I was fortunate enough to meet a writer by the name of Tareq Hassan. He’s the author of Trade–a mystery and thriller with so many details and insights to the CIA, you’ll wonder what the author really knows.

Tareq was gracious enough to answer a few questions for me about his novel. You can read the interview below.

Tell us about your book.
Trade is a spy thriller and follows the exploitation by different players of a naive Arab-American during the opening months of the War on Terror. It also relates the final act in a relationship between an intelligence man, his disgraced protege, and her former lover. The story takes readers into unfamiliar and (I hope) interesting territory, including a rebel redoubt in Chechnya, a gay club night in a Dubai container park, and a Bagram interrogation facility run by a former boy band manager in a santa suit.

What inspired you to write “Trade”?
A few years ago, I had to quit my day job and needed to generate some cash. Really, to have something to point to when someone accused me of being a bum.

Your reviewers mention that you have so much detail, it’s like you have some insight to the CIA…is this true? If so, could you give details without having to kill me?
The only thing the might happen between us after I tell you about my background is a sympathy hug. I was a corporate attorney on Wall Street and in Saudi Arabia for the better part of a decade. But I’ve always had an interest in espionage and guess I’ve absorbed much of what I’ve read over the years.

Could you explain the style of dialogue you used and why it’s viewed as “different”?
I try not to use too many dialogue tags or be overly descriptive. I prefer to let the reader paint the picture in his or her mind, to fill in the blanks. That’s what I tell my lazy self, anyway. Also, the characters are a bit terse and work in a trade where talk is bad.

Who is your favorite character in the novel? Why?
Pete Marcone. He comes from an enforcement as opposed to an intelligence background, so what you see is what you get. He’s also a bit zen in the sense that he allows events to take him where they may. Which is a virtue in the company of shady operatives with the gall and ego to think they can shape the world.

If you could do one thing different about writing this novel, what would you have done?
I would have planned ahead more. It hurts to throw out well written chapters because you can’t shoe-horn them in anywhere.

What’s next of things to do? Any new books on the way?
For now, I’m working hard at trying to get people to give Trade a go and hopefully get some feedback. If it pans out, I have some ideas for a second book, sort of a horror story in the guise of an espionage tale.

Thank you very much for this opportunity to bring Trade to the attention of your subscribers!

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