The Truth of the Matter
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THE TRUTH COMES OUT!
International best-selling author Andrew Klavan
rockets YA series to new heights
with third installment, The Truth Of The Matter
(Washington, DC) Andrew Klavan, the Edgar Award–winning author of Don’t Say a Wordand True Crime, will continue his best-selling young adult series with THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER (November 2010; Thomas Nelson; $14.99 Printed Case Hardcover; 978-1-59554-714-9), the third book in The Homelanders series and the follow-up to the best-selling first installment, The Long Way Home.
Hailed by Stephen King as “the most original novelist of crime and suspense since Cornell Woolrich,” Klavan has created a cast of characters in The Homelanders whose cinematic appeal is nothing short of spectacular. Hollywood has taken notice, too. Summit Entertainment, the team behind the highly successful Twilight film franchise and the Oscar winning Best Picture Hurt Locker has optioned the series. Lorenzo di Bonaventura, producer of Transformers and Stardust, will produce.
After extensive national coverage on Klavan and The Long Way Home (Washington Times, Fox and Friends, The Sean Hannity Show, The Mike Gallagher Show, The Laura Ingram Show, BigHollywood.com, Fox TV’s Red Eye, AOL.com, etc.), THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER is sure to become a hot media topic, with its strong patriotism angle during a period of cultural and political unrest on the national and the international stage.
Klavan’s thought-provoking interviews and op-ed pieces for the Wall Street Journal, the L.A. Times and other national outlets has sparked debate on the issues of conservatism, patriotism, and cultural ideologies. With the release of THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER, Klavan continues the conversation through the medium of fast paced, action-packed fiction.
THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER picks up the story where The Long Way Home left off—the story of Charlie West, an ordinary high school kid who went to bed one night and woke up in the clutches of terrorists , wanted by the police for murder and with absolutely no memory of the events of the past year. Once the quintessential “good kid” in his school and his community, Charlie is now an outsider looking in. When he finally finds the one person who knows what happened, and can help him remember, he finds out that remembering is painful-as well as dangerous-and figuring out what to do with this new knowledge may be Charlie’s toughest challenge yet.
About the Author
Andrew Klavan has been nominated for the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Allan Poe Award five times and won twice. He is the author of a dozen previous novels, including such internationally best-selling crime novels asTrue Crime, filmed by Clint Eastwood, and Don’t Say A Word, starring Michael Douglas. His latest novel for adults is the thriller The Identity Man (2010). The Last Thing I Remember (May 2009) was the best-selling debut to Klavan’s new Homelanders series for young adults and garnered much media attention. It’s follow-up The Long Way Home was equally well received and has become a featured read in many high schools across the USA.
As a screenwriter, Klavan adapted Simon Brett’s novel A Shock to the System for the film starring Michael Caine. Klavan also wrote the script for the 2008 horror film “One Missed Call,” starring Ed Burns.
Klavan’s journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, and elsewhere. He is a contributing editor to the Manhattan Institute think tank’s City Journal, where he published a trilogy of stories on Hollywood’s mistreatment of the war on terror, concluding with a report on Klavan’s own trip into the Afghanistan war zone, “Five Days at the End of the World.”
Klavan makes frequent personal and media appearances and has been a guest on Glenn Beck’s television program,Fox and Friends, The Sean Hannity television program, The Laura Ingraham radio show, Mike Gallagher’s radio show, The Fred Thompson show and dozens of others.
Born in New York City, Klavan grew up in Long Island and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. While at Berkeley, he picked up a hitchhiker named Ellen Flanagan, who became Mrs. Klavan in 1980. Before becoming a full-time novelist, Klavan held a number of jobs. He worked as a radio reporter in Berkeley, where he covered the Patty Hearst kidnapping. He covered small town crime and politics for a newspaper in upstate New York. He later returned to New York City, where he worked as a reader for Columbia Pictures and as a radio newswriter for WOR Radio and the ABC Radio Network. Klavan and his wife later lived in London for several years. They returned to the U.S. in 1999 and now live in Southern California. They have two grown children, Faith and Spencer.
Q&A with Andrew Klavan,
Author of THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER:
Q: You’ve had many successes as a best-selling novelist and screenwriter, yet The Homelanders series is your first series for young adults. What do you hope to bring to this “new” audience?
A: I like to tell stories that move like lightning—and I like to read stories like that too. I love video games, love them, and it sometimes seems to me that younger people aren’t being offered books that are as fast and as thrilling and involving as those games. That’s too bad because when a high-octane story comes at you off the pages of a book, it’s different, it’s special—it’s almost magic, because it’s like it’s happening inside your head. You know the character’s thoughts. You get inside his imagination and his story gets into yours. No game or movie can do that—only a book. So I figured if I used the skills I learned in creating thrillers for adults, I’d be able to introduce younger people to a kind of exciting reading experience maybe they haven’t had before or haven’t had enough.
