Q&A with Cym Lowell author of JASPAR’S WAR
What made you decide to make the jump from international tax law to writing?
Love of emotion and exploring it in the context of characters enmeshed in crises where they must become warriors or perish.
You’re very open about your struggles that caused you to drop out of high school. What advice would you give your teenage self today?
Be realistic about your dreams, where you are, where you hope be, and then take one step at a time with patience and persistence. The Power of One is within you. Open your heart!
How did your life change when you joined the Navy at age 18?
I learned that my future depended on me.
You have spoken to groups of middle and high-school age students in New York City recently. Some of whom are homeless, or have been abused. What did you say to them, and how did you try and empower them to reach their full potential?
I asked them to think about their dreams, using myself as an example of the opportunity that each of us has to pull out of the trench in life where we have gotten, and walk into the sunshine, one step at a time.
How can we lift those barriers that prevent students from succeeding when life for some seems so daunting and complex?
By offering respect, encouragement, and example.
Would having had a mentor such as yourself back when you were struggling changed your life?
I did have such mentors, in loving parents and caring teachers. I was not at a place where I could listen until I found myself in my own trench, dug with my own hands.
For your initiative, OPERATION: NEXT CHAPTER, you teamed up with Soldier’s Angels to provide voice controlled laptops for injured veterans healing from amputations, paralysis, eye injuries, burns and brain trauma. What made you choose to support this organization?
The mission of Soldiers’ Angels is spot on in my heart. It is an organization focused on service with the minimal organizational structure, so funding goes to needy war heroes. Our church in Rosemary (Chapel at the Beach) does the same (60 percent of all donations going to missions). It is such a blessing to be able to give back!
How did you come up with the idea for the story?
I had written an earlier story involving two characters I thought had some potential. I began the story in 2008 as the financial collapse occurred, so I dropped them into the reality of where I thought stimulus monies were going (to those who caused the crash to start with). The character of Jaspar simply emerged via her own voice.
Jaspar emerged as noted above. Her heart, focus, and determination are based on what I have learned from the love of my life.
You also have two other very strong characters in the book; one a Native American Cherokee Indian; the other an incredibly original character named Nul, an Australian aborigine who is a warrior himself. Where did these characters evolve from?
As noted, they came from an earlier story that I am currently revising titled, Harvest of Gold (background coming from the never-found Jewish Gold from the Holocaust). Chief Bearstrike is a caricature of personalities I have known over the years, with the imagination of Warren Buffet. Nulandi is drawn from images of people I served with in Vietnam. In him, I am fascinated with how humanity can emerge from a child taken literally from the womb and made into a killing machine.
I simply get immersed in the story and characters. They are like friends. Frankly, I started writing at a point in my life where it probably saved me from realities that it took me many years to understand. In my first book, Riddle of Berlin, which we will begin working on shortly, the protagonist jumps from a point at Notre Dame into the Seine River in Paris hoping to find himself in the flow of the river. I stood at that point imagining what it would be like so often that I began the story there. What would happen to me? In that story, Carmen, a Gypsy nurse, rescues John Jaegerman and rebuilds him to a point where he can address a crisis in the world only he could conquer. That manuscript was published in response to my sweetheart’s encouragement – she saved me as Carmen did John. In other words, I wrote the story years before I met her not knowing that I was writing my own prescription for redemption. Sorry to be so personal, but it is the answer to your question.
Today, I simply love the process. Advice is simple: as in # 2 above, take a step at a time with patience and persistence.
What books and ideas do you have in the works that we can expect to see from you in the future?
The two noted above, as well as a sequel to Riddle of Berlin (30,000 Camels) and then a sequel to Jaspar’s War.
What advice would you give to someone interested in trying to write his or her first novel?
Just start. Then proceed a step at a time with patience and persistence.
Thank you, Cym, for visiting with us and our readers. What an insightful interview!
“Jaspar’s War wondrously chronicles one brave and desperate woman’s attempts to escape a Kafka-esque nightmare. Cym Lowell’s brilliant debut strains the boundaries of the thriller genre, even as it seeks to redefine them in this emotionally wrenching tale that reinvents and modernizes the classic Ludlum formula. Written with flare and emotion, as visually polished as it is viscerally powerful, Jaspar’s War manages a smooth and savory mix of Vince Flynn and Harlan Coben. Magnificent and not to be missed.”
―Jon Land, bestselling author of Strong Rain Falling
Is there a limit on a person’s
ability to be reborn?
In his newest novel, JASPAR’S WAR (Rosemary Beach Press; April 2014; $12.99), author Cym Lowell takes readers on a thrill ride to the most unexpected and dangerous of locales to uncover secrets that could bring down the U.S. government.
The recent economic collapse of the Western world is not as vague ornebulous as most of us think. It has been initiated by those with close ties to the sitting American president who have been rewarded by various governments for their stealth efforts. Now, with the capitalists’ own money they are preparing to take the economic attack to another level.
However, there’s one woman who can unravel their plans.
Set in Greenwich, Connecticut, JASPAR’S WAR is the compelling story of an American woman who lives a life of happiness, privilege, and wealth. Wall Street success preceded the president’s request that her husband, Trevor, become Secretary of the U.S. Treasury to rescue a failing global economy.
Now, Trevor has been murdered when the government jet he is travelling in crashes and her children kidnapped. She is told to be silent or else they will disappear like their father. Jaspar doesn’t know it, but she has evidence that can bring these people to justice. Yet, her own government is suspicious of her reasons, suspecting she may know more than she’s willing to tell. To save her children, she is on the run in Italy with an unlikely ally, and will go to the brink of hell and back, joining hands with assassins, traitors, and the devil himself, in a most terrifying and psychological cat and mouse game of intrigue and deception.
Hunted from all sides and unsure of who to trust, Jaspar races around the world in an attempt to stop a madman’s disastrous plans, reclaim her life, and find her children. With a host of characters caught up in thrilling circumstances, the storyline comes alive at breakneck speed as readers are taken on a wild and unexpected journey from the quiet backcountry of Greenwich, the picturesque countryside of Tuscany, the magnificence of the Eternal City of Rome and to the Monte Carlo Grand Prix. With alarms sounding off around the world, hero and villain alike twist and turn in and around each other, encountering threats suspiciously similar to current world events.
Rosemary Beach Press; April 2014
352 pages; $12.99 U.S.
About the author…..
Cym Lowell was born in Montana to academics with a youth of traveling the world. To be polite, he was an undistinguished student, rewarded with assignment to the U.S. Navy at 18. After two years in Vietnam, college and law school were a challenge. Being a veteran in the political turbulence of the late 1960s and early 1970s taught humility. Raising three children in the Midwest and Texas brought love and responsibility. An international tax practice in the financial crises of the past 40 years provided insight into motivations of actors on the global stage. Friends, clients, adversaries, and colleagues, like victory and defeat, added color and context. The result is a thriller writer with a treasure trove of experience to frame compelling characters enmeshed in heart-thumping challenge about endearing people caught-up in events that one would never dream possible.
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