Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
I always liked to write, even as a teenager I wrote short plays that we put together on my high school stage. I worked as a journalist for more that 15 years in various media (radio, print, TV) and like Gavri, watched how dramatic events unfold in front of my eyes.
What inspired you to write your book?
I watched how the Settlers movement grew to become a powerful cult that took over my country. I saw what wars do to people. I accumulated hundreds of articles, OP-ED pieces, radio interviews over the years as an “observer” – I felt there is more to it than just the reporting.
What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
That religious cults are very dangerous, and that wars, often the result of power struggle between “leaders” – destroy the human’s soul often with no repairs.
What drew you into this particular genre?
What happens in the real world is often more powerful than any fiction. But fiction can give you freedom to mold your own message. The combination of both is for me the best way to tell a story.
If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?
It would be Chaim. Religious fanaticism is for me one of the most destructive forces on the face of the planet in the way that religious cults take over human’s moral campus and make ordinary people do horrible things in the name of some “GOD” or “Godly leader” . From the Crusaders, to the Nazis, to the Taliban to ISIS and the Jewish Settler Movement (all different of course in scope and methods). I would ask him about his personal journey from a boy who grew up in a “normal” surroundings to become a leader in a religious fanatic cult.
What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
I am not a “fan” of Social Media – probably a generational thing.
What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
If there is a “story” in you that wants to get out; if you have something to say – sit down and write it down.
What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
Not sure. This book was for me an end of a journey – closing the circle.
About the Author
AVNER TAVORI has actually lived in the world he describes in his novel. In 1982 he was a war correspondent in Lebanon and spent more than three months with the advancing Israeli troops, and with units of the Christian Militia in Beirut.
He was born in 1947, in what was then British Palestine, and grew up in the Israel of the 1950’s in the socialist environment, typical of the time, in his hometown of Haifa. After completing his mandatory military service in the Parachute Brigade of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), he served a short stint as a Desk-Officer in the Jerusalem headquarters of ShinBet – Israel’s National Security Service – and coordinated field operations in the occupied West Bank.
As a journalist (1970-1986) he was the political correspondent for Israel’s Public Radio (Kol Israel) and covered the inner workings of Israel’s political scene. He also worked for the daily newspaper, DAVAR, and published opinion pieces on a variety of issues.
In the 1990’s he worked for the Israeli Labor Party, and then Rabin’s Government, culminating in being appointed to the position of Press Secretary for the Israeli Ambassador to the UN in New York.
He now lives in New York City. He can be reached at, firstname.lastname@example.org