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Wednesday 18 November 2015

ℚ♫ Baksheesh (Bribes): Spies Lie [5] - DS Kane

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Baksheesh (Bribes) (, The Swiftshadow Group, 316 pages), a Techno Thriller, book five of the Spies Lie series.

**Grab your Kindle copy FREE from Amazon**

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to DS Kane; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter.

We love music.  Do you have a music playlist that you used in Baksheesh (Bribes), or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"This one is easy. I write to a soundtrack I’ve assembled, and it helps me visualize the scenes in my books. It’s heavy on blues."
Great selection - I have gone for live versions whenever possible, as I think it really suits this kind of music. BTW, I could not find a recording of Dave Van Ronk's version of 'That'll Never Happen No More', therefore I selected the original from Blind Blake.


What was the inspiration for Baksheesh (Bribes)?

"While watching a Presidential candidate’s debate, I wondered what the worst thing an evangelical could do if elected.  Then I asked myself, what could a mercenary army led by a group of hackers and spies do to thwart a world war if they suspected the candidate’s plans?"
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"A piece of me is in every character, whether protagonist or antagonist or anyone in between.  Every character has both a light and dark side.

The work I did as a covert field operative informs all of my fiction.  Spies lie, and so did I.  Remember the motto of the Mossad as you read my work: “Through deception, we wage war.”  All fiction is, in fact, lies.  The characters most like me are Jon Sommers and William Wing.

As for locations, I’ve visited almost all of the locations depicted in my fiction.  When I visited Tel Aviv, I told my wife Andrea that we had to spend a day for me to see scene locales I intended to place in my books.  Same for Palestine, Istanbul, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Washington DC.  I lived in Manhattan and frequently visit there, so those scenes were easy to create from memory."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your covers for Baksheesh (Bribes) - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"All my covers are designed by the fabulous Jeroen Ten Berge, in New Zealand.  He does covers for bestselling thriller writer Barry Eisler, and mystery writer J. A. Konrath. Before designing any of my covers, Jeroen and I discussed branding, the type font, and the shooters that appear on all my covers.  Use of city architecture, bold colors.  Each is a scene from the book it covers."
Why should we read the Spies Lie series; what sets it apart from the rest?
"My books are filled with traditional spies, hackers, mercenaries and politicians, and using these, my theme is “Spies Lie.”  Each book touches on some aspect of the junction of technology and politics: Bloodridge (Russian Mafiya sales of weapons to terrorists), DeathByte (Nanotechnology), Swiftshadow (bank hacking), GrayNet (predictive markets technology), Baksheesh (Bribes) (suitcase nukes and rogue politicians), and, coming in December, ProxyWar (weaknesses in the electric grids).  They are meant not just to entertain, but to ask provocative questions I’d hope my readers will think about long after they’ve finished the book."
Can you tell us something quirky about Baksheesh (Bribes), its story and characters?
"One of my protagonist’s first and last names contains the names of my pet cats, now deceased.  My current cat, Scarlett, is not featured in any of my books.

Cassandra Sashakovich’s wedding scene takes place at the Montara lighthouse, a few hundred feet from where my wife and I lived for nearly a decade."

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

"My readers tend to be interested in both technology and politics.  They are not the sort of person who believes what they read in the news.  I’d imagine they like to ask themselves how much fiction and truth are different versions of the same story."
If you could / wished to turn Baksheesh (Bribes) and the Spies Lie series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"As for a movie or television series, I’d envision television as a better venue, with each book running two seasons.

Several directors would work well: Howard Gordon, who wrote and produced 24, Homeland, Tyrant and the Dig, would be my absolute favourite.  Others would work well: Paul Greengrass, Quentin Tarantino, Ridley Scott, Joel and Ethan Coen, David Lynch, Kathryn Bigelow, Paul Thomas Anderson.

The same for my characters.  So, here’s the list, in order of their introduction in the series:
The locations in my books I think need to be shot on location are:

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 mostly read thrillers, but I occasionally read science fiction.  My favourite thriller authors are Barry Eisler (a family friend), Daniel Silva, Brad Thor, James Rollins, and Steve Berry.  My favourite science fiction author is David Weber."
What is your writing process?
"I start with a theme and a “what if.”  These are often triggered by my reaction to something I saw on the evening news.  Then I research the locations and characters I know would like to be involved, and develop a detailed plot outline.  When I’m done, I write the chapters from the outline, and although my books are totally sequential, my creation of the chapters isn’t.  I wake in the morning, review my emails and anything else I need to attend to, and by that time, I’m fully conscious.  I write until a bit after five in the evening, with just my lunch hour off, and then I’m watching the television news.  I write almost every day, including weekends and holidays."
What is in store next?
"ProxyWar, Book 6 of the Spies Lie series will be released in about four weeks.  I’m now writing Book 7, about a war between hackers and their governments, something that is actually happening right now.  My protagonist for Book 7 is Ann Silbey, a college student majoring in computer forensics.  She’s been in my books since she was fourteen years old."
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?
"Scarlett the cat was just on my lap, purring and forcing her head into my hand so I couldn’t write but had to pet her.  When I stopped, to continue answering your questions, she left in a huff."

Good kitty, Scarlett!  And far too much of a cutie not to feature ;-)

Baksheesh (Bribes)
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