WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Page 171 of 211

New York Times Best Seller list last summer. The reason he was a bit bleary-eyed was that he had just spent three straight eighteen-hour days rewriting his next Andreas novel, due out in June. Dewey's fictional world is grounded in his creator's real-world experience. After serving as an intern in the Reagan White House, Coes wrote speeches for James D. Watkins, secretary of energy under President George H. W. Bush, and later for mega-financier T. Boone Pickens. He honed his political skills mobilizing Maine Republicans, working on for- mer California Governor Pete Wilson's short-lived bid for the presidency (Coes felt like the winner, however, in meeting his future wife Shannon during the cam- paign), and managing Mitt Romney's successful 2002 campaign for governor. In fall 2003, Coes was a fellow at the Harvard University Institute of Poli - tics. In between running campaigns, he worked as a financier. He remains a partner of The Mustang Group, a pri- vate equity firm he cofounded. Despite several successful careers by the time he turned 40, Coes felt his personal narrative had yet to get on track. "I had always told myself, 'I'm going to be a writer, I'm going to be a writer.'" In the early 1990s, he wrote a novel that he described as "a lot closer to J.D. Salinger than Tom Clancy." It was about a boy at a boarding school – Coes, a Connecticut native, had attended Groton in Massachusetts. When an agent turned down the book, Coes took it "extremely personally, like a sign I shouldn't be a writer." More than a decade later, on New Year's Day 2007, he turned to his wife and asked whether he should again take the literary plunge. "Do it," she said. "You're never going to know until you try." Simple advice, but it got Coes moving. "I think would-be writers and would-be whatevers don't pursue their dreams because they think, 'I can't do that; I'm not good enough,'" he says. That morning he sat down to write with the image in his head of an aggrieved special forces veteran working on a remote offshore oil plat- form. When he got up he had finished most of the first chapter of Power Down (2010). And thus Dewey Andreas was born. Like Jack Bauer of the series "24" (yes, Coes was a fan), Dewey is brawny, resource- ful, obstinate, and deeply anguished. He'd been a Delta commando, the elite of the elite in the military, when he was drummed out of the service after being falsely accused of killing his wife. In fact, his wife had com- mitted suicide, depressed over their son's death from leukemia. While he was quickly acquitted by a civilian jury, Dewey felt abandoned by the military and remorseful that he hadn't done more to console his wife. "I wanted a guy who's flawed," Coes explains. "I think that's why so many people like him. He's not this perfect superman." Nor is he the stereotypical Captain America. "To me a true patriot is not the guy who waves the flag the most or talks the loudest. The real patriot is the guy who has every reason to hate his country, but is willing to risk his life to save it." Among his ancestors, Coes counts Revolutionary War hero Israel Putnam, to whom some sources attribute the quote, "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes." On the other side of his family are Viennese Jews who moved to America to flee the Nazis. More immediately, Coes's godfather was a Navy Seal in the Vietnam War. His stories helped Coes fill in Dewey's background and even sup- plied the basis for the climactic rescue scene in Coup d'Etat (2011), the second book in the series. 170 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 4 books "several successful careers" C O U R T E S Y O F S T . M A R T I N ' S P R E S S 168-174_WWMa14_books_coes_v2_WellesleyWeston Magazine 2/2/14 1:20 PM Page 170

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