Thank you for this interview, Stefan. Can you tell us briefly what your latest book, Cry of Eagles, is all about?
A: Cry of Eagles is about a Mossad conspiracy to drag America into a war. Iran’s nuclear capability represents a clear national threat to Israel. Although concerned, the United States and Europe are reluctant to increase sanctions. Frustrated that nothing is being done, Mossad decides to force the United States into action. A black ops team sabotages a refinery complex in Galveston and plants evidence that incriminates Iran, confident that an enraged America will retaliate. Congress and the public urge the U.S. president to bomb Iran, but the administration lacks direct evidence. With carriers positioned in the Gulf ready to strike, the world waits to see if the Middle East will explode into open conflict. With tension mounting, the FBI uncovers a shocking truth. It wasn’t Iran at all, but Israel! A government falls and America forces Israel to confront the Palestinian problem.
Can you tell us who or what was the inspiration behind your book?
A: Well, having written seven science fiction books in my Shadow Gods Series, I decided to make a foray into contemporary fiction, hoping it might give me a better chance of getting with a traditional publisher. I’m still hoping. Having been interested in Middle Eastern politics, and world geopolitics in general, for some time, seeing what is happening in Israel and the misery inflicted on the Palestinians, I saw a story in it. Cry of Eagles touches a possible raw nerve, looking as it does at some of the history behind the Israeli/Palestinian problem, unwillingness by the American administration to broker a settlement, Mossad prepared to do anything to further Israeli interests, how FBI operates, makes for what seems a unique treatment of the topic. I hope it is also an entertaining yarn.
Is this your first published book and if so, can you tell us your experiences in finding a publisher for it?
A: Cry of Eagles is not my first book, having written seven science fiction works in the Shadow Gods series. My first successful book, although not perfect, was presentable and I tried for a long time to break into the traditional publishing market while holding down a demanding job in the IT industry, which kept me very busy. But writing has always been a passion and a drive, and I kept at it in my spare time. When ebook publishing took off, I at least got my books out to readers. I have been writing for more than ten years and am still learning, but I like to think that my latest works are something I am proud to share. These days, I am no longer in the IT industry and I spend my time writing, reviewing and being a hard-nosed editor.
Where do you live and if I were coming to town, where would we go to talk books?
A: I live in Melbourne, Australia, a nice leafy place close to downtown, which has a nice clean country feel to it. At least for now it has; the place is expanding like all suburbia. Talking about books? Well, there is an interesting open café at the local shopping mall where talk can be lubricated with a coffee while watching people go about their antics. Then again, we could always sit in my back yard sipping a good bourbon and chat about writing, publishing and other frustrations.
When you’re not writing, what do you do to relax and have fun?
A: When I get tired of thinking about my characters or what is coming up next in the plot, or when my eyes start burning from staring too long at the computer screen, I like to jog or take a long walk. A meandering creek runs not far from where I live, and the local council built nice walking paths. It’s a great place to get away from things and enjoy some fresh air. I love to read, almost anything, and I indulge when I don’t want to look at my stuff. Another diversion is doing book reviews and being an editor for my publisher, Solstice Publishing.
Do you make a living off your books or do you have another job?
A: I would be eating pretty thin slices of stale bread if I had to live off my writing. Maybe if one day a traditional publisher picks me up and I make a ton of money, I could live off my writing. I worked all my professional life in the IT industry, writing books along the way. I always wanted to write and is something that never gave me peace if I stopped. I don’t work anymore, having decided to pursue writing full-time. If the money runs out, I’ll probably have to revert to those thin slices.
Do you have any words of inspiration for other writers who would like to be wearing your shoes?
A: If there is one thing I learned over the years as a writer, if anyone is contemplating taking this on seriously, he should be prepared to spend many lonely hours with a pencil and paper, and sitting behind a computer screen. There will be disappointments, frustration, angst … and moments of sheer exhilaration and satisfaction when the words flow and the creative process produces something wonderful. Writing is a gift, but it can also be a curse. But once bitten with the urge to create, there is no cure.
What’s next for you?
A: Having finished a contemporary drama novel, due out next year, I decided to return to my Shadow Gods series and write one last book about Terrllss-rr, his loved one Teena and his battle against the Celi-Kran. At least I think it will be the last book. Fates can be funny that way. It’s a big universe I created and there is lots of room for more books. It has been a number of years since I finished the last novel in the series, but I never felt comfortable that things were complete. My current work should put a cap on it.
Thank you for this interview, Stefan. Do you have any final words?
A: Sharing with readers what I created is a buzz, and continually perfecting and mastering the craft of writing is a pleasure, which I hope is reflected in what I produce, giving my readers more enjoyment.