Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Featured Author: David Khara

France Book Tours brings French author David Khara here today to talk about his novel, The Bleiberg Project, an espionage thriller, first published in French by Le French Book, Inc. and adapted into English by blockbuster movie translator Simon John. The Bleiberg Project won the Blue Moon prize for best thriller and has sold over 100,000 copies already. It is being made into a movie.

About the book:

Are Hitler’s atrocities really over? Find out in this adrenaline-pumping ride to save the world from a conspiracy straight out of the darkest hours of history.

1942, Poland. The head of the SS meets secretly with a scientist in charge of a major Third Reich project.

Present day. After another late night with yet another woman whose name he doesn’t remember, self-pitying golden boy trader Jay Novacek learns that his long-lost father has died, precipitating events that lead him to board a plane to Zurich. He’s got a Nazi medallion in his pocket, a hot CIA bodyguard next to him, and a clearly dangerous Mossad agent on his tail. What was his father investigating? Why was his mother assassinated? Why are unknown sides fighting over him with automatic weapons? Far from his posh apartment, he races to save the world from a horrific conspiracy. Can it be stopped?

Praise for The Bleiberg Project

“Fascinating, written with a sharp style, shock value and a lot of humor.”
– Serge Perraud, http://www.lelitteraire.com.”

“Impossible to put down.”
– France Inter

Interview with David Khara

David, which character did you most enjoy writing?Jeremy is by far the most enjoyable character I’ve ever written. Getting into his head was pretty fun since he has a very unique, desperate sense of humor. Also, I enjoyed starting off with him as he’s stuck in a deep depression with low self-esteem leading him to care for no one, including himself, and then, slowly, step by step, bringing him back to life as he meets Jacky and Eytan.

Are any of your characters inspired by real people?
Actually, all my characters existed in real life; at least in both the way they think and behave. But they do not come out of one person, but several. Nobody around me is safe, since I constantly listen to people, and study their personalities in order to feed my characters.
Eytan is the only one who was been inspired by one person, surprisingly a woman named Simone Lagrange who was arrested by the Gestapo, tortured, deported to the death camps and survived. She played a key role in Klaus Barbie’s arrest and trial in the 1980s. She’s an impressive woman of great strength, with an amazing energy. The kind of person we all have something to learn from.

Are you like any of your characters?
My writing is not about me; it never is, and never will be. The real thing is that I use every experience or feeling I’ve been through to feed my characters should it prove relevant. I do this just to get the right emotion at the right time, no more than this. With this premise, you’ll find a little bit of me in almost every character in the book. I do share Jeremy’s weird sense of humor and Eytan’s capacity to go on, whatever happens to him.

If you could be one of your characters, which one would you choose?
Ten years ago I would have answered Eytan without an hesitation. Now, as I grow older, I’d probably chose Bernard Dean since he stays in the shadow, watching Jeremy and trying to help him without taking any credits for it. In many ways, I regret what happens to Bernard in the book, it’s a character that deserved to be developed.

Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.

Chapter 37 is by far the most important chapter in the book since it depicts the deportation of the hero and his family. Everything starts in this heartbreaking chapter, and writing it was emotional. Though, I’ll go for the Epilogue, since it reveals that the hero Jeremy believes to be dead is not, thus delivering a message of hope and happiness. And God knows how badly our world needs hope and happiness nowadays…
What song would you pick to go with your book?

Since I write with my headphones on, listening to a selected play list depending on the chapter or the character I’m working on, I already have a theme for The Bleiberg Project. Eytan’s character was born with Aerosmith’s “Living on the Edge.” Not just the music, but the lyrics too, were an inspiration for his mood and own story. Should the movie be shot, I’d love this song to be played on the ending credits.

You get to decide who would read your audiobook. Who would you choose?

There are so many great English-speaking actresses and actors that choosing seems impossible. I could still name a few: Ian McKellen, Clancy Brown, Peter Dinklage, Charles Dance, Cate Blanchett, and that’s just a start. This list could go on endlessly!

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
I need to be home, alone, far from the world and any distractions. Since I work with no written plot or notes, I need to stay totally focused. The character, the story and its twists exist in my mind and no thing must distract me while I’m putting them on the paper. Writing is a ritual: In my garden, my old laptop on the table, coffee on my right side, cigarettes and ashtray on my left side, headphones on.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I fell in love with Manhattan the first I went there. I was 16, and from this day on, I’ve always dreamed of living there, and (do not ask me why, I can’t tell) I’ve known I would end my life there. It’s pretty surprising because I’m a rather rational man. Also, I do not usually like big cities, but there, I feel free. I feel like I’m home. Apart from The Shiro Project (the second in the Consortium series), Manhattan has always appeared in my books, being a central character in my other series Dawn’s Early Lights (Les vestiges de l’aube in French).

What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on the second book in the Dawn’s Early Lights series. For now this series is only in French. I’m also working on a historical thriller series for teenagers. I’ll be busy for quite a few years to come.

Sounds like it. I hope you'll come back when your next book is released.


Monday, July 22
 Review at Lady Techie’s Book Musings

Wednesday, July 24
 Interview by author Amy Metz (You found it! Thanks for stopping by.)

Monday, August  12
 Review + Giveaway by author Julie Coulter Bellon

About the author:

French author David Khara, a former journalist, top-level athlete, and entrepreneur, is a full-time writer. Khara wrote his first novel—a vampire thriller—in 2010, before starting his thriller series. The first in the series, The Bleiberg Project, was an instant success in France, catapulting Khara into the ranks of the country's top thriller writers.

Connect with David:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo