ME: I just want to start by saying Thank You for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions for me. I look forward to knowing more about you.
DENNIS: Thank YOU, Kelsey! I appreciate you taking the time to get to know me, and my work.
ME: I know you’ve just published Mistaken Enemy on January 3, 2014 and I really want to talk about that. But first, I’d like my readers to know a little about you.
Where are you from?
DENNIS: I was born and raised in Los Angeles.
ME: What is your favorite quality about yourself?
DENNIS: Being thrilled about life—no wonder I write thrillers.
ME: We’re going to talk about this book that you’ve written, but first, let us learn a little about how you got your start in writing.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
ME: Stories started popping into my mind! I logged them into a file. But because I was practicing full-time as a forensic psychologist, and then devoting myself to being a husband and father, my time to create was limited. Gradually, I began daydreaming about writing these unique tales at some time in the future. Then as my children began college and then careers, I slowed down my practice—and here I am!
ME: What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
DENNIS: I’ve always been apprehensive about tackling a novel. What surprised me was that once I made the decision to try, and then started putting my ideas into prose, it flowed. That said, what is most challenging for me is constantly wanting to achieve up to the level of my fictional stars, people like Steinbeck, Fowles, Tom Robbins, D. H Lawrence, and Wharton.
ME: Okay, now we can get to talking about Mistaken Enemy.
Tell us about a little bit about Mistaken Enemy.
DENNIS: Mistaken Enemy is the first in The Zach Miller Thriller series. It’s an interesting work because it can be read on multiple levels—pure entertainment, political controversy, literary enjoyment, as well as psychological/philosophical enrichment. I’d like to describe it as a political thriller with heart and soul. Zacchaeus Miller (Zach for short) takes you on a journey through the Middle East as he navigates the grey area between right and wrong. Accidentally exposed to inside information of an underground terrorist plot soon to be executed, the protagonist races against time, to create the impossible solution to world peace... all while struggling to declare his own innocence. It will keep you on the edge of your seat, to say the least.
ME: Can you tell us about your main character?
DENNIS: Zach Miller is an aspiring writer with a great sense of humor, a contented attitude and a strong intellect. He’s been blessed with a secure and stable life. He’s a bit of what we’d all be grateful to have going into our early thirties. All that changes when he’s directed to go to Israel to seek out his destiny.
ME: What was the hardest part about writing this book?
DENNIS: I began with the ending to the tale. Then I sat down at my computer to write. I had no idea where I was going but knew that the point off in the distance where the story was over had to be reached. Many times I was totally lost, fearful I wouldn’t be able to find my way. Also, I refused to permit any cheats, what I define as areas of illogic in the story—being true to that principle is not easy.
ME: How many books are you planning in the Zach Miller Thriller series?
DENNIS: I have five already completed. I’ll actually be releasing the second very soon. I also have other completed manuscripts, a total of ten with another in the works. I’ve been writing for several years now, finally releasing Mistaken Enemy after my children threatened to stop talking to me if I didn’t do so.
ME: Have you started your next project yet? If so, can you tell us anything about it?
DENNIS: So far, I’ve written a total of five books in The Zach Miller Thriller series, which I am publishing one at a time. In each story, Zach is innocently drawn into what appears to be a benign situation only to be confronted with unanticipated peril. But that’s all I’ll say because I don’t want to give away too much!
ME: Do you have any specific last thoughts that you want to say to your readers?
DENNIS: The story of Mistaken Enemy ultimately began as an effort to find a creative solution to world peace. I realize I chose to center the solution on the highly controversial Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but I am in no way an expert on the topic. It was simply the most volatile location to set a thrilling tale. When asked, “Whose side are you on?” most souls would admit they are on the Israeli side, or the Palestinian side, but Mistaken Enemy allows you to look past those boundaries, and view the essence of the issue to be more complex than our emotions would like us to conclude. Mistaken Enemy doesn’t preach right, wrong, left or right; it compels you to rethink the moral definitions of what is just to humankind.
BONUS FUN QUESTIONS
ME: Who is your favorite author and why?
DENNIS: Number one for me is Tom Robbins (Skinny Legs And All, in particular). Without conscious intent on my part, I find there are similarities between Mistaken Enemy and his Skinny Legs And All—I think he’d appreciate my take on Jewish-Muslim relations.
ME: Are you reading any interesting books at the moment?
DENNIS: No. Frankly, I revise and edit my work innumerable times and find little left over to enjoy other works. Fortunately, I’ve always been a reader and have a fairly large inventory of past treasures.
ME: What do you do to unwind and relax?
DENNIS: Okay, you asked and I’ll tell. I play Freecell—and have a bourbon. Freecell, I’m convinced, has the effect of easing the mind. I often find myself in a revived state after a few games.
ME: Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see the point?
DENNIS: I see the point, for sure. Would I do it if my wife didn’t? Maybe, about once a week. That said, I’m extremely disciplined when it comes to health habits and scheduling work, which might account for the productivity I’ve enjoyed during the past few years.
ME: If you could be any kind of creature (other than human), which would you pick and why?
DENNIS: No question. I’m a dog lover but I choose cats. I’m enthralled with the idea of nine lives—but I still wouldn’t squander one of them.
Dennis Nehamen (pronounced knee-min) was born and raised in Los Angeles.
He attended U.C.L.A. and earned a Ph.D. in Psychology. His practice has spanned several decades, both as a forensic and clinical psychologist. With deep insights to the human psyche, Dennis has served as a psychological consultant at the heart of various dramatic and traumatic situations. As a result, his writing has unusual depth and is vividly authentic. During the past several years he began surrendering to a compulsion to write, which originated several screenplays, novels and an award-winning musical. Mistaken Enemy is the first release of his Zach Miller Thriller series, due in early 2014.
Dennis enjoys the outdoors, and hiking especially. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife who fortunately is willing to share him with his other love, writing. They have a dog, named Henry Higgins.
Zach thought he was researching an article on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—until he found himself trapped in the middle of it. Freelance writer Zacchaeus Miller travels to Israel, where he is told he has the ability to impact the lives of millions. He dives into the culture of his surroundings, in the end accidentally exposed to inside information threatening international borders. Burdened with the knowledge of an underground terrorist plot soon to be executed, the protagonist is then forced to play a role in the crisis. In a race against time, and an ongoing struggle to declare his innocence, he must intercept the impending attack or watch helplessly as innocent people are slaughtered and nations destroyed. But even the unintended emissary isn’t sure which side he is on.
Controversial, addicting, and bold, Mistaken Enemy is compelling new author Dennis Nehamen’s first release of the Zach Miller Thrillers. What begins as the captivating chronicle of one man’s exploration of a foreign land soon becomes a heart-racing account of hate, revenge, and conviction, ultimately testing the boundaries of human love.
( Kindle edition will be only $0.99 on March 4th!!)
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