The “Next Big One” has always referred to the anticipated BIG earthquake in California. Here we’re talking about a novel way for authors to share themselves and their later writings with you. My writer friend and ex-law enforcement officer Thonie Hevron, who always tells it like it is, tagged me for The Next Big Thing blog chain. I read and enjoyed Thonie’s first novel, By Force or Fear. It’s action-packed, authentic, and the characters ring true. You can find her at http://thoniehevron.wordpress.com. Thonie and I are co-chairing the next Redwood Writers’ conference in April 2014. (For us, it’s a “next big thing,” too!) She writes and publishes short stories when she isn’t working on her new novel or taking care of Redwood Writer business.
A BLOG INTERVIEW OF SANDY BAKER
What is the working title of your new book? So far, my working title is Tehran Revenge. Is it the CIA operative’s revenge against Tehran or just the reverse?
Where did the idea come from for the book? Last year with Tom Reed, I co-wrote The Tehran Triangle, an international thriller with a nuclear countdown component that challenges our kick-butt female CIA agent right up to the last moment. Readers have been clamoring to find out what happens with Elizabeth Mallory. I decided to work on the sequel–with Reed’s blessing. The Tehran Triangle posed questions. Perhaps Tehran Revenge will tie up some loose ends. Think: What if?
What genre does your book fall under? Tehran Revenge is a work of fiction peppered with facts and a lot of speculation. It might be called an intrigue, an espionage novel, or again, an international thriller. It’s very current.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? This is such a great question, because I really did, in fact, think of certain actors as I was writing, though the characters themselves are pure fabrication. And of course in Tehran Revenge, many of them are holdovers from The Tehran Triangle. CIA agent Elizabeth Mallory could be played by a blonde Angelia Jolie whom I’ve seen be sweet, romantic, kind, threatening, and tough. Perfect! Or, Jessica Chastain could do it in a minute! The ol’ New Mexico cowboy Justin “Bum” Bradley (and Mallory’s love) could be played by Kevin Costner–the age difference is right (with a touch more gray), and he looks real good wearing boots and hat on a horse. The evil Iranian Col. Gharabaghi is no longer with us in Tehran Revenge, but he could well have been played by Marshall Manesh. And for CIA agent Miguel Acuña, who will have a much larger role in the sequel, I want either Javier Bardem or Benicio del Toro for that part. Think: mean, smart, tough, romantic, crafty, and elegant. Whoo, whoo.
What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book? CIA agents Elizabeth Mallory and Miguel Acuña team up to foil cyber terrorists from Iran.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I plan to self-publish through my indie publishing company Black Garnet Press.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Good question! I wrote the first half during November in NaNoWriMo. It’ll probably take me another 6-8 months to finish up with possible publication in early 2014.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Many readers have said that The Tehran Triangle reminded them of Tom Clancy’s books because ours was similarly historically and technically detailed. Tehran Revenge will not be as detailed, so perhaps it’ll be more like books by Daniel Silva or Robert Ludlum.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Tehran Revenge takes place in today’s world, in Langley VA and Tehran, Iran. Cyber terrorism is here with us as the next challenge in the real world of international political chess. Do sparks fly? Yeah, but which way? We worry if our security people can detect a cyber attack, can they thwart it? Multilingual Mallory is 40 and still on top of her game at the CIA as she teams up with her savior from The Tehran Triangle to foil the cyber plot they inadvertently discover. Think: What if?
In case you’re not into real-time political thrillers, you could always switch to my kid gardening books:
Both are 32-page, 8×10″ hardbound picture books for kids about 5-9 years old. Not teachy-preachy, but kid gardening books with a plot. On Amazon.com and my website.
And the Blog Chain marches on! Arletta Dawdy was always an avid reader growing up but an exceptionally reluctant writer. My how that has changed over the years! She writes from Northern California, but her heart is in the 19th century American West. When immersed in the stories of strong, independent women, she has been known to get lost in their adventures. Arletta’s past social work with girls’ street gangs in San Francisco provides the material for multi-layered characters. Her extensive travels in the Southwest add authenticity to the settings. HUACHUCA WOMAN and BY GRACE are the first two books in the loosely connected Huachuca Trilogy. She is currently at work on ROSE OF SHARON. Catch up with Arletta on her website and blog at www.arlettadawdy.com.