Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Steve Berry | The Mystery of Charlemagne
Uncategorized / December 10, 2008

Charlemagne is a historical figure you don’t see a lot of in thrillers. Katherine Neville is the only writer I can recall who’s made good use of him. But he’s fascinating. He ruled for 47 years, and lived to be 74, at a time when kings rarely reigned more than 5 years, and people died long before age 40. He unified a continent, laid the groundwork for the formation, centuries later, of a modern Europe, and many of his policies and practices became proven models for western civilization. He was a visionary who surrounded himself with smart people and, for the first time, placed the needs of his subjects before royal ambition. He was so progressive that it begs the question—did he have help? Was he privy to special knowledge? Both questions spurred my imagination. Within The Charlemagne Pursuit I utilized an actual artifact known as the Voynich Manuscript. It’s preserved in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University . Supposedly created sometime in the 15th or 16th centuries, its folios are penned in a language that no one has ever been able to decipher. In addition, there are a multitude of colorful, odd drawings. By general…

Karna Small Bodman | Up Close Political Thrills and Suspense
Uncategorized / August 20, 2007

I was scheduled to be in the staff car with White House Press Secretary Jim Brady on March 30, 1981 – the day of the assassination attempt against President Reagan. I was Jim’s Deputy at the time. At the last minute, Jim said, “There’s a lot of work to do today – a lot of press calls to return. Why don’t you stay back. I can handle this one alone – you go tomorrow. This is just a speech to some union group over at the Hilton. I’ll be back around 2:30.” As we all know, he never came back. That day, along with many others will always be seared in my memory, and when I sat down to write my first novel CHECKMATE, I spent time reflecting on those personal experiences, figuring I had a ton of material for a series of political thrillers. Authors are always asked, “Where do you get your ideas?” Of course, any daily newspaper offers a veritable Petri dish of plot points, but I decided that “being there” is even better. When I later took the job as Senior Director of the National Security Council, we were dealing with crises almost on a daily…