Monday, July 12, 2010

Dan Fesperman

1 - What's your latest?

Dan Fesperman: LAYOVER IN DUBAI.

2 - Assuming I haven't read it, why should I?

Dan Fesperman: Because it's set in a truly bizarre part of the world, the likes of which has never been seen on the planet -- a hedonist dreamscape that rose up almost overnight in the bosom of Muslim severity, a speculator's nightmare/paradise (take your pick) populated by risk takers, global runaways, developers on the make (is there any other kind?), the mobsters of three nations, and, sprinkled here and there like grains of salt and pepper, the outnumbered locals, laying low but living well, the men all in white, the women all in black.

3 - What can you tell us about your main character that you hadn't realized until you answered the question?

Dan Fesperman: Well, his name is Anwar Sharaf, and even though he's an Emirati cop from a completely different background -- a childhood among smugglers and pearl divers, with no electricity and no running water -- his befuddled and anxious view of the world around him is probably a lot more like mine than I'd care to admit, and he's also about my age.

4 - What's your favorite scene and why?

Dan Fesperman: Probably the one where Sharaf and Sam Keller, a young American businessman whose colleague has been murdered, visit the security center of a luxury mega-mall -- which looks more like the control room of a nuclear power plant -- to secretly watch over a conclave of rival mafia factions, Russian and Iranian. The meeting takes place at an open-air restaurant on the third level. Only in Dubai would crime bosses see a mall not only as an optimum meeting place (while their wives shop, of course), but also as a tidy setting for disposing of a troublesome associate.

5 - What's next?

Dan Fesperman: A novel from the point of view of a fellow who is out on the cutting edge of modern warfare, and is slowly being driven crazy by its contrasts and strangeness. He commutes from the 'burbs of Vegas to a trailer in the Nevada desert where he pilots Predators drones over Afghanistan from 7,000 miles away. On a typical day he might watch a house for a few hours, kill everyone inside in a single minute, spend the next two hours assessing the carnage, then drive home just in time to catch his daughter's soccer game in an under-10 rec league, followed by burgers and beer on the patio.

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