Interview with Haggai Carmon
I’d like to thank Haggai for sitting down with me for this interview.
What inspired your writing?
My intelligence thrillers were inspired by my Israeli professional background, as well as by my twenty years of service for the United States Government. During those years, I had a publicly known “daytime” activity as well as a covert “nighttime” activity. Since 1985, I have been representing the United States government in its Israeli civil ligation appearing in Israeli courts in lawsuits to which the U.S was a party. However, away from the public eye, I was also engaged by the U.S government to perform intelligence gathering that required sensitive undercover work in more than thirty countries. Obviously, in my years working for the U.S. Department of Justice and other federal agencies, I could not share the hair-raising aspects of my work with anyone but my supervisors, and some adventures not even with them. Sadly, many of these events, which are sometimes more fascinating and breathtaking than the best fiction I have ever read, will never see the light of day. The story of Dan Gordon and his battle against the invisible FOE – forces of evil—is my idea of the next-best thing.
I understand that writing is just a hobby.
True. My globetrotting legal practice has left little time for hobbies. However, one night in a small hotel in a faraway country, I finally had the time to fulfill my urge to write. I was on U.S government assignment collecting intelligence on a particularly vile and violent organization. Earlier that evening, I’d received a phone call from the local INTERPOL contact. “You’ve been exposed. I suggest you stay in your hotel. We’ll arrange for your safe departure tomorrow morning.” Is it any wonder I couldn’t sleep that night, between jet lag and the rage that came from being unarmed and unable to leave the hotel without my hosts’ protection? I poured it all into the writing, and the result was Triple Identity.
Any subsequent thrillers?
Yes. Triple Identity book turned out not to be a fluke; I wrote four sequels because I realized I still had adventures to recount, including about events surrounding that same long and sleepless night.
You describe pretty scary encounters. What’s real and what’s fiction?
Readers have asked me the same question, whether the events recounted in my thrillers really happened. One newspaper reviewer even accused me of writing “too authentic” a novel, while another reviewer praised me for it. How can you argue with that? My next thrillers may meet a similar reaction. As to how much of them are “true,” I leave it to my readers to decide. All my thrillers were inspired by my work for the U.S. government, but they are a work of fiction rather than autobiography. During my twenty years of undercover work for the U.S Department of Justice and other federal agencies, I have experienced adventure, fear, and most of the time, a great sense of achievement. That explains why sometimes, waking up in countless hotels in more than thirty countries, I had trouble remembering where I was. Walking in the long corridors of foreign airports, it was hard to remember whether I was arriving or departing.
Any additional thrillers in the pipeline?
Sure. More thrillers in the series are to follow. In my professional life, I have had enough adventures, frequently dangerous, to fill at least ten books, and those are just the ones I can talk about.
I want to thank Haggai again for taking the time to sit down and answer these questions for us. Look for the review of Defection Games in the coming weeks. To learn more about Haggai and his books Click HERE.
About the author:
Haggai Carmon is an Israeli-born international attorney sharing his time and practice between the United States, Israel and the rest of the world. Since 1985, he has represented the U.S. Department of Justice in its Israeli litigation. Several other federal agencies have also assigned him with worldwide responsibility for undercover intelligence gathering outside the United States. He has performed this sensitive investigative work in more than thirty foreign countries. The undercover work of Haggai Carmon inspired his thrillers. They describe CIA/MOSSAD cooperation where the protagonist Dan Gordon, a Mossad veteran now working for the U.S Department of Justice in foreign intelligence gathering, discovers that the seemingly routine cases he is handling are espionage or terrorist related.