Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Olen Steinhauer

Olen Steinhauer's new Milo Weaver thriller is The Nearest Exit.

Last year he answered some questions about The Tourist (the first Milo Weaver novel) posed by Oline H. Cogdill for Publishers Weekly. A taste of the dialogue:

What drew you to the spy thriller?

John le Carré. It wasn't until I picked up The Spy Who Came In from the Cold that it became clear how spy fiction can encompass all the social commentary, realism, philosophy and fine writing of literature, yet still maintain the vigorous pacing that hooks an audience.

What's the biggest challenge for you in writing a spy thriller?

Plausibility. There's the plausibility of the story itself, which may contain terrorists or competing intelligence agencies pulling off hard-to-believe acts. The spy genre was so well-mined by the 1970s that it's difficult to find an angle that hasn't become cliché. You have to come up with something completely new or look at the old plots with a fresh, contemporary eye.

Paranoia and lies preoccupy Milo Weaver, the CIA agent in The Tourist.

My interest in paranoia and lies...[read on]
Read Olen Steinhauer's essay, "The Origins of The Tourist."

Visit Olen Steinhauer's website.

--Marshal Zeringue