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Avid reader of Florida novelists publishes 'The Conch Killers'

July 14, 2010

Chip Giles enjoys reading. Always has, and probably always will.

In fact, like so many so-called "bookworms," he would often amuse himself by diving headfirst into a good book, soon developing an affinity for novels written by Florida-based authors or stories whose plots are focused in and around the Sunshine State.

"I started reading books by Florida authors. Those that I most enjoy include Carl Hiaasen, Tim Dorsey, John D. MacDonald, Lawrence Shames, Elmore Leonard, James W. Hall and Randy Wayne White," he said. "I knew almost immediately where my writing interests were."

Then, about six years ago, Giles said to himself, "I think I could write a book myself... perhaps even better than what I had already read."

With the love and support of his wife, Kelly, Giles began going to his local library, jotting down character and story ideas, plot twists and other ideas which interested him. He had previously written articles that were published in Outdoor Adventures, Georgia Outdoor News and Latitudes & Attitudes magazines. However, he had never attempted to write a book before.

"I just kept banging away at it," he said, noting that the writing process itself was completed in about a year. "All of a sudden, I had this story."

The results of his self-described "gonzo" style of writing is "the Conch Killers," published in February 2010.

According to Giles' website, "The Conch Killers" is described as "An uproarious romp through the Florida Keys and Bahamas. Heroes, villains and government agents all converge in this laugh-out-loud rollercoaster of a ride through the fabulous Florida Keys!"

Since the book debuted this past winter, it has been positively reviewed and remains one of the top-selling debut novels of any Florida author. As of last week, it was the number-one local book being sold at a major bookseller in Vero Beach, Fla. and is doing very well in other areas of the state, including Key West, Panama City and Tampa.

"It's still selling really well," Giles said in a phone interview. "It's also doing very well on Amazon. I'm quite pleased with it."

On Friday, July 16, Giles will appear at the Sanibel Island Bookshop (1571 Periwinkle Way) to conduct a book-signing from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sanibel is the eighth stop on Giles current 10-city book tour to promote "The Conch Killers."

"My wife and I have stayed on Captiva once before," he recalled. "Since I had read all of Randy Wayne White's books, I almost felt like I had been there before, because he described the island so well."

Giles also mentioned that he is working on his second novel, entitled "The Conch Crusaders," although a publication date has yet to be released.

"It has a lot of the same characters, but with a different cast of bad guys and a new set of circumstances," he added.

For more information about the author, visit

Article Photos

Chip Giles began writing his debut novel, 'The Conch Killers,' about six years ago. It was published in February 2010 and is currently one of the most popular Sunshine State-based books.

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Synopsis of 'The Conch Killers'

The story begins with an intriguing situation in Virginia. Elizabeth Forbish, the daughter of wealthy oil tycoon Bradford Wallington Forbish IV, is on a stroll with her boyfriend and bodyguard, Johnny. Suddenly, the couple is ambushed. Johnny is shot and seriously injured. Elizabeth is kidnapped.

As Johnny is recovering, he reveals he was a former special operations soldier and has ties to a secret government agent known as “Murph.” The kidnappers have released their ransom demands and it requires a swap of a CD for the girl in Key West. The kidnappers turn out to be former IRA supporters who are trying to resurrect terrorism in Europe.

Murph uses his connections to bring other former special ops personnel in the Keys -- Tad and Ramon – into the situation. The former army buddies run the fledgling Conch Island Yacht Service in Key Largo, Fla. The enchanting duo agrees to help Murph, but things don’t go exactly as planned.

Larger-than-life characters emerge as the plot thickens and the situation continues to heat up in the Keys. With Elizabeth still nowhere to be found and much at stake, the characters find that no good deed goes unpunished.



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