As a former top-secret government courier, Jack King was privy to all the ins and outs of covert maneuvering on a global scale. He has turned his work experience into a series of novels that resonate with authenticity. The corridors of power, with their backstabbing, greed and corruption, form a focus point of Jack’s books: Agents of Change, WikiJustice, The Black Vault, and The Fifth Internationale.
SAMPLE Q and A with Jack King
First book you ever read?
The Communist Manifesto. [Laughs]. My grandfather said, “Before you fight something, you must first try to understand it.” So I read Marx. At least it’s how I remembered my first book for a long time, until recently, when clearing some old boxes, I discovered a copybook of homework done at age 7. It was a drawing of a scene from the book The Bullerby Children, by Astrid Lindgren.
Why did you decide to write your first book?
First of all a writer is someone who does not have a free will when it comes to writing. One simply must write. Publishing, on the other hand, is a choice. I suspect I published my first book for reasons most writers share, and which stem from false perception of why one ought to publish in the first place — I though I had something to say. It took me almost six years following the debut, to publish the next novel. This time it came out for what I consider the write reasons true writers publish — to ask questions. Everyone has answers. The world, and we see it online, is full of the commentariat. Ask a questions and it will be answered by a countless army. Trouble is, for the most part, the questions asked are trifle. Why? Because asking the right questions takes balls that lack in the faceless masses of followers, or subscribers, of, as they are now called, friends. To make things worse, in today’s world you will find more answers than questions.
What TV shows do you watch?
None. I don’t watch TV. And I highly recommend to anyone to ditch their TV. It’s not as hard as it seems, and can be compared to cutting salt from your diet — your brain will miss it for about six weeks, and then, all of a sudden, poooh!, you won’t be able to dine out, you’ll be amazed how salty everything is. With TV the revelation is even greater. You will feel liberated, even mad at yourself for having been such a victim of propaganda, and, let’s face it — wasted time.
What books do you like to read?
I read widely. It would be easier to ask: What books do you not read?
What books do you not read?
I knew you’d ask that. [Laughs] And I’d be a fool to answer, since it would guarantee a backlash of angry comments. But, of course, a writer cannot be faint-hearted. I tend to avoid books from writers who attend the so-called creative literary courses. These are nothing but factories of clones, where would-be writers are told what not to write, what to write, and how to write it. Sadly, these classes are the surest way to publish one’s books within the industry whose gatekeepers had grown up on such homogenous works, who crave them, and seek them. But there is a reason why American, and to considerable extent Anglosphere literature is a work onto itself when you consider the CIA’s and its predecessors’ role in establishing and maintaining the MFA programs..
Some of his favorite books include:
Adventure: The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
Adventure, Historical: Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
Espionage, Adventure: The Monte Cristo Cover-Up, Johannes Mario Simmel
Espionage, Suspense: The Secret Agent, Joseph Conrad
Fantasy, Mysticism, Occult: The Fiery Angel, Valery Bryusov
Murder Mystery: Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky
Romance, Drama: Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
Romance, Psychological: The Idiot, Fyodor Dostoevsky
Science Fiction: People Like Gods Trilogy, Sergei Snegov
Science Fiction” The Lunar Trilogy, Jerzy Żuławski
Social Issues, Politics, Religion: Resurrection, Leo Tolstoy
Social Issues: Germinal, Emile Zola
Stream-of-consciousness: Hopscotch, Julio Cortazar
War, Drama: Destiny of a Man, Mikhail Sholokhov
War, Anti-War: War is a Racket, Smedley Butler, Major General, US Marines
War, Anti-War: All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque
War, Humor: Good Soldier Svejk, Jaroslav Hasek
War, Stupidity, Absurdity: 08/15, Hans Hellmuth Kirst
The list of his favorite authors continues, and is not limited to:
Louis Aragon, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Heinrich Böll, Yuri Bondarev, Jorge Luis Borges, Valery Brusov, Italo Calvino, Elias Canetti, Alejo Carpentier, Louis Ferdinand Celine, Cervantes, Joseph Conrad, Julio Cortazar, Anton Chekhov, Albert Camus, Carlos Dominguez, Feodor Dostoevsky, Alexandre Dumas, Ilya Ehrenburg, Anatol France, Max Frisch, Carlos Fuentes, Jean Genet, Andre Gide, Maxim Gorky, Herman Hesse, Victor Hugo, Mikhail Lermontov, Malcolm Lowry, Thomas Mann, Alerto Moravia, Robert Musil, Marcel Proust, Valentin Rasputin, Erich Maria Remarque, Romain Rolland, Ernesto Sabato, Jean-Paul Sartre, Luis Sepulveda, Mikhail Sholokhov, Leo Tolstoy, Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Emile Zola… and pretty much anything from Latin American magical realism.
How does a thriller writer reconcile such reading tastes with his own writing? What better way to find out than to read: