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Good morning, Mr. Kaplan and welcome to Coffee Time Romance. Let me say it is an honor to interview you. Please grab a seat in our cozy recliner, and enjoy a hot cup of coffee. The readers are very eager to learn more about the talented Howard Kaplan. He has written a best selling thriller that is soon to hit the big screen, with a great cast of characters.

Why not tell us how your day begins when you first wake up?

After coffee, I take a stroll through my new drought tolerant garden planted this winter.  I love to see if any new blooms have arrived overnight and if there’s been any damage by the squirrels, raccoons and possums that rule the night in Los Angeles.  

We would love to hear about your current release. Not to mention about the book being made into a motion picture. Would you enlighten us on the events?

My current release, Bullets of Palestine, is a novel of Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation.  I’m particularly proud of it in these polarizing times when to be an American of the right often equates to denigrating Palestinians.  I’m a Zionist, the child of Holocaust survivors and what that tragedy has taught me is empathy not objectification of the downtrodden.  So I present both my Israeli and Palestinian spy protagonists as richly characterized people who are both proud of their heritage and filled with moral ambiguity about the excesses of both sides.

The Damascus Cover, an earlier novel, has recently been filmed starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Sir John Hurt and Navid Negahban who played Abu Nazir in Homeland.  It too in its heart is a novel of reconciliation between both sides and I’ve reissued the book as an eBook and paperback now to tie in with the film’s release in late 2016. Though the overt story is one of a spy’s vulnerability to romance and to being manipulated by his own people.

What led you to write this type of genre? Was it something that always fascinated you? Or a personal experience that inspired the book?

I always read these kinds of books when I was younger:  Graham Greene, Eric Ambler, John le Carre.  I loved the idea of telling a fast paced story through deep characters that also dealt with larger issues.  

When choosing the actors to portray the characters in the book, did you have a say in the matter?

Not at all, though I could not have done as well as the producers and director have in assembling this cast.  You sell a production company the rights and they have all the say, though I retain ownership and control of the novel.

The ratings and reviews are high on your books, I am sure the movie will be even more fantastic in the ratings.
How does it feel to watch your story hit the big screen?

Over time great things and awful things and mostly in between things make up a life.  This is one of the great things. 

I understand you were able to travel the area where the film was in production. Can you tell the readers of your experience during this shooting and the area you visited?

I was in Casablanca for 10 days during the shoot.  It was both fabulous and a little surreal.  The director wrote the screenplay, I gave some small suggestions, so though the spine of the novel is the film, there are some changes.  I found the scenes I saw shot that were exactly from the novel harder to watch than the new ones.  As I kept thinking about my scenes:  I could have done them better.  About his I had no responsibility. 

When composing your stories, do you normally close other things out and solely consecrate on the book until completely finished?
I had a wonderful mentor, Michael Blankfort, when I was quite young and just starting out.  When we met he was 65 and I was 22.  Michael wrote 14 novels but is probably most famous for the screen version of The Caine Mutiny.  He demystified writing for me:  no swigging back Scotch, weekend writing around the clock.  Most professional writers are journeymen, they set their alarm clocks, get up in the morning and sit down and work.  So no, writing is my day job, living my night job.
Can you tell the readers what upcoming things or events you are working on?

I have a new novel TO DESTROY JERUSALEM finished which will be released to coincide with the film’s hitting theaters. 

In your spare time, what do you enjoy doing?

I photograph hummingbirds in my yard, have recently started yoga, and I’m always happy to step off an airplane.

Is there a certain food or dessert that you get a craving for?

I seem to love all dessert equally!

Thank you Mr. Kaplan for being with us today.  It has been a delight getting to learn more about you and your books. We look forward to the movie, and wish you continued success. 




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