Spies Like Us

Bill writes:

I just read Lion of Babylon and enjoyed it, well-written, exciting and–authentic (I am an espionage buff). Your descriptions of Middle East politics and life was quite interesting, especially the US-Iraq War (I heard a talk several years ago by Saddam Hussein’s Air Force commander, a Christian, who now lives here. He wrote a book and described how the alleged WMD were secretly transported by air to a “hidden” burial site in Syria).

Your writing style, after many novels, is professional and polished. The concept in Lion of depicting a Christian Iraqi (Sameh) is quite original. All the espionage books I have read (Le Carre, Deighton, Silva et al), have been more downbeat, non-spiritual, and “bitter.”

Could you list your novels that are “espionage”-oriented? My county library may have more of them, or I can request them.

Dear Bill,

Thanks so much for your very kind note, which I read with great interest. To have an espionage buff find this sense of connection to my story, and also appreciate my efforts to maintain a positive outlook, is a real boon.

This is my first attempt to write a true espionage tale. The second in this series, entitled Rare Earth, was published July 1, 2012.

If you are at all interested in my other non-espionage suspense stories, I would suggest you have a look at All Through The Night, a mystery based in Florida, and Gold of Kings, an adventure-suspense that begins in Florida and travels all over the place.

Lorie writes:

When you write a novel, do you go and visit the actual places to get a feeling for the emotional atmosphere and location? It sure feels like you do! (I did that when I wrote my Austrian novels. Man, I would have been farther out than the moon if I had depended on only photos and maps, rather than a really good visit). I notice that all your Middle-Eastern novels have strong vibes of accurate geography, space, temperature, dirt, humidity, music, food, etc. You HAD to have been there! Way to go!

What are you working on now? Can’t get enough!

Dear Lorie,

Yes, I tend to ‘over-research’ the place and people before actually putting pen to paper. I worked in the Middle East and Africa for four years, back before I started writing. So it was great to finally come up with a story that used the treasure of these experiences. So glad you liked it. As for what comes next, the sequel to Lion is called Rare Earth, and was just published.  I hope you enjoy this story as well.

Kirsten writes:

I attended your workshop at the Space Coast Writers’ Guild convention in January and found it most instructive and stimulating. I also bought a copy of Lion of Babylon and have enjoyed reading it. Even though I never visited Iraq, your vivid evocation of Baghdad and the Iraqi people make me homesick for Libya, Jordan, and Egypt, where I spent most of my childhood and adolescence. Your “second act curtain,” which I feel is the Alliance church meeting, has true historical resonance because it’s so much like meetings of the early Christians, where Jew and Gentile, master and slave, rich and poor, men, women, and children, joined together as equals. I do hope the closing line of the story comes true and Marc will not be long in returning because I feel he’s going to be dreadfully homesick for his adopted Iraqi family.

Dear Kirsten,

I am so pleased to learn you found some benefit in the talks I gave, and even more to hear that an individual who has resided in the Middle East found a sense of truth and resonance in my story. I wish you every possible success in your own writing career.

Sonia writes:

Can you help me with one of your titles? What is the title of the book you talk about the stock market and how someone tries to manipulate Wall Street? In your preface you mention Soros’ participation in the collapse of the stock markets of Ecuador and Japan. Members of my family lost money in Soros wicked deal. 

Dear Sonia,

The title of that book was Drummer In The Dark. I have just released my first title dealing with the international financial system since that book, and this new story is entitled The Book of Dreams, and was released by Simon and Schuster last autumn.  If you have a chance to read it, I hope you enjoy it as well.

I am so sorry to learn of your family’s troubles under this crisis. I do so hope all is well now.

Follow up from Sonia:

I just finished reading Lion of Babylon. A great book. I am recommending it to everyone I know. It has a great message of presented masterfully. Thanks for opening my eyes more to what our soldiers go through and what happens/could happen in Iraq. Bless you.

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