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Tuesday, 4 December 2018

ℚ The Devil's Son - Charles Kowalski

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Devil's Son (24 July 2018, Seabridge Press, 401 pages), a Political Espionage thriller.

“Couldn’t be more timely. Five years ago, THE DEVIL’S SON would have been an entertaining conspiracy thriller, but would have seemed utterly implausible. The same can’t be said today.” – Bestthrillers.com

“A fast-paced thriller with a strong heroine to love.” – The Spine View

“The moral dilemmas that bind the suspense and action will keep the reader up long into the night.” – The Big Thrill


|| Synopsis || Trailer || Teaser: KCR Preview || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||


A very warm welcome to Charles Kowalski; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for The Devil's Son ?

"For the past couple of years, I had a plot in the back of my mind involving a U.S. Secret Service agent who comes to realize that his two mandates of upholding the Constitution and protecting the President are mutually incompatible; that the President poses a threat to the nation that can’t remain unchecked.

That story, however, never really came together in a way that satisfied me. Then, while I was visiting the States last summer and saw the news from Charlottesville, another idea occurred to me: “What if the President were a Nazi – as in a real one, on the run from the Mossad?”

At first, I dismissed that as unfeasible; he would be too old, and ineligible for the presidency if he wasn’t a natural-born citizen. But the idea wouldn’t leave me alone, and I started thinking about taking the conflict into the next generation: the son of a Nazi fugitive vs. the daughter of the old, washed-out Nazi hunter who narrowly missed him.

0Then it occurred to me that these two plots could be combined, to make a tale of intrigue pitting the Mossad against the U.S. Secret Service. After that, the story practically wrote itself."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Well, I’ve probably given away my political bias, although I’ve done my best to be fair to both sides. (Rachel Horowitz is a Mossad officer with a military background, but leans a little to the left politically, while Emmett Miller is a conservative, patriotic, idealistic Secret Service agent who admires Henry Hale until he learns the truth about him.)

Other than that, I can’t claim any experience in espionage or the Secret Service, so I was faced with the daunting task of researching two of the most secretive organizations in the world."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for The Devil's Son - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I did the cover design myself: the White House under a stormy sky with the swastika flying from the flagpole.

At first, I thought I needed to hire a professional designer, and I would make a mock-up to show the designer what I had in mind… but the mock-up ended up becoming the final design."
Why should we read The Devil's Son and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"I like to take the usual thriller tropes and turn them on their heads.

We imagine terrorists as religious fanatics… but what if, instead, they were fanatical atheists? That became MIND VIRUS.

We imagine the Secret Service as protecting the President and the nation from danger… but what if the President WERE the danger? That became THE DEVIL’S SON.

For me, the wonder of story is its power to make the reader see the world from a different point of view. One of the most valuable compliments I ever received on my writing was, “I kept thinking about it long after I put it down.”"
Can you tell us something quirky about The Devil's Son , its story and characters?
"I don’t usually set much store by prophecy, but I’ll share a mysterious coincidence. The flyleaf of the book has a quatrain from Nostradamus, which some have interpreted to refer to the current occupant of the White House:
The great audacious bawler with no shame
Shall be elected governor of the army:
The brazenness of his contention,
The broken bridge, the city faint with fear.
That last line gave me the titles for the two halves of the book. Readers might naturally conclude that certain events in the story were inspired by the prophecy… but actually, I only learnt about the prophecy AFTER I had written the story. Make of that what you will!"
Who would you recommend The Devil's Son to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I’d recommend it to anyone as alarmed as I am about the current state of American politics.

As to disclaimers, I’ll say that I’ve done my research (particularly into the Mossad, Judaism, and life in modern Israel) as thoroughly as I could, but any errors or misrepresentations that remain are mine.

And to my fellow Americans, I’ll say: If I offend, feel free to give me a bad review, but please don’t shoot me!"
If you could / wished to turn The Devil's Son into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I’ve always envisioned Gal Gadot as Rachel.

As for Henry Hale, Aaron Eckhart says he doesn’t want to play any more villains, but I hope he’d make an exception."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"When I was a boy, I loved to read fantasy, and later, I became interested in international thrillers. So, those are the two genres I mainly focus on.

THE DEVIL’S SON is my second thriller (after MIND VIRUS, but not in the same series), and I’m currently shopping a middle-grade historical fantasy featuring the mythical ghosts and monsters of 17th-century Japan."
What is your writing process?
"It begins with a concept, the “What if…?” question that provides the genesis for the story.

Then I do my background research, create the characters, outline the plot, and finally begin the work of writing: usually dialogue and the main actions first, then interior monologue and incidental action, and finally description.

When I start writing, I always have an ending in mind and a general sense of how I’m going to get there, but I’m often surprised at the twists and turns I encounter along the way."
What is in store next?
"THE DEVIL’S SON is meant to stand alone, but Robin Fox from MIND VIRUS is likely to be back for further adventures (possibly including one that will take him to my adopted country of Japan)."
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?
"I mentioned earlier that I was working on a historical fantasy featuring creatures from Japanese folklore…so here I am with one of them! I ran into this fellow (called a kappa) while on my way to do some location research, so I knew I was on the right track. (Just in case anyone was wondering, I’m the one on the right.)"
I like him; I think we'll need to know more about him! Thank you for sharing, Charles. We hope you are having a great tour and hope to meet with you again soon :-)

The Devil's Son
Available NOW!

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1 comment:

  1. I have this book on my TBR list and after reading this interview, I plan on moving it up in my pile.

    ReplyDelete