The Iskra Incident
AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
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AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
Titel: The Iskra Incident
Einband: Mass Market Paperback
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The Iskra Incident is a good, old-fashioned techno-thriller with America against the Soviet Union late in the Cold War.
When a plane carrying top Soviet officials crashes en route to an epoch-making summit in San Francisco, and a US Air Force jet missile is blamed for the crash, it suddenly looks like WW III is about to begin. USAF Colonel Jack Phillips must get past the Russians and the US military to find answers that no one seems to want him to find. HC: Dutton.
I wrote The Iskra Incident while living in Redondo Beach, California in the 1980s. I was still on active duty in the Air Force when I enrolled in the Master of Professional Writing program at the University of Southern California. I had decided I wanted to improve as a writer of fiction. A requirement for the MPW degree was to produce a publishable manuscript. You didn't have to get the manuscript published, but your thesis advisor had to deem it as being publishable. Most professors at that time were writers instead of just academicians, so the teaching was practical knowledge passed on by successful writers. I recognized early-on that while I was good at Air Force writing, I had much to learn about the techniques of successful fiction writing.
I was fortunate to take my third class with Paul Gillette (1938-1996), author of the novel version of Play Misty for Me, Carmela, and 305 East, among many other titles. He also ran a Workshop for Professional Writers out of his office on Sunset Boulevard, and approximately 100 of his students over the years had published manuscripts. While I continued my MPW classes, I became a student of Paul's and met four times a month with about 20 other aspiring writers. I started with another military-related mystery and wrote a fairly good draft of most of it. At some point I switched over to the manuscript that became The Iskra Incident, which is a techno-thriller with a strong element of mystery throughout. In 1984 I became the Chief of Staff for a 3-star general who commanded the Air Force Space Division, and I had little time for my writing for the next couple of years.
In December 1988 after I'd retired from the Air Force, I wanted to complete my MPW degree and finish The Iskra Incident as my thesis project. I had about a third of the manuscript in pretty good shape, then sat down and wrote nearly 300 pages in about six weeks. I spent another month or so polishing it up. I learned early-on that the editing process on a complete manuscript can be an enjoyable part of writing. At that point a writer can really understand what is needed and where, while recognizing pieces the story doesn't really need. In a final read-through, I ended up cutting 10 pages of the first 70, which made the manuscript much tighter. Paul offered Mario Puzo's, The Godfather, as an excellent example of writing chapter endings with a hook to pull readers forward. So I worked particularly hard on Iskra to include many such chapter endings. Fans told me Iskra kept them up virtually all night. A librarian and told me she'd really needed her sleep to go to work the next day, so she'd finished a chapter and turned the light off about 2 AM. About five minutes later she turned the light back on to continue reading Iskra. So beware!
I had met an agent at Paul's workshop, and she submitted Iskra to 5 editors. Within 10 days, an editor at Penguin told her not to sell it without giving him a chance to bid. At Simon & Schuster, Iskra went before 2 editorial boards. S&S finally passed because they were unsure how well they could do on a hardcover/softcover deal. Later my agent had lunch with one of the top literary agents in Hollywood who asked who got that book that everyone at Simon & Schuster was talking about. The Signet edition of Iskra sold more than 140,000 paperback copies, so S&S likely would have come out okay, and I would've come out even better on my first book deal if a bidding war had ensued.
A good, old-fashioned techno-thriller of America versus the Soviet Union late in the Cold War, The Iskra Incident earned the 1991 Award of Excellence for Aviation Fiction from the Aviation/Space Writers Association. Judges' comments included, "Butler has lifted himself out of the techno-thriller mainstream with a book that has a quick and varying pace, a tight and surprising plot, and characters who are believable and motivated."
I am proud my first novel, The Iskra Incident, was so successful and well received.
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