Celtic Connexions welcomes US author Jack Durish. He’s got a lot on his plate these days, so without further ado, I’ve put him in the hot seat to allow him to get back home as soon as possible.
What is the one book you want us to read (title, genre, and availability)?
Rebels on the Mountain: Historical Fiction available in all ebook formats on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes.
What is your one sentence synopsis?
A childhood crush evolves into romance when Nick Andrews, a U.S. Army spy, reconnects with Lucia Comas, an American-educated mulata, in Cuba while he is there to unravel the diplomatic mess created by Fidel Castro’s revolution.
Who are the main characters and who would you like to see portray them in a movie?
Nick Andrews: A U.S. Army Ranger and Korean War Veteran who has made a career of reconnaissance patrols behind the Iron Curtain – possibly portrayed by Stephen Amell.
Lucia Comas: An American-educated, island-born mulata, daughter of the second wife of don Carlos Comas, a Cuba sugar plantation owner, and love interest of Nick Andrews – possibly portrayed by Christina Milian.
Emma Regan: An American socialite whose husband, a retired pediatrician operates a free clinic on the sugar plantation she inherited, and sister to the don Carlos Comas’ second wife Sigourney Weaver.
Fidel Castro: The charismatic leader of the revolution that overthrew the Cuban dictator, Fulgencio Batista – possibly portrayed by Jsu Garcia.
Che Guevara: The Argentinian doctor who became one of Castro’s most notorious lieutenants and his executioner following Fidel’s rise to power – possibly portrayed by Guillermo Diaz.
Ernest Hemingway: Nobel Prize winning author and Havana resident who mingled freely in the halls of power in Havana and purportedly supported Castro’s revolution – possibly portrayed by William Hurt.
Tell us about the story without revealing too much.
Nick Andrews uses the cover of a pleasure trip with friends, the Regans – a retired doctor and his socialite wife who own an estate in Cuba – to infiltrate the island from its halls of power in Havana to the rebel camp in the mountains at the eastern end of the island. Unexpectedly, he rekindles a childhood crush with the island-born niece of the Regans, and makes friends with a loyal Fidelista rebel. Romance, rum, rumba, and revolution layer themselves into a thrilling tale of intrigue, action, and suspense.
What inspired you to write this book and how long did it take?
I was slated to pilot a vessel from Galveston Bay to the Chesapeake, with a stop in Havana, when I was a young sailor, but the trip was canceled due to several factors including the fall of the Batista government in Cuba. I suppose that I never let go of the disappointment of missing that adventure. Thus, I followed events in Cuba closely and studied the history of the island and its people during the intervening fifty years. I spent another two years cataloging and studying my research, and another year and a half to write and edit the manuscript.
What other books have you written?
Dream Pirates – Fiction for young readers with impaired reading skills and new English speakers
WordPerfect: Creative Applications – Technical manual
Infantry School: A Soldier’s Journal – Personal memoir
Vietnam: A Soldier’s Journal – Personal memoir
Trifles: Literary Dessert – A collection of short stories to be published soon.
Which authors inspired you, your style?
Ernest Hemingway: Voice
Mark Twain: Irony
Charles Dickens: Memorable characters
Where can we learn more about you and your books?
www.jackdurish.com contains my personal blog as well as my biography, a synopsis of all my books and links to them, and recommended websites for anyone interested in reading.
How can we follow you? Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.
Google+: Jack Durish
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
I am currently working on my second novel featuring Nick Andrews as a young soldier in the Korean War. Also, I have been posting to my blog a series of articles built from my research into Cuba with special emphasis on the love-hate relationship between the island and the United States. Most expect a change in US-Cuban relations when Fidel Castro dies, and Americans will begin looking forward to visiting this Caribbean paradise which has been off limits for so many years.
Thanks for stopping in, Jack, and sharing your story with us.