Ho there—be that you?
It seems that no time has passed since we last shared a cup of grog! Now that Spring is finally here we are feeling frisky.
You come in a fair breeze matey! Today we have as our esteemed guest, renowned author Richard Avery, bringing us another exciting Dick Avery Adventure Story.
Danger of the highest magnitude will be aboard, as well as intrigue, international espionage, and action!
Join us at the captain’s table as we eagerly pick the oh-so-fertile and devious brain of that master of spy novels, Richard Avery!
HE IS KNOWN AS ‘VLAD THE IMPALER’
HIS MISSION? TO COMMIT THE MOST SPECTACULAR OF TERRORIST ACTS…ONE THAT WILL USHER IN A FRESH HELL ON EARTH!
“I reached into my coat pocket for the lighter and he struck, struck hard and slammed me face forward into a concrete wall. I was momentarily stunned, quickly trying to regain my balance, breath and composure. Jeez, I was being mugged within 10 yards of my apartment building!
He next applied a stun gun, a small cattle prod, next to my right kidney. It must have been set on high since the pain was excruciating. I immediately dropped to my knees. As I did so, he delivered his message in broken English. “Go home Mr. Avery, you no welcome here. If you no go, you suffer worse. You too young to die painful death!”
Vlad the Impaler, as nicknamed by his former KGB colleagues, is a shadowy, elusive figure who terrifies even the most hardened intelligence officers in both the old and new Soviet spy service. He is a vicious sociopath and that remarkable fact served the rodina, the motherland, well during his long career as a sanctioned killer for the former Soviet Union. But now he is using his nefarious talents on behalf of a Middle Eastern country supporting jihad and reaping obscene profits from manipulating the international spot markets for crude oil.
Diplomatic Security Service Special Agent Dick Avery and Russian intelligence officer Ludmilla Petrova join forces to stop the madman from turning off the spigots of black gold!
1. You have an illustrious professional background dealing with many situations in the Security Service of the State Department. How much did your background influence your choice of subject matter when writing?
Actually, quite a bit. The stories themselves mostly come from my imagination, but within each one I draw on State Department experiences, protocols and foreign locales that I've visited. It seemed natural to write about terrorist events abroad having grown up with such things during my career. By happenstance, I was involved in one aspect or another of the embassy bombing in Beirut in 1983, the murders of four Marine Security Guards sitting at an outdoor restaurant in El Salvador in 1989, the bombing of the iconic Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi in 1980 and other tragic events. I oversaw the security of the then new chancery in Nairobi, Kenya while posted there. It was touted as being a state-of-the art building in terms of the latest security measures. That was until it was reduced to rubble in 1998 by a pick-up truck laden with explosives. When it was designed and constructed, suicide bombings were unheard of. The State Department (and U.S. government as a whole) isn't particularly proactive when it comes to things. What's next?Netting over all federal buildings to protect them from drone attacks? It's all about imagination, ingenuity and ruthlessness on the part of the bad guys.
2. In your opinion how do factors like protocol and politics influence making strides in controlling terrorism.
During my time, they made huge differences regarding security, or lack thereof. The Black Dragons, the senior careerists, always argued that our embassies should be open and inviting to the public, especially the host government officials. Otherwise, how can they effectively carry out bilateral relations? Well, after many years and loss of lives, that notion fortunately changed. The "openness attitude" even applied to Main State, the Truman building, in Washington, DC. In the fall of 1974, a restroom on the third floor of the building was bombed by The Weather Underground. It was located about 60 feet from my office.The good news is over the past many years things changed in regards to security and the dragons lost the battle. The Diplomatic Security Service now has the human resources, authorities and funding to carry out its mission of protecting people and things around the world. Case in point. While assigned to the Nairobi embassy, my assistant and I tried to provide security services to nine countries in East Africa. Now every country has one or more DSS special agent assigned to them. My have times changed, but not necessarily me! BTW: the Black Dragons are a topic in an upcoming novel: Dick Slays the Dragons.
3. Do you think real spies write the best spy novels?
Well, I wasn't a spy, but rather a counterspy, investigator and security adviser all rolled into one. Certainly my career and experiences lend credibility to the stories. A lot of fiction mixed with some fact make for a good read, I believe.
