First Attempt Becomes Number 7

Way back in the late 1980s, I tried to write a novel called The Kuril Wedge Incident and never finished it. For many reasons, the plot didn’t work. Then, I started on Moscow Airlift that I have written about in this blog in the three “Manuscript Resurrection” entries. Moscow Airlift is scheduled to come out in March 2018 and is the sixth book in the Josh Haman series.

On my laptop, The Kuril Wedge Incident languished. When Big Mother 40 launched the Josh Haman series, The Kuril Wedge Incident was listed late in the series mainly because I didn’t know what to do with it. It just sat there collecting whatever dust electrons gather in a disk drive.

Looking at the dates of drafts, the first full draft in was completed in 2009. The plot changed from 1988 and the main character was now Josh Haman. The villains in the first draft were and still are North Koreans. Still not happy with it, the manuscript went back into a holding pattern and I focused on writing two other books, one was Big Mother 40.

2010 came and I made another pass at The Kurile Wedge Incident as a break from working on Big Mother 40. In 2013, I went through it again as I did in 2014 to incorporate the lessons learned from getting Big Mother 40 and Render Harmless published. By now, it was a good story and had to wait its turn to be published.

In 2016, I made another editing pass and liked the story, thought it was almost ready, but there was something wrong. What dawned on me was that while the term Kuril Wedge was relevant to me and those who served on the Seventh Fleet staff during the 80s, it means nothing to the average reader. Trying to explain the connection in the manuscript was a stretch and became a distraction that had no relevance to the plot. Because so many scenes in the book take place on and around Simushir, an island in the Kuril Island chain, the name was changed. The manuscript’s name was changed, references to the Kuril Wedge were deleted and voilà, the The Simushir Island Incident was born.

The book will be the seventh and last one in the Josh Haman series. It will released by Penmore Press in the late fall – the current schedule says November – of 2018.

The book’s plot wraps around North Korean actions to destabilize the region and threaten the U.S. Even though the story takes place 1992, many of the issues are relevant in 2018 as they were back then. FYI, Stephen Higgins from Cherubs 2 is back as a significant supporting character. The North Koreans are an interesting group trapped between power, greed and a desire for freedom. Several white knuckle flying scenes are scattered in the manuscript and Marty Cabot, a life long bachelor falls in love. It is now, after all these years a story worth sharing with readers.

Marc Liebman

February 2018

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