Saturday July 21st, the Dallas Museum of Art hosted a special Arts & Letters Live event with author Daniel Silva. I have not read his new novel The Fallen Angel yet, but I'm a follower of lead character Gabriel Allon's adventures and I look forward to an exciting thriller. However, the talk delved much deeper - Silva's research, travels, world economic and political chat, and his view of publishing today were all on the evening's menu. We enjoyed appetizing plot teasers as well as deep dish opinions.
Mr. Silva began writing as a Middle East correspondent. After returning to Washington and working for CNN, he began his first novel, The Unlikely Spy. It wasn't until his fourth, The Kill Artist, that he created Gabriel Allon - an art restorer and Israeli secret agent. Now with his fifteenth book, Silva still doesn't bore us. He blends art, smuggling, danger, and world threatening secrets. Espionage, intrigue, and fascinating characters are the hallmarks of Silva's novels.
When asked, "Which is harder - writing the book or doing the book tour?" Mr. Silva laughed, paused, and said, "Well......I like meeting the readers, but the actual travel is a beating." He proceeded to tell some funny travel horror stories from his current tour. It's not glamorous.
Because the publishing industry is demanding, he'll return after Labor Day and hunker down to work on the next novel with the expectation that it will be completed by March 2013. He writes seven days a week, full work hours. His research is thorough and his editing precise.
He personally is not keen on social network expectations and prefers paper to e-books. He works alone and doesn't "understand the idea of writer critique groups. I'm not reading my work to a bunch of people." Silva does run words by his wife, but otherwise, he relies on his own ability as a writer to produce product.
Daniel Silva was a delightful interview. His sense of humor and his obvious intelligence gave the audience a well-rounded sense of a quiet talented man. If you haven't read any of Silva's books, seek one out now and you'll be hooked.
Joanne Faries, originally from the Philadelphia area, lives in Texas with her husband Ray. She considers herself fortunate to be able to pursue a writing career after eons in the business world. Joanne enjoys reading and movies, and is the film critic for the Little Paper of San Saba.