DAYS OF THE HUNTERS
Scribe Arthur Kerns served in the FBI, specializing in counterespionage and counterterrorism, before retiring from
the Bureau and becoming a consultant with the Director of Central Intelligence and the Department of State—a
career path that left him uniquely suited for the work of writing thrillers. To celebrate the release of his latest novel,
Kerns took some time to chat with The Big Thrill about the book’s inspiration, his influences, and promoting a new
release in these most unusual times.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
This is entertainment with a serious edge. The story relates how U S counterterrorist “boots on the ground” intelligence
officers operate. The action takes place in Italy, Beirut, Cairo, and Cyprus and involves the CIA, Mossad [Israel’s national
intelligence agency], and the Italian intelligence services and how they cooperate—and don’t. Spiced with a little romance,
the protagonists combat adversaries intent on harming Western society.
What was the biggest challenge this book presented? The biggest opportunity?
Diversion Press published my prior novels on an annual schedule, but a number of
mishaps, setbacks, and personal issues delayed this book for three years. I was determined to have it published one way
or another and succeeded.
What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?
Alan Furst, Charles McCarry, Robert Dugoni, and Jason Matthews are authors who write about the international spy genre
in their own manner. I found reading them enjoyable as well as educational from a writer’s standpoint.
Did any particular event inspire the plot?
DAYS OF THE HUNTERS is a spinoff of my Hayden Stone thriller trilogy, which was directly inspired by our counterterrorism
reaction following the 9/11 tragedy. The CIA had already prepared itself by setting up paramilitary units, but pulled out the
stops after the World Trade Center bombing. The US geared itself for a protracted conflict with hostile foreign organizations
like Al Qaeda and Hezbollah. I wanted to tell the story of these CIA operatives on the ground—the people who had to deal
day to day with combating the enemy despite the Brahmins back in Washington issuing bewildering orders.
What are you doing to promote your book?
Since my novels are thrillers, I count on the International Thriller Writers for ads and promotions. Amazon provides some
avenues, like free book days. I also promote my books on Twitter and Facebook. An important marketing source is my list
of readers who I contact when my book is first released. Book signings and writing conference panel appearances are
important, but not now during the corona virus epidemic.
When you’re not writing, what are you doing (hobbies, family, etc.)?
At my age racing my Porsche is out of the question, so golf is my main sporting outlet. Travel has always been one of my
pleasures. I’ve worked and lived in all the locations where my stories take place. Greece is the next venue for the sequel
to DAYS OF THE HUNTERS. Although I’ve been to Greece numerous times, I had planned to travel there to see how it
has changed following the financial and immigration troubles. Now with the travel bans, I’ll stay home with my wife and
catch up on my reading and cooking.