Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Author Interview: The Proxy Assassin by John Knoerle
Describe your book in five words or less.
Hal Schroeder comes of age.
How did the ideas for your books come to you?
Lots of historical research, followed by lots of martinis at Club Lucky, corner of Honore and Wabansia, Chicago, IL.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Sam Goldwyn said, “If you want to send a message, use Western Union.” But I would like readers to learn more about, and think more about, the early days of the Cold War. How our instinctual American mistrust of espionage hurt us and helped us in the long global struggle against World Communism.
What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?
William Faulkner wrote that “Writing is easy; all you have to do is sit down and open up a vein.”
The fun part is going through the finished manuscript and making a tweak or two as you, hopefully, enjoy what you’ve written.
What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?
I fear this is my last book. I have always been critical of artists and entertainers who stay too long at the fair and end up embarrassing themselves. “The Proxy Assassin” is my best effort. I don’t see how I could top it.
Why did you choose to write for specific genre?
The spy novel genre has it all! Hard-hitting action mixed with political intrigue mixed with moral dilemmas on a global scale. Can’t beat it for love or money.
What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?
I have what they call a ‘devoted cult following.’ I love them all and, thanks to social media, probably know them all! It’s a treat (usually) to get their feedback. I urge one and all to come drink the Kool-aid with us.
What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
I guess the question I have always anticipated is, “Why in the world, given that you’re not a best-selling author who is raking in the dough, would you take ten years of your life to write a trilogy?”
And my answer would be, “I had a crazy idea and had to see it through.”
What was your road to publications like?
I had a publisher who didn’t do sufficient promotion so I took on the job myself. My American Spy trilogy is self-published under the imprint Blue Steel Press.
About the Book:
October, 1948. Former OSS agent Hal Schroeder gets invited to Washington D.C. by Frank Wisner, who heads the CIA’s new covert ops division. Hal is whisked off to Wisner’s Maryland shore retreat and introduced to a brace of Romanian royals, including the scarily beautiful Princess Stela Varadja, a direct descendant of Vlad Tepes Draculea.
Then Frank Wisner pops the question. Would Hal consider parachuting into a remote mountain camp to meet with the leader of a group of Romanian anti-Communist guerillas?
“I had already survived two previous suicide missions and a third did not appeal. But I told Frank Wisner I would need a few days to think it over. I had some sightseeing to do.”
As it turns out Hal Schroeder gets to do a lot more sightseeing than he bargained for. A journey that brings the American Spy Trilogy to a surprising, and emotional, conclusion.
John Knoerle began his creative endeavors in the early 70s as a member of the DeLuxe Radio Theatre, a comedy troupe in Santa Barbara. He then moved to LA and did stand-up comedy, opening for the likes of Jay Leno and Robin Williams.
Knoerle wrote the screenplay Quiet Fire, which starred Karen Black, and the stage play The He-Man Woman Hater’s Club, an LA Time’s Critic’s Choice. He also worked as a staff writer for Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion.
Knoerle moved to Chicago in 1996 with his wife Judie. His first novel, “Crystal Meth Cowboys,” was optioned by Fox TV. His second novel, “The Violin Player,” won the Mayhaven Award for Fiction.
John Knoerle’s novel, A Pure Double Cross, was the first volume of a late 40s spy trilogy featuring former OSS agent Hal Schroeder. The second volume, A Despicable Profession, was published in 2010. Knoerle’s latest book, The Proxy Assassin, Book Three of the American Spy Trilogy, has just been released.
Visit his website