Local Valrico resident and author Ricky Keck just released his seventh book, The Gastwick Witch, which is the second book in his The Orion Chronicles.

Ricky Keck of Valrico was born and raised in Southern California, but when his family moved to Memphis, Tennessee, he enlisted in the Navy after graduating high school.

“After two wars, Vietnam and Desert Shield/Storm, I retired, settled in Florida and started my second career,” Keck said. “My world travels and dangerous but interesting profession of a Navy diver, parachutist and bomb disposal technician afforded me myriad possibilities for novels.”

Keck’s first attempt was a semi-autobiographical military thriller called Critical Response.

“It focused on a global emergency response team comprised of civilian specialty experts and ex-military,” Keck said. “This GREEN Team (Global Response to Emergency Environmental Need) travels to potential environmental disasters to mitigate any adverse effects. The completed novel was self-published in 2005.”

Bound by Honor, Keck’s second GREEN Team novel, follows the team to Brazil and Colombia, where they run afoul of a powerful drug lord.

“In 2010, I began writing an epic fantasy about a young, disaffected Viking boy who discovers and wakes an ancient magical relic,” Keck said. “A missing piece of Yggdrasil, the fabled Norse tree of life, has fallen to Earth and must be returned to the Rainbow Bridge. The protagonist, Torval, is burdened with this task. Splinter of Asgard is the first installment. The Wolf Queen and Days of Blood and Magic complete the trilogy.”

Keck’s current release is The Gastwick Witch, the second book in his The Orion Chronicles.

“Captain Matheson and crew are in a race to save the multiverse and its numerous timelines before Moira, an 18th-century Irish witch, can destroy everything,” Keck said. “I not only write these stories but narrate them as well. I am a narrator with ACX Amazon’s audiobook platform. I have seven titles available on Audible, iTunes and Amazon. Three of my own and four for two other authors. It’s laborious but a blast.”

Keck’s latest endeavor is to complete the final installment of the GREEN Team story. Tentatively titled Absence of Mercy, it ties up loose ends and closes various character storylines.

“I hope to complete it sometime next year,” Keck said. “Writing is pleasure. Not that it isn’t difficult, it is, but creating interesting characters, giving them obstacles to surmount and weaving various subplots together to a satisfying conclusion is fulfilling.”

If you would like to learn more about Keck’s books or if you’d like to read his latest book, visit www.rlkeck.com.

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Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.