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Wednesday 9 September 2015

ℚ♫ Coercion - Tim Tigner

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Coercion (, Thomas & Mercer, 320 pages) a Political / Espionage Thriller.

Coercion hit Kindle’s Top Ten over the Labor Day Weekend, and ranked #1 in the Political and Espionage Thriller categories.  When I asked Tim how that felt, he told me this fun story: “Thursday night while  my wife was reading The Girl On The Train next to me in bed, I opened my laptop to find that The Girl On The Train was next to Coercion on the Amazon rankings.  As she scorched over to look, the books also 'switched sides.' True story. Talk about life meets art!”.

Enjoy our full interview below!

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | About the Author | Tour Stops

Hello Tim, welcome to BooksChatter and thank you for taking the time to join us at short notice today.

What was the inspiration for Coercion?

"I worked in Soviet Counterintelligence during the Cold War, and then lived in Moscow throughout perestroika.  What an odd and humbling experience it was, to watch a superpower crumble.  It got me thinking about what one man could have done to prevent it, if he was prescient, and resourceful, and ruthless enough.  Coercion was the result."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"My hero and villain both reflect aspects of the person I strive to be, as well as areas of my expertise.

Alex and I are both ex-Special Forces.  We both have a single sibling, a brother, and Coercion begins with his death—something that would greatly impact me.  Alex begins investigating and runs into moral issues that compound his overwhelming desire to see justice done.  I find myself similarly driven, and like Alex have done some pretty radical things in the pursuit of justice.  (No room for that detail here; write me.)

Vasily Karpov and I are essentially both managers adept at finding creative means to succeed.  While his moral compass is crooked, to put it mildly, his heart is initially in the right place.  He sees his country headed for disaster, and decides to do whatever it takes to prevent it.  He draws on the KGB’s expertise at making devious devices, which actually draws on my many years working on the cutting edge of medical technology.  We also both ran businesses in Russia."
Uhm... I think we may have to prod you about those 'radical things' when you release your next book...

The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.   Can you tell us about your cover for Coercion - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.

"My publisher hired Chelsea Wirtz to create a cover that quickly captured the idea of the Soviet Union attacking the US.  We strove for an image that would work well on Amazon’s stamp-sized pictures, but the paperback turned out fantastic as well.  FYI, I’m attaching an alternative cover here, which is far more complicated and thus less suited for Amazon, but which I also loved.  I’d like to know which your readers prefer."
Personally, I like it very much.

Why should we read Coercion and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?

"Coercion is an alternative end to the Cold War that could have happened.   And with Putin now in charge over there, it still could.   I worked in Soviet Counterintelligence until the Berlin Wall fell, and then lived in Moscow throughout perestroika, running major international corporations’ operations in the Former Soviet Union.  This gave me a lot of experience and strategic insight to draw from.

In an earlier draft of Coercion, I quoted numerous New York Times headlines that paralleled events as they occurred in the novel, but the NYT wanted an astronomical fee to include the quotes in the book, so they were cut.  Coercion does, however, include a quote from a speech that Secretary of State James Baker made at NATO.  He was also kind enough to blurb the book:"
Tim Tigner is a masterful storyteller with a nose for intrigue and a careful eye for historical detail. Set in the aftermath of the collapse of the Iron Curtain, his latest book, “Coercion,” is a compelling tale of espionage and betrayal, one that will leave its readers wanting more.
Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze (seated, left) exchanges pens with US Secretary of State James Baker (seated, right) after they signed several treaties 01/06/1990 in a White House ceremony.  Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and President George Bush look on. (UPI Photo/Cliff Owen) on. (source
I have used that very quote for our spotlight feature :-)
I very much look forward to reading Coercion (which we will be reviewing on 29 September); although I am not generally into history and politics, I do enjoy a good espionage thriller, and of course I was a teenager during the years covered by Coercion and do remember those events quite well, in particular visiting East-Germany following the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Who would you recommend Coercion to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?

"I’d recommend Coercion to readers who enjoy Baldacci, Clancy, DeMille, Follett, Forsyth, Ludlum, Silva, Taylor, or Thor.  It’s a fast paced and sophisticated espionage thriller."
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I stick with political/espionage thrillers, and prefer those that are inventive, i.e. not another nuke going to New York.

The creation of my novels begins with the invention of a devious device, and the placement thereof in the ‘best’ possible hands.  The device and the person begin with honorable intentions, but then the forces of human nature kick in as circumstances propel increasingly radical action. (A process similar to what I expect happens to most career politicians.)"
What is your writing process?
"I’m a morning person, and begin with that first cup of coffee.  If my caffeinated neurons keep firing, I’ll write / rewrite / edit 12 hours a day, seven days a week.  I move around the house and yard, and also frequently work from a favorite local coffee shop.

I often draw energy from music while I write.  I seek songs with a melodic and lyrical combination that provides a vibrant tempo without creating distraction.  When I find one that works, I listen to it on a loop, through hundreds of iterations.  My latest novel was written to Sting’s Mad About You, and Taylor Swift’s Style."
I can completely relate to all of that, just read 'tea' instead of 'coffee'.

What is in store next?

"My 2016 thriller, Pushing Brilliance, launches a series character I’m very excited about.  He’s a cross between Lee Child’s Jack Reacher and Brad Taylor’s Pike Logan.  I’ve also written a character-background Novella called Chasing Ivan, which like Coercion is a Russian espionage thriller.  BooksChatter readers are welcome to download a FREE COPY at"
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"While I’m a writer now, I used to be a finance guy.  My roommate at Wharton also ended up in entertainment.  My wife (a Russian math professor believe it or not) and I just got back from the Hollywood première of his movie.  Eric and I ended up about as far as you can get from the vision we were painting for investment banks and consulting firms during campus interviews, but who ever said life was predictable?"

Indeed!  Thank you for sharing the image of that fantastic-looking couple with us ;-)

Coercion - available NOW!

UK: purchase from US: purchase from find on Goodreads purchase from Barnes & Noble


Unknown said...

Well that was fun, Flora. Thank you for the insightful questions, and for all the legwork you put into creating such an original multimedia post. Much appreciated! Tim

BooksChatter said...

Hi Tim, thank you! It was a real pleasure dealing with you :-) Till next time!

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for featuring Tim for the tour!