4.What can followers expect to find in every Dick Avery novel?
Strong plots and story lines along with over-the-top, colorful characters.Then add my quirky sense of humor to the mix and you get a Dick Avery Adventure Story.
5.What are your strengths and weaknesses as a writer?
I believe my story lines plots and characters are strong. My biggest weakness in writing is telling rather than showing, something my publisher berates me about my head and shoulders.
6.What is the most unusual setting you were in when inspiration struck for another novel? Do concepts ever come to you in dreams?
For Russkie, I was on a long drive with my friend Janet and discussing possible ideas for another story; one that would be an outrageous, terrorist attack that would make 9/11 seem like child's play. We discussed scenarios about sabotaging the internet, world power grids and the like, but those didn't seem to work for me. So, I came up with Operation Scorched Earth, masterful attacks on the infrastructures of the oil producing nations to the benefit of the country of Bhutar. Bhutar is gaming the international spot markets for crude and reaping obscene profits after each attack. Its goal is to create a caliphate in the Middle East with it in charge. Ex-KGB officer, Vladimir Booskowsky, is its instrument to make those things happen.
7. Major Ludmilla Aleksandra Petrova has an interesting relationship with the protagonist Dick Avery. Without giving spoilers, was it your intention to portray their partnership as a working relationship with romantic potential?
Ludmilla Petrova, Pet to her friends, is an interesting character. She's a strong, professional woman working in mainly a man's world. There is a good chemistry and working relationship between Pet and Dick, but, of course, Dick has more than work on his mind. He's the perennial wannabe seducer of women, although only in his dreams. Pet's a great foil for Dick and his romantic thoughts and antics. As he says in the book, his woman's intuition is never strong since he doesn't have a clue about them.
8. As a globetrotter, if you had to live in one of the places that factor in this novel (e.g., Russia, Dubai, Seychelles, etc) which would you choose and why?
That's easy, the Seychelles since it's one of the most beautiful string of islands on the planet and the people are laid back and welcoming.
9.Can you quote one of your favorite passages in this novel?
Vladimir Booskowsky, better known as Vlad the Impaler by his former KGB colleagues,
was a shadowy, elusive figure who terrified even the most hardened intelligence officers in the old Soviet spy service. He was a vicious sociopath of the first order and that remarkable fact had served the rodina, the motherland, well during his long career as a sanctioned killer for the former Soviet Union at the height of its power and influence.
10.What projects are you focused on currently? Can you give us just a teaser snippet from any of them?
Sure, I just finished writing Dick Hacks the Hoodoos set in Haiti. The Russians are orchestrating a nefarious campaign to disrupt U.S. relations in the Caribbean. Its surrogate, Cuba, is facilitating the operation by employing a voodoo cult called The Family to do the dirty work. Dick is up to his neck in bad voodoo, juju, hoodoo and do-do in this action packed story of murder, mayhem in the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
11. There is a lot of humor in ‘DICK ROUTS THE RUSSKIE’, even in the title. Are
you a plotter or a pantser when you write?
Probably more of a panster.
Okay, we admit Dick's not the most politically correct agent alive, and he sometimes bumbles and reminds us of what happens when you cross a certain French Inspector with a British Legume to produce an American Dick, but you have to admit that he's as cute as a pink Rottweiler when he's on the scent of a good case! Who says you can't teach an ole dog new tricks?
It is with sadness we wave farewell to author Richard Avery, thanking him for taking time to fill us in on one of our favorite spies, Dick Avery. As productive as he is, we know that we will be interviewing him soon on a new release!
For now we must follow the wind, as is our wont.
Your Mistress of Madness on The Whimsical Herald, Patricia Mattern
leave a comment for the author!
Mistress of Madness
Well, do you have any idea why a raven is like a writing desk?
Lewis Carroll, in 1897, proposed this answer, "Because it can produce a few notes, though they are very flat; and it is 'never' put with the wrong end in front!" (raven, spelled backward, is nevar aka never...or as we like to say here at TT...never more!)