First of all, Happy New Year. As a reader of my blog, I wish you a happy, healthy and wealthy 2018.

In my last blog, I mentioned during a radio interview, the host got me thinking about Janet Pulaski, one of the main characters in Forgotten. Janet is also one of my favorite and most complex characters I’ve created. Since that call, my conscious and sub-conscious have been working overtime about the plot of a novel starring Janet and tentatively titled The Assassin.

This is not the first time I resurrected a character from an earlier book. Besides the main two characters – Josh Haman and Marty Cabot – in the Josh Haman series, I’ve done it before. For example, in Moscow Airlift, I brought back the Debenards from Cherubs 2; Krasnovsky from Render Harmless; and Volkov from Inner Look to play significant roles in the plot. In The Simushir Island Incident, if and when it comes out, Steven Higgins from Cherubs 2 raises his ugly head.

For the record, I sent The Simushir Island Incident which is the last book in the Josh Haman series to Penmore Press on Friday, January 5th. The high level plan discussed with Penmore in November 2017 is to release it late in 2018. We’ll see.

With The Simushir Island Incident finally done, I can turn my attention working with Penmore to finish Moscow Airlift so it can be released in March 2018. I now, I hope, I can plug away on the long list of books I want to write that now has nine (!) novels and one non-fiction book. To be fair, of the nine novels, I’ve got three manuscripts done, one of which is sitting with an agent. More about that in a later blog.

Back to The Assassin. It is different because Janet Pulaski will be the hero/main character, not a supporting one. Already, I’ve got the plot worked out in my head and sort of outlined on paper, but it is still evolving. The majority of the book takes place in 2003, two years after 9/11. From a writing perspective, I have to keep a copy of Forgotten next to my laptop to use as a reference. I’m only into the first chapter and already I’ve had to dig into the book to make sure that I get the dates correct as well as the names correct of people who appeared in Forgotten.

Is this going to turn into a new series?  Dunno.  I haven’t gotten that far.

Writing The Assassin should be fun. Right now, I envision including a Cuban intelligence officer who wants to find Janet and blackmail her out of retirement to kill opponents of the Venezuelan dictator, Hugo Chavez. Another bad guy member is a member of Islamic Jihad targeting Americans. Then there’s the Ukrainian born Aliyah Skylar who is trying to recruit Janet at a vulnerable time in her life. More I can’t mention because I haven’t written it yet. Some characters I envision now will make it into the manuscript and some won’t. Telling the story will be fun.  Stay tuned, I’ll have more as I write.

Marc Liebman

January 2018