My latest novel, Secretocracy, has just been accepted for publication. Adelaide Books of New York will bring it out early next year. The story is set in Washington, D.C. in 2018 and 2019, during the Trump administration. Senior federal budget reviewer Gene Westmoreland refuses to approve funds for an administration initiative called Operation FIREFANG—building clandestine nuclear missile sites world-wide—on the grounds that it is illegal and violates treaty agreements. The administration attacks him. A general and a senator rebuke him, his phone is tapped, his car is tailed, and his adult son is trapped into a dangerous relationship. His boss, Clem, who opposes FIREFANG and refuses to fire Gene, is blackmailed and commits suicide. Now without protection, Gene is stripped of his security clearances and exiled to a warehouse to await termination. If he discloses what he knows, he will be prosecuted for revealing classified information.

As with all my writing, the story is drawn from my personal experience. My reliance on my own memories as a basis for my fiction is why reviewers so often remark on the facticity of my stories. One reviewer wrote that Last of the Annamese is fiction in name only—all the events described really happened during the fall of Saigon, and the travails my protagonist endures are ones I personally experienced.

Why is my fiction drawn from fact? I believe it is because my own life has been so colorful that imaginary tales fade by comparison. When my friend, the author Larry Matthews, introduces me at public functions, he always says I have led a life that Indiana Jones would have envied. Such a life has its downsides, for example my Post-Traumatic Stress Injury, but it also provides rich memories to write about.

More tomorrow.

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