Monday, March 19, 2012

Author Spotlight: Interview with James Bruno

1. Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline:

TRIBE. Political Thriller. “TRIBE is about how power, love, and fathers and daughters come into play in conflict-riven Afghanistan, and how the government gets it all wrong. What separates TRIBE from its competition is its authenticity - so authentic that the U.S. government censored it.”
2. How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

“Tribe” refers not only to the ethnic groups of Afghanistan and Yemen which comprise part of the story, but also the political “tribal” groupings that constitute the various power centers in Washington. The epitaph of a deceased senior CIA officer in the book’s epilogue reads, Our Tribe Lost.
3. Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

Camilla Loomis because, through sheer force of will power and scrappy ambition, she lifted herself out of a trailer trash upbringing to become the leading social doyenne of Washington. I had great fun writing about her.
4. How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?

Croswell, a cold fish, conniving CIA headquarters senior officer, because he is fashioned around real people I knew and loathed.
5. If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be? Why?

Probably to put yet more “kinetic” action between the beginning and end, because that’s what readers expect in this genre.
6. Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:

As a former State Dept. diplomat with top secret clearance, I am required for life to submit all of my writing for security review by the federal government. TRIBE encountered some unanticipated serious redactions, changes and delays by green-eye-shaders in the CIA and FBI. They felt I was revealing too much about how the world of government secrets operates.
7. Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?

Unique? Hmm. How about sword collecting?
8. How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

Contact James Bruno: angkor456000 (at) yahoo (dot) com.
9. What can we expect from you in the future?

HAVANA QUEEN, an espionage thriller set in Cuba, where I’ve served, is due out in 2012 (after the Feds finish with it).
10. Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

It’s a steep and l-o-n-g learning curve. Successful authors are those who never give up. Improve your craft; learn the business side. I would skip the legacy route altogether and self-publish. Life is too short.
11. Is there anything else you’d like to say?

My background as a diplomat, military intelligence officer and journalist lend an authenticity to my books that the vast majority of my competition lacks. You are getting a dose of the real thing with James Bruno’s books, not contrived fantasies. I believe this has been a factor in all three of my thrillers becoming Kindle bestsellers and my getting national media exposure on NBC’s Today Show, in the Washington Post and other news outlets – also my landing Stieg Larsson’s agent.
12. And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:

I look up. Croswell’s face is stone. His eyes say, it’s yours. You’ll take the fall.
“Stunned, are we, Brennan?” Croswell says none too helpfully. “The Op Center is waiting for us. The Director will be there. You’ll have some explaining to do.”
I stare at this man. I wonder now as I have every day for the past twenty years how is it that they allow such little men to play God with other people’s lives. Middle-class, suburban super-functionaries who shop for grass-seed on Sunday and smuggle rocket-propelled grenade launchers to tribals on Monday.
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Thank you James for taking part in my Author Spotlight interview! I hope your writing continues to flourish and we hope to see more of you in the future.
If you or an author/illustrator you know is interested in being interviewed, feel free to send me an email at

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