Today I’m bring you an exclusive Q&A with Howard Kaplan author of The Spy’s Gamble, but first a little bit about the book:
Title: The Spy’s Gamble by Howard Kaplan
Date Published: 5th June 2018
When the Israeli Prime Minister boards a new stealth submarine in Norfolk, Virginia intending a celebratory ride and the sub vanishes, it sets in motion a suspenseful story that intertwines the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a story of what could be.
Shai Shaham—an Israeli intelligence officer—contacts old friend and adversary Ramzy Awwad—a former PLO intelligence officer and one of the great writers of his people—for help in locating the missing prime minister. But can they trust each other? Can their friendship withstand the turbulent political landscape?
Eli Bardin—an agent who is feeling the strain of being away from his wife and children for so long in the field—is also tasked to contact Ramzy for the help in finding the missing sub. It seems the Russian have great interest in the technology, and he must locate the prime minister…because losing him is a national calamity that threatens to upset a delicate political balance in the most terrifying ways.
Starkly depicting the excesses of both sides and moving through actual events, THE SPY’S GAMBLE relies on in-depth research to weave a thrilling tale of suspense of reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.
Now here’s my Q&A with Howard Kaplan:
1. Where did the inspiration for your book come from?
I like to travel first with a notepad and camera and go to the locations I’m thinking about writing about, in this case both Israel and the West Bank, into Palestinian refugee camps, towns and villages and through the underside and less seen parts of Jerusalem so I can create a novel around what I hope are interesting places.
2. If you could describe your book in one sentence what would it be?
The Israeli and Palestinian peoples hope and quest for peace.
3. What is a typical writing day like for you?
I’m a morning person and these days seem to fall asleep a bit too early with the television on. I grind some coffee beans and start with two strong cups, before too long in the summer heat it’s the remainder over ice. I work from about eight until noon, force myself to take an hour for lunch; if I go back to work too quickly then I get tired a bit sooner than I’d like. I work until about 3, take another break, ride my bike or such and then typically make a few notes for the following day. I sometimes use a trick I learned from Hemingway—to not finish a scene so I have a place to start the following morning.
4. If you could recommend just one book to read what would it be and why?
I’m in the thriller genre and it would be LeCarre’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and then the Alec Guinness miniseries of the novel. LeCarre is unsurpassed in both character, plot and themes. He’s a joy to read.
5. Who are your favourite authors?
There’s a lesser known American thriller writer Charles McCarry who is just great. I like Jennifer Egan, who wrote Visit From the Goon Squad, I read all her novels. I love the old greats: Eric Ambler and Graham Greene. I like smart intelligent suspense which is what I attempt. And what can be better in title and theme than The Heart of the Matter.
6. Tell me something interesting about yourself (that’s not in your author bio!)
I got married in my 40’s was worried I might not have children and ended up with a fabulous son and dedicated The Spy’s Gamble to him, with great pleasure.
7. What are you currently working on?
The Spy’s Gamble is part of a 3 book series, that are all stand alones. I think it’s best read first then one can go back and read the prequel set 30 years earlier, Bullets of Palestine, and the central book in terms of when it takes place, To Destroy Jerusalem is just about out.
About The Author:
HOWARD KAPLAN, a native of Los Angeles, has lived in Israel and traveled extensively through Lebanon, Syria and Egypt. At the age of 21, he was sent on a mission into the Soviet Union to smuggle a dissident’s manuscript on microfilm to London. His first trip was a success. On his second trip, he transferred a manuscript to the Dutch Ambassador inside his Moscow embassy. A week later, he was arrested in Khartiv in the Ukraine and interrogated for two days there and then two days in Moscow, before being expelled from the USSR. The KGB had picked him up for meeting dissidents and did not know about the manuscript transfers.
He holds a BA in Middle East History from UC Berkeley and an MA in Philosophy of Education from UCLA. He is the author of five novels.
DAMASCUS COVER is now a major motion picture starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Sir John Hurt and Olivia Thirlby.
Visit Howard’s website: http://www.howardkaplanauthor.com
Author Page on Facebook for photos of the DAMASCUS COVER film shoot and other updates: https://www.facebook.com/HowardKaplanauthorDamascusCover