Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Interview with author Alan J. Field

The Chemist

1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book? One particular quote by Shalom Alechem stuck with me in which he lamented that “all scientists do is sell their ideas to murderers”. I had--what I thought--was this compelling idea for a story percolating inside my head for more than a couple of years prior to ever putting pen to paper. I’m a big fan of nostalgic spy shows and movies from the 1960s, so I wanted to bring some elements of those into my story. Enter the The Song of Ice and Fire series that showed me how to write from multiple POVs, which was the way I wanted to tell this story. However, it was my teen aged daughter who ultimately encouraged me to dive head first into it. It happened right after Christmas day in 2013, when I told her about my plot idea which she adored.
2. What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader? The protagonist, a former Delta Force veteran and CIA operative, takes on a mission to extract a chemical compound of this world’s next deadly toxin from the frazzled heroin addicted head of a young female chemist. As the mission progresses, presumed allies become enemies and vice versa. He must reconcile his thirst for redemption with the mission’s success. The story appeals to anyone over 25 who appreciates strong female characters and nonstop action.
3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down? They will understand the psyche of one scientist charged with creating a weapon of mass destruction and how it ultimately destroys her.  The ongoing saga, whose next venue is Syria, can be used as a rallying cry to continue the fight to ban chemical weapons.
4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers? Never let go of your dreams. Instead, use them to propel you forward in life.
5. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? I see more successful self-publishing platforms; diminished author reliance on traditional publishers. Authors will be consumed with “making a connection” with their readers, while writing less or writing much shorter works.
6. What great challenges did you have in writing your book? First, it was achieving an acceptable level of authenticity through extensive research and interviews. Then, it was finding an editor who knew what they were doing.

7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours? The story uniquely combines New York City glamour with terrorism. Not only does it take on the making of chemical weapons head-on, the gender bending nature of The Chemist seamlessly combines the thriller subgenres of espionage, military, psychological and urban, like no other.

Alan practiced as a lawyer in New York for more than 20 years in the entertainment and high technology space. Three years ago, he knew it was time to step back and write what he liked reading: gripping international thrillers that focus on relevant geopolitical issues of the day. Over the years he published legal articles, but The Chemist is his debut novel and he has enjoyed the experience. He grew up in Moorestown, New Jersey, a suburb of Philadelphia, and graduated with a music degree from James Madison University in Virginia. He lives with his wife and four children in Demarest, New Jersey, a stone’s throw from the George Washington Bridge. He is working hard on the sequel that will focus on the Syrian conflict. For more info, please see:

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby 

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