This book is bargain priced from 11/24/2013 until 11/30/2013
A former member of Saddam Hussein’s Special Security Force arrives in Richmond, Virginia. Under the name of Ari Ciminon, he sets up house on the James River. The house was purchased for him by the U.S. Marshals Service, which is responsible for watching over him while he supplies intelligence to CENTCOM. Because he is fluent in Italian (as well as a host of other languages) he is presented to his new neighbors as an Italian of Arab descent. Ari learns on his first day that the previous occupants, Jerry and Moria Riggins and their two sons, were murdered in their home nine months ago. The murders are unsolved. Ari has plenty of free time on his hands and sets out to solve the crime–in his own peculiar way.
Targeted Age Group: Adult
Book Price: .99
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How is Writing In Your Genre Different from Others?
Having an Iraqi protagonist with a shady past and very uncertain future I believe sets this story apart from the mainstream. When originally released, The 56th Man received a diverse (but mostly positive) reaction. Some readers have hinted that it is an anti-American novel, but that is in no way the case. Ari has little faith in people or nations, which is only natural for a man “compressed” in an intolerable situation.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
Keep plugging away. I have been writing for 40 years, and almost the only reward has been in the writing itself. I have played with many genres, and only recently stumbled upon a “recipe” that attracted a larger audience. I must say that if you are writing for profit, I would be a very poor example to follow. I have never studied the market, and was surprised when the market came to me. Nothing momentous has happened as of yet, but I have received strong hints that The 56th Man and its sequel are harbingers of things to come. The bottom line, though, was that I enjoyed writing them.
J. Clayton Rogers is the author of more than ten novels (among which are Mismatch, the 56th Man and At the Midway). He was born and raised in Virginia, where he currently resides. He was First-Place Winner of the Hollins Literary Festival a number of years ago. Among the judges were Thomas (Little Big Man) Berger and R.M.W. Dillard, poet and husband of the writer Annie Dillard.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I had planned to write a mystery, but the character of Ari Ciminon dropped from the sky. He is a hero with a dark heart (or, if you will, an anti-hero with a good heart) with a profoundly skeptical sense of the absurd. I wanted to take such a man and push him to the edge. I also wanted to put him in an alien environment so that he could observe (and comment upon) its inhabitants and their ways, giving the story and the mystery a unique perspective. On the other side, I wanted to discover how Americans would react to a man who truly belongs to no country.
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