Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Tony has literally worn all those hats during his life.
No stranger to government service, Tony served as a nuclear, biological, and chemical defense specialist with the Tennessee Army National Guard. He has visited some 30 countries, living in six -- Japan, Kuwait, Poland, the Marshall Islands, Macedonia, and England. Periodically Tony has worked with American intelligence overseas in both active and supporting roles. During his tenure in the Middle East, he cultivated sources among members of Hezbollah and actually attended a Spring 1997 fundraiser for the Taliban. He also served as the founding chairperson of the Overseas Security Advisory Council--Kuwait, a non-profit, State Department-sponsored consortium of representatives from the various segments of the American expatriate community, exchanging security information and working closely with the Regional Security Office at the U.S. Embassy in planning for civilian evacuations. He sailed aboard the USS Tortuga (LSD-46) from Norfolk, VA to the Horn of Africa during its 2002-2003 deployment in preparation for the War with Iraq. He stood the bridge of the American warship, serving as an unofficial Arab linguist, during the ship's transits through the Straits of Gibraltar, the Suez Canal, and the Bab al Mendab Straits off the coast of Yemen. As an international journalist, Tony's articles on the Taliban, Al-Qaida, and Saudi Arabia have been reprinted or reported on by organizations as varied as the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Spanish television.
As an undercover journalist, he has conducted covert drug buys while wired, in support of local law enforcement. Once, while assisting his local sheriff's department in obtaining probable cause for the DEA to raid a suspected methamphetamine lab, he lay in the woods while, not ten feet away, armed drug dealers passed by him on their way to dump the toxic refuse of meth production. The next day, with probable cause in hand, the DEA conducted a successful raid. His series on drug trafficking in the region was instrumental in earning his newspaper a Public Service Award in 2000 from the Tennessee Press Association.
His eclectic tastes are demonstrated by the diverse magazines and publications that have printed his articles and stories: Insight on the News at the Washington Times, Accuracy in Media, Civil War Times Illustrated, Appalachian Heritage, The Christian Reader, Cats Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Buffalo Spree, The Medieval Chronicle,and Archaeology among many others. Frequently, he has collaborated with Charles C. Thompson II, a former producer at CBS' 60 Minutes and a founding producer of ABC's 20/20. Their work on Tennessee political and law enforcement corruption has been lauded across the nation.
The first three entries in his Arthurian-based historical mystery series from Tor/Forge, collected a total of 7 starred reviews from the national trade publications. Publisher's Weekly calls Tony, "one of the best in the medieval field today." There are now five books in the series; and in 2015, Hays started a new Jacobean mystery series.
Tony Hays's website
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