David Pereda is an award-winning author who enjoys writing political thrillers and mainstream novels. Before devoting his time solely to writing and teaching, Pereda had a rich and successful international consulting career with global giant Booz-Allen and Hamilton, where he worked with the governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Peru and Qatar, among others.
1. Why did you write THIS book?
I never know, exactly, why I write any book. I can tell you how the idea germinated on my mind. My wife was a successful plastic surgeon, and thanks to her, I was able to witness several complex surgeries. Since I was born in Cuba, I started thinking, “Why not a face-disguising surgery to Fidel Castro?” And the idea for the Havana Series of thrillers was born.
2. Do you have a “story” about the writing of this book? Something fun, crazy or frustrating that happened while writing?
Several Miami political groups were interested in the fact that I was writing thrillers in English with Castro as one of the main figures. One group in particular invited me to meetings and to give several presentations about Castro and the book. One day, the leader of the association telephoned a well-known leader of the political opposition in Cuba, who had just been released from jail. After some chit-chat, he introduced me. “Here with me is the author David Pereda,” he announced proudly. “Who is…”started to say the lady. The line was abruptly disconnected.
3. Name four of your favorite, must-read and/or strongest-influence authors.
Harlan Coben, John Grisham, Ernest Hemingway and Albert Camus
4. What is something you LOVE to hate and something you HATE to love.
As an unabashed lover of fast cars, I LOVE to hate people tooling around in great sports cars who don’t know how to drive them. I HATE to love chocolate ice cream. Did I say hate?
5. Who or what did you want to be when you were eleven? Were you right?
A writer. I wrote my first book at 10, a western in the tradition of Max Brand and Zane Grey, titled David Patterson, the Temerarious. I was right. Of course, at 13 I wanted to be a basketball player and at 18 a Mathematician. At 30 I decided to become an international consultant. But finally I had an epiphany and went back to what I loved the most, writing.
6. If you could have a super power, which one would you choose?
I’ll plead the Fifth Amendment on this question. If I answered honestly, I’d probably incriminate myself big time.
7. Please tell us about your latest book.
I’ll give you a brief synopsis:
When an old fisherman is gunned down on a Mexican beach, prominent Miami surgeon Raymond Peters becomes the prime suspect. The dead fisherman is believed to be Fidel Castro whom Dr. Peters had helped disguise through clandestine plastic surgery on a trip to Cuba two years earlier. But is the body really that of the Cuban leader? In order to save his own life, the beleaguered physician must solve the murder, find the killers and retrieve a mysterious journal. And this has to be done while outwitting a sensual but ruthless assassin named Marcela, sent by Castro’s brother, Raul.
8. Was the book well received?”
I believe so. It has won four awards already, including a Readers Favorite Award. And the reviews have been excellent. Here’s what some reviewers had to say about the book:
“The work is indeed a masterpiece of entertainment…” Gary Sorkin, Pacific Book Review
“The suspense grabs the reader from the beginning and holds it to the end…If you like a good mystery filled with espionage, you will enjoy this book.” Readers Favorite
“David Pereda has done it again. In Havana: Killing Castro, he continues intriguing readers with the story begun in Havana: Top Secret.” The Laurel of Asheville
9. Where can the book be purchased?
Havana: Killing Castro is available through Eternal Press, www.eternalpress.com, www.amazon.com , www.fictionwise.com , and in selected Asheville bookstores.
10. What’s next?
I’m already hard at work on the sequel to Killing Castro. Titled Twin Powers, it will be a departure from the previous books in the series. The locale will switch to the Middle East and the centerpiece of the story will be the twin girls – hence the title – that are born to Sonia and Raymond in Killing Castro.
And now here’s an excerpt from Killing Castro:
“So what did you want to talk to me about, Raymond?” Pepe stretched on his chair to clink glasses and then took a long pull of his mojito, drinking with his pinkie finger straight up. Raymond shook his head in disbelief as he sipped from his own glass. He put his glass on the table as Pepe gazed at him. “You said it was important.”
“You know who killed Fidel?”
“You mean the fisherman shot dead in Mexico?”
“Yes.” Pepe drained the rest of his drink in one mighty gulp and
stared at his empty glass. “Ready for another, Raymond?”
“Mind if I have another?”
“Go right ahead.”
“Keep talking.” Pepe leaned forward to refill his glass from the pitcher on the table, settled back in his chair, and took another pull of his drink. “I can drink and listen at the same time. You know who killed the fisherman?”
“I think so.”
“And that’s the reason you’re here?”
“Not really, Pepe. I came to confirm information—and to talk to you
in person. As you always say, you never know who’s listening on the
phone. By the way, where is Raul?”
“He’s going to join us for dinner tonight. Drink up, Raymond. I’m already finishing my second, and you haven’t really started on your first.”
Raymond sipped his drink thoughtfully. “Remember what you said
to me a couple of years ago in Miami?”
“I said many things to you in Miami, Raymond.”
Pepe drained his glass and served himself another. This time he didn’t ask for permission.
“True. I mean, do you remember how you convinced me to come to Cuba with you? You told me that story about us as kids and how you had saved my life?”
“Of course I remember.” Pepe gulped greedily from his third drink.
“Do you? Tell it to me again.”
Raymond laughed amiably. “The same old Pepe, testing me out.”
Pepe laughed too.
“Okay, I’ll tell you—so you’ll know I still remember that story. We were in the park, and I got in a fight with Marcelino. He pulled a knife on me and tripped me. He was about to plunge the knife into me when you knocked him out with a punch. I’d never seen someone hit with such force. Marcelino’s head hit the grass so hard he was out cold several minutes. We were so scared you had killed him, remember?”
“Of course I remember,” Pepe said.
Raymond rose slowly, glowering at Pepe.
“That’s not the story. In the real story, you saved me from drowning in the Almendares River—remember? You’re not Pepe Orozco. And you sure as hell are not Fidel Castro either.” He leaned forward and said in a sharp voice, watching the man’s face blanch, “Who are you?”
David will be giving away an autographed copy of Killing Castro to one randomly drawn commenter as well as to the tour host with the most comments, excluding David’s and duplicates.
To follow the rest of David’s blog tour, click here.
Thanks for visiting and good luck with the tour and the book!