Q: Tell us a bit about The Homelanders series, what happens in The Truth of the Matter, and the direction the series may be headed.
A: It’s a story about a really good guy, a really upright, straight-arrow teenager, Charlie West, who goes to sleep one night and wakes up tied to a chair being tortured by terrorists. He has no idea how it happened or why or what they want. And when he manages to escape, he finds that it’s not just the terrorists who are after him. He’s wanted by the police as well. In The Truth of the Matter, Charlie finds the one person who knows what happened to him, and can help him remember. The problem is that remembering is painful and dangerous. Figuring out what to do with what he learns turns out to be Charlie’s biggest challenge yet.
Q: What about Charlie West, the main character? Give us an idea of what he’s looking for.
A: Well, he’s looking for answers, first of all, but it’s more than that. Everything in Charlie’s life has been undermined and brought into question: his identity, his assumptions, his values. It’s as if he has to reinvent himself, to start everything all over again. It sort of brings up some questions that I think are important for all of us to face: who are we and how do we know what’s right and wrong? Are our values just an accident of culture or do they have some permanence? What can we truly believe in and why? Charlie’s got to figure all that out—and fast because if he makes one slip, trusts the wrong person, walks through the wrong door, the bad guys have got him and he’s dead.
Q: At one point, one of Charlie’s friends accuses him: “You walk around all sure of yourself. You think good is good and bad is bad. You think: work hard, pray to God, respect your parents, love America and everything’ll be great.” Is that really what Charlie believes?
A: No, of course not. He knows that everything isn’t always great, no matter how hard you try to do what’s right—in fact, no one knows that better than he does: I mean, he’s a good guy and look what’s happening to him! The whole world is trying to hunt him down and kill him.
Q: This is a series that asks some big questions (about patriotism, faith, good vs. evil) through its fictionalized characters and storyline. What do you hope readers come away with?
A: Well, first and foremost, I just want readers to have the thrill of experiencing this story, of living with Charlie through this incredibly dangerous mystery. But the thing is, too, at moments of ultimate danger you frequently come face to face with ultimate truths. I mean, it’s easy to sit in the safety of your room and think that good and evil don’t exist or that faith doesn’t really matter or that every problem can be solved by being “nice.” But when you actually find yourself in a position where you have to fight with evil people or die, where you literally have only seconds to decide who to trust or who to do battle with—well, then those big issues suddenly become very real very fast. So I hope these are thrilling books but that the thrills are the kind that might change your perspective a little.
Q: What does it mean to be patriotic in this day and age, particularly for young people?
A: You know, it’s become unfashionable to say so, but the simple truth is that America is unique. Unlike other countries, which were originally founded along racial lines, our country is founded on an idea—the idea of liberty that’s enshrined in our Constitution. For Americans, patriotism doesn’t mean nationalism or racial pride. It’s not just love of this particular piece of earth either. For us, patriotism is primarily love and loyalty to this precious idea of liberty. The thing is, when you have a nation as powerful, well-protected, rich and free as we’ve become, it’s easy to think it’ll always be that way. But in fact, even great nations can come under attack—from violent people and from misguided ideologies as well. In the Homelanders series, Charlie West has come face to face with some of those people—and some of those ideologies. And he not only has to pit his courage and his fighting skills against the bad guys, he also has to defend the American ideal against them with the understanding of his heart and mind.
Q: As a screenwriter, do you envision your fiction on the silver screen someday?
A: Well, look, it was a real thrill to see movies made out of my books. I mean, to have Clint Eastwood star in True Crime, Michael Douglas star in Don’t Say A Word—how cool is that? And, I’m really excited that the Summit Entertainment folks, who have had a ton of success with the Twilight films and Hurt Locker want to put The Homelanders series on the big screen. But I’ve always been a book guy first and foremost. I love books and I love reading—so I don’t really think about the movies when I write. Sometimes, when a book is finished, sure, I’ll imagine about how it might look as a movie or which movie star might be in it. But while I’m actually writing the book, I never think about it at all. I try to pour all my energy into making the story and characters come alive on the page. Someday, a director and producer and screenwriter and actors may come together to produce their version of the story. But if you want to hear it first-hand, straight from the imagination that created the story, you have to read the book.
Q: What kind of feedback have you had from young (and young at heart) readers since the first Homelanders book released?
A: The thing I’ve heard repeatedly that I’m really, really pleased about is: I could never get my son—nephew—grandson—whatever—to read, but he can’t put this book down. I’ve heard it again and again and every time I hear it, I go into a room by myself, close the door, pump my fists and say, “Yes!” …and then come out straight-faced as if nothing had happened.
Q: Charlie’s a good American kid. What does he like on his pizza?
A: Pepperoni – I mean, duh!