Monday, June 25, 2012

Interview with author Ben Coes (The Last Refuge)

Ben Coes next book, The Last Refuge is available for Pre-order on  It goes live on July 3rd.  It would be a great 4th of July read if you enjoy political thrillers.

1.  Tell us about yourself and your new book.

I'm the author of two international political thrillers - POWER DOWN and COUP D'ETAT, both USA Today Bestsellers. My third book, THE LAST REFUGE, arrives July 3, 2012. COUP is also available throughout the UK, India, Australia, and New Zealand - THE LAST REFUGE will be as well.

I worked at the White House under President Ronald Reagan and was a White House-appointed speechwriter to the U.S. Secretary of Energy at the height of the Gulf War. I was campaign manager for Mitt Romney’s successful run for Governor of Massachusetts and was a Fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. I graduated from Columbia College, where I won the Bennett Cerf Memorial Prize for Fiction. I live in the Boston area with my wife and four children.

My third book, THE LAST REFUGE, is rooted in current events – in this case the intriguing, interconnecting relationships between Iran, Israel and America.  The book is an expression of my support for Israel, and uses our close bond with that country to form the dramatic backdrop of the story.  It continues the story of the main hero in all my books, Dewey Andreas. Dewey is a former U.S. Army Ranger and Delta who is willing to sacrifice everything for what he believes in.  He’s not someone you would want to mess with. 
In REFUGE, Dewey learns that Iran has completed its first nuclear weapon and intends to detonate it in Tel Aviv.  Working with Israel and two ex-CIA operatives, Dewey must figure out how to stop Iran before it’s too late.

2.  When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

When I was in junior high school – I won an award for a short story I had written.  It was a fiction award normally given to adults but I won anyway.  I can still remember the very special feeling I had, knowing that my words impacted people in such a powerful way.

3.  Do you have a favorite character you have written so far or in this particular book?

Yes, my main character, Dewey Andreas, is my favorite character.  When I started writing my first book five years ago, it was a very rough portrait of Dewey that I sketched out.  He was standing alone, on the deck of an offshore oil platform, at night.  In him, I sought to create an individual who embodies the qualities I aspire to.  He’s flawed, sometimes irritable, takes too many risks, but he fights for what he believes in, and he’s willing to risk everything for his country and his friends.  The most rewarding aspect of writing, for me at least, has been the growth of this character; he’s become a part of me and sometimes, as I write, I feel as if I’m taking dictation as he goes out and tackles the world.  It’s a great feeling – an incomparable feeling.

4.  Are there any minor characters you have written that you would like to flesh out more in perhaps another novel?

Yes, Hector Calibrisi, the director of the CIA.  Kohl Meir, an Israeli special forces soldier who saves Dewey’s life.

5.  Have you discovered some interesting information in research that influenced the direction of a novel?

For THE LAST REFUGE, I spent a great deal of time in Israel.  I learned a lot of confidential details about the state of the Iranian nuclear weapon development effort, as well as how Israel and America are penetrating sovereign Iran with operatives.  This highly sensitive information was then used to inform key parts of the book.  I think readers will enjoy the authenticity.

6.  What authors or types of books do you like to read when you're not writing?

I like to read other thriller writers.  I really enjoy Vince Flynn, Michael Connolly, Brad Thor, Mark Greaney, and Nelson Demille.  I also enjoy reading American literary fiction from Hemingway and J.D. Salinger.

7.  What advice would you give to other aspiring authors?

Whenever anyone asks me if I have advice for aspiring writers, this is what I tell them: write every day, inspired or uninspired.  What I started writing that first morning ended up being chapter one of POWER DOWN, my first book, a USA Today bestseller published by St. Martin’s Press about an attack by terrorists against a U.S. energy company.  I kept on plugging away and soon enough I’d finished the second in the series, COUP d’ETAT, about Pakistan and India.

8.  Tell us something most people would not know about you.

I put up a somewhat tough image but the truth is my six year old daughter, Esme, has me wrapped around her finger and can push me around with ease.

9.  What are you working on for your next novel?

“Year of the Scorpion,” my fourth novel in the Dewey Andreas series, pits Dewey against China’s powerful Ministry of State Security, which wants him dead.

No comments:

Post a Comment