Nuclear deal with Iran will delay local writer's next novel

Local author John Trudel was set to continue his annual fall book release this month, but world events got in the way.

His past novels, while all fictional stories, have had a knack for preceding similar real-world situations. Take “Privacy Wars,” for example, which Trudel explained was “about Big Brother watching you.”

Written in 2012, the book coincided with information becoming public about U.S. government surveillance practices.

“By the time the book came out, there’s this (Edward) fella Snowden running for his life and he’s stuck in the Moscow airport,” Trudel said.GARY ALLEN - Political intrigue – Tackling topical issues is nothing new for local author John Trudel, but his latest story involving nuclear warfare is even more-so than usual, leading him to put the sequel on hold pending the outcome of real-world events.

Prior to novels, Trudel had written columns and technical articles for publications aimed at the technology crowd, in Silicon Valley, for example. Through that writing, the people he met and subjects he became interested in led him to the idea of fictional writing.

“It’s an entirely different craft,” he said.

His model for novels came from authors like Tom Clancy, Michael Crichton and Brad Thor. Books in that genre have been dubbed “techno-thrillers” in the past: science-based suspense stories.

In the beginning, Trudel simply thought he was coming up with some clever plotlines.

“‘I’ll just write some stories to entertain people,’” he reasoned when he began his work as a novelist — and while he received positive responses from readers, the reality-imitating-fiction phenomenon became an unmistakable repeated occurrence.

Within the thriller genre it’s not unique to his own writing, Trudel said, citing examples like Clancy’s “Debt of Honor,” which featured a 747 airliner being hijacked by terrorists and crashed into Congress. It was released seven years prior to the Sept. 11 attacks.

“Good novels are not reality, but they’re an image of reality,” Trudel said. Despite having no intention of being so close to actual events, though, he acknowledges his first three novels ran straight into the real world.

That leads to his most recent book, released last fall. For “Raven’s Run,” Trudel centered on nuclear war and a story in which Iran develops nuclear weapons. The idea came when he pondered what one of the major threats to the United States could be.

“Well, think about terrorists with nuclear weapons. It’s a pretty scary thing, particularly if (they) took out the power grid,” he said. “Millions, tens of millions of people would die, and one or two bombs would do it.”

But once again, while he stressed that “it’s a story I made up,” he got an inkling last winter that his book might be more based in reality than he thought.

While working on the book’s sequel, set to be titled “Raven’s Redemption” and originally scheduled to be released this month, Trudel perceived the same pattern as his earlier books, when he saw an article about former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann expressing her concern at a White House Christmas party to President Barack Obama regarding Iran obtaining nuclear weapons.

“I listened to that interview and I went, ‘Oh my God, that’s the storyline of my novel,’” Trudel said.

A few months later, he watched Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak to Congress about Iran and nuclear weapons, and Trudel perceived even more the topicality of the “Raven” series.

Now, with Congress considering the Iran Deal and the fast-moving events that could completely alter the premise of how people think about Iran and nuclear technology, Trudel has put the sequel on hold.

“Not that I want to write about what Congress is doing, but this is going to be one of the major events in U.S. history, no matter what happens,” Trudel said. “I can’t do it and then have something weird happen and have the book totally wrong.”

So now, he projects the new book will be released sometime after Jan. 1. In the meantime, Trudel will read from “Raven’s Run” at Chapters Books & Coffee during First Friday Art Walk in October.

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