Tag Archives: thriller

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Smokescreen

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1)The novel was supposed to be set in a dystopian era.

2)The American ambassador, Michael Dexter, was initially a Caucasian. The African-American was another CIA agent named “Charlie Brown.” The characters were merged into one to simplify the plot.

3)The ambassador’s mansion was the actual property of the author’s grandfather.

4)An action scene in Manhattan, New York, was removed because it was deemed “redundant.”

5)The protagonist Jethro Westrope (Jet West) was initially known as James Gent, a brand for a toiletry company.

6)The protagonist initially drove a Pagani Zonda. It was changed to an MX-5 to accommodate his journalist salary.

7)The cat described in a Cairo scene is based on an actual character.

8)The secret underground base in Singapore is inspired by an actual location.

9)The mysterious island with the citadel is inspired by the old Dutch fortress, Fort Belgica, located in the Moluccas islands, Indonesia.

10)The novel is riddled with secret messages.

Shhh… don’t tell anybody.

How Uncanny

All these years while I was writing and rewriting my manuscript, that small coffee cup kept me company. I never noticed it until now. I swear, I had nothing to do with the book’s cover design. It was all the publisher’s idea, and I never saw it until the last minute. Spooky.IMG_5092

Hamas’ Secret Tunnels

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During my years in Cairo, Egypt, I discovered, from speaking to many people in the business of business — including policemen, military officers, and Bedouins in the Sinai area — about the intricate tunnels built by Hamas and other Palestinian groups.
Due to the siege and blockade, the tunnels serve as a means of livelihood. The smuggling of goods from food, cigarettes to military equipment is unbelievable. If you can’t picture it, imagine the underground world built by Mr. Toad’s critter friends in The Wind in the Willows.
In writing my novel, I created a tunnel route in which a messenger travels from Egypt to Palestine before connecting to Jerusalem. This is one of my favorite scenes where I tried to invoke the sinister and tense atmosphere to give the reader an exact feel of what it would be like to be a Palestinian trying to infiltrate Israeli borders. The question is, did I imagine the route, did someone draw it for me or was I given a tour?