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Thrillerology. For more information about the background, ideas, and scope of this novel, please also see Thrillerology on this website and in an appendix to the novel.

The Novel

Valley of Seven Castles. As the subtitles indicate, it is a Luxembourg Thriller and also the world's first (explicitly designated) Progressive Thriller. However, first and foremost on every page, it is intended as a riveting suspense novel, an entertainment, and—like virtually all of the author's works—a passionate love story. The author, a Literature and Classics student as well as History writer, has often stated: "All of literature is the love story." In that, he includes all of our darkest and most violent tales of heroes and battles, as well as the sweetest and most gentle romances (although the two major tropes, casually referred to as 'sex and violence,' are most often intertwined as a natural ingredient in our evolutionary biology). this novel brings you fast-moving suspense, a love story, and progessive social ideas along with the bonus of a Luxembourg tour.

More Info: Thrillerology; Surprising Discovery. There is a wealth of fascinating background to this novel, which the author will deliver in his Thrillerology (some of which is included in the novel's text as an appendix). It is eye-opening and informative, spanning a century of thriller history. Besides being a deliberate and savory tour of Luxembourg, the novel embodies an archetypal story whose modern genesis can be found in English author John Buchan's 1915 classic The Thirty-Nine Steps. It's well-known that Alfred Hitchcock adapted the novel for his 1935 film The 39 Steps. What author John T. Cullen discovered, to his amazement, is that Alfred Hitchcock used that same plot structure again, years later, to create one of film history's most iconic and famous movies. We'll discuss that on this website.

The Author

A Progressive Thriller Writer. John T. Cullen (birth name: Jean-Thomas Cullen) of mixed U.S.-Luxemburgish parents, has lived about half his life in Europe (some years as a child in Luxembourg, some years later as a U.S. Army soldier serving in West Germany). He is multi-lingual and considers himself a citizen of the world. He was born 1949 in N¨rnberg, West Germany as a U.S. citizen, son of a U.S. Army NCO and a Luxemburgish expat mother. After childhood years primarily in Luxembourg, but also West Germany and France, he moved to New Haven, Connecticut in 1960 upon his father's retirement from the U.S. Army. He attended schools there, completing Liberal Arts at the University of Connecticut. He moved to San Diego in 1974, joined the U.S. Army, and served for five years with NATO forces in Kaiserslautern; there, he wrote novels and poetry, traveled extensively, worked hard, and upon an honorable discharge returned to San Diego. Back in San Diego, he has married; helped raise a family; and worked in the computer systems and aerospace industries as a technical writer-editor for many years. He retired in 2000 at age 50 to devote himself full-time to writing and publishing. He continues his travels, writing, and passion for progressive causes.

Professional Author Over Fifty Years. Mr. Cullen wrote his first poetry in Luxembourg as a child, and continued writing poetry until his late twenties. He began publishing poetry at age 18. By age 19, he had completed his first novel, which he is finally publishing this year (2017); more on that elsewhere. He has written over forty books, mostly fiction (SF, suspense, fantasy, historical) plus nonfiction (primarily history; some science). Learn more about his work at his personal website ( and linked, related sites. He holds three college degrees, including a B.A. in Liberal Arts (University of Connecticut), an M.S. in Business Administration (Boston University, earned while serving honorably in Europe as a U.S. Army soldier), and a B.B.A. in Computer Information Systems and Accounting (National University, San Diego). He has translated Goethe's Faust from German into English (due out 2018), and written a nonfiction book about ancient Rome (first authorized edition due 2018).


Sources. "The beautiful sketches accompanying the Thrillerology I purchased at Fotolia. They are by an artist whose pseudonym is given as kuco. I typically design all my own artwork (covers and interior), most often collaged after purchase from stock sources like Fotolia. Here I was also able to incorporate some public domain U.S. Government-sourced work, including maps (CIA World Book)."


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Clocktower Books

Clocktower Books has been a recognized publisher by International Thriller Writers (ITW) since 2009.

John T. Cullen has been an Active Member of ITW since 2009.

Unique Clocktower Books ISBN Prefix. We've been Internet publishing pioneers since 1996, when we launched our first websites online. You can read all about our history at the Clocktower Books Museum. Since 2000, we've held our own unique Four-Digit Publisher Code/International Standard Book Number (ISBN) Prefix 0-7433 or 978-0-7433. See: Wikipedia List.