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I was born to Alexander and Josephine Drinkwater in Providence, Rhode Island in 1945. After my father (who was a somewhat successful writer of fiction among other things) died in 1954, I was raised by my mother, a bookkeeper for one of the major jewelry firms in Providence. Although the last name is English, my heritage is Italian as “Drinkwater” is a translation of the original family name “Bevilacqua,” a change which took place in the early part of the 20th Century.
I attended the University of Rhode Island for one year and then dropped out to join the U.S. Army in 1966. Three and one-half years in the Army included one year in Vietnam and one year in Europe in various Army Intelligence assignments. In 1969, I was discharged and, after taking a couple of courses in night school, entered Rhode Island College in 1970, graduating with a BA degree in 1973 (Political Science major).
In 1974, I got married, took a job with the Defense Intelligence Agency and moved to the Washington, D.C. area. The marriage lasted five years while the job with DIA lasted fourteen. During this time I obtained an MA from Georgetown University (International Relations). Assignments in DIA were primarily analytical in nature, with the Soviet space program being my prime area of interest. My desire to write fiction manifested itself around 1979 and, in 1981, I began my first novel, entitled “The Ghosts of Hanoi.” This dealt with the aftermath of the Vietnam War and the question whether prisoners of war were still being held in Southeast Asia (and can be purchased as an ebook right here on Smashwords).
In 1988, I switched jobs, becoming a weapons system threat analyst for Air Force Systems Command. In 1991, AFSC merged with AF Logistics Command and my job transferred to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio where I lived for ten years. During this time, I started my second novel, “Duly Constituted Authority," concerning a revolt of the Joint Chiefs of Staff against a White House bent on radicalizing the military. In 2001, I retired from government service and took a job as a counterterrorism analyst with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and relocated to the United Kingdom where I lived for almost eight years. The work was extremely interesting, although security considerations prevent me from talking (or writing) about it. There I met my second wife, Cathy, and we have now been married for over three years - MUCH better than my first marriage! We live in northern Rhode Island with her teenage daughter and two cats.
In addition to the two novels, I have started a third which is science fiction. I have also written a dozen or so short stories. My longer fiction can be categorized more or less as “military/espionage thrillers” while most of my short stories are science fiction or horror. I have published short fiction in an online magazine, Anotherealm.com, and another short story was published in Gate-Way Science Fiction Magazine.
Alex Drinkwater, Jr.