Library.

Coordinated by Coralie Hughes Jensen and Chris Obert of Pear Tree Publishing of Bradford, the event will feature writers and their works in genres ranging from poetry to science fiction, and novels to memoirs.

"The gathering is a great place for authors to get to know the public and for them to get to know each other," Obert said.

The goal of the event is to allow the public to meet or become better acquainted with the local writing talent in their community. The authors will also be signing and selling their books to the public.

A similar event was held in December of 2006, Obert said, and the authors had such a great experience they wanted to do it again.

More than 30 authors are scheduled to attend, including Chris Obert, Nancy Obert, Coralie Hughes Jensen, Peter Clenott, John Katsaros, Dan Speers, Mary Marshall, Lucinda Marcoux, William Bond, Marylin Lytle Barr, Nikki Andrews, Michaeline Della Fera, Robert C. Reichert, Julie MacShane, Charles W. Turner, Dan Gagnon, Dave Shaw, Ed Marshall, Patricia Grasso, Anna Soria, Jacqui DeLorenzo, Lenny Cavallaro, Jeanine Malarsky, Elena Dorothy Bowman, Annette Blair, Stephan Anstery, Justin Locke, Lyn Brakeman, Janet Ruth Young, Anne Ipsen, Paul Stone, Hannah Howell, Scott Goudsward, Tracy Carbone, Dave Simms, Judy Seidl, Pat Blodgett, Anita Morales-Swiderski and Julie Gacioch.


River boardwalk opening delayed Artists discuss exhibits on walkway


By Mike LaBella


HAVERHILL — City officials planned to have the new downtown river boardwalk open in time for Sunday's Italian Festival. However, a delay in the arrival of railings resulted in having to postpone yesterday's planned opening of the walkway behind The Tap.

  Andrew Herlihy, Mayor James Fiorentini's chief of staff, said the good news is that the municipal parking lot next to the new 300-foot-long wooden walkway is now open and offers 76 spaces. The bocce ball court in that will be available for the festival's tournament on Sunday as well.

  "They are installing the railings now, along with some other punch list items. Then we can open the boardwalk by mid-October," Herlihy said. "Highway Department workers and crews from the Sheriff's Department repainted the two gazebos and cleaned the area. You won't be able to walk on the boardwalk, but parking is allowed."

  While workers put the finishing touches on the boardwalk, members of the Haverhill Cultural Council said residents with ideas for using the boardwalk as a venue for art and music events can apply for a grant to help put their plans into motion.

  Last year, the cultural council awarded 17 grants to local artists, organizations, and individuals with ideas for enhancing Haverhill's creative economy.

Those grants included $3,000 in seed money for the Soles of Haverhill Shoe-la-Bration, $567 for a Tuesday night outdoor summer movie series in Columbus Park, $750 for last Sunday's Tattersall Farm Day, and $3,000 for Winnekenni Castle's music series.

  "You could apply for a buskers festival, an outdoor play on the boardwalk or to create an outdoor sculpture for the boardwalk, where an artist like Dale Rogers would work with students at a school to create the sculpture," cultural council member Leota Sarrette said of Rogers, the local sculptor who is known for his metal sculptures of large dogs.

Cultural council member Dan Speers has even more lofty visions for drawing residents and tourists to the boardwalk.

  "In Prague, there is a bridge that crosses the Danube (River) that is blocked off to traffic for several days to hold an arts festival," Speers said. "Artists paint portraits, poets recite poetry and there is music and crafts and theater. My idea for the boardwalk is to have music in the evenings, and a barge that would spray water and have laser lights timed to the music. This is just one of the things we can do on the boardwalk."

  The boardwalk is one of several parts of Fiorentini's plans for using the river to revitalize downtown. The long-term plan is to create a walkway along the entire downtown side that would be connected to each bridge and to a walking/biking trail on the Bradford side of the river.