There are any number of thriller authors, but few who have military intelligence experience. James Bruno is one of those authors with real-life experience, and in this interview, the Kindle bestselling author talks about why he thinks readers find his books so compelling. “Twenty-five years in the federal government often placed me in situations which made me say, ‘Fiction can’t rival this.’ My recurrent theme is the difficult moral choices people often face in the service of their country as well as the fecklessness and cynicism that infuses government decision-making.”
Bruno also said, “My background as a diplomat, military intelligence officer and journalist lend an authenticity to my books that the vast majority of my competition lacks. This is why I must submit to government security review and censorship of all of my writing. You are getting a dose of the real thing with my books, not contrived fantasies.”
The inspiration for Bruno’s novels comes from that background with the government. “The magical and sad country of Cuba got under my skin during my service there as a diplomat in the mid-90s,” he said. “Yes, there was the intrigue: being constantly surveilled and harassed by Castro’s secret police; the politically charged yet constructive monthly meetings with Cuban military officers on ‘The Line’ at Guantanamo Naval Base; cork-screwing in for a landing at GTMO as mine fields exploded by accident on the Cuban side; attending policy discussions at the White House. Heady stuff all. But the human encounters made a deeper impact on me. I knew one day I had to write a novel about it all.”
“Havana Queen” is Bruno’s latest spy thriller and begins with political turmoil engulfing Cuba. With Fidel and Raul Castro sinking deeper into dementia and failing health, FBI Agent Nick Castillo is swept up in a maelstrom of espionage, intrigue and guerrilla war in a journey that takes him to Cuba and back. Upon his return to the U.S., he must ferret out a web of spies deep inside the U.S. government which Havana has patiently built up over the years—traitors who are hemorrhaging official secrets. To succeed, Nick must navigate a wilderness of mirrors that leads him to an assassination plot against the Castros’ No. 1 enemy—the President of the United States.
James Bruno’s thrillers “Permanent Interests,” “CHASM” and “Tribe” have been Amazon Kindle bestsellers, including #1 in Political Fiction and Spy Stories. Bruno has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, SiriusXM Radio, in The Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Huffington Post and other media. Bruno was a career diplomat with the U.S. State Department, a military intelligence analyst and a news reporter. Learn more about James Bruno on his LinkedIn page.
Terry Ambrose (terryambrose.com) writes mysteries and thrillers. His latest funny Hawaiian mystery, “Kauai Temptations,” was called “More delicious than a Coconut Mocha Frap” by New York Times Bestselling author Jenn McKinlay (www.jennmckinlay.com).