Monday, June 6, 2011

Up Close & Personal with Author Lee Holz

Where do you call home?

A farm in Western PA

What is your book about?

I have published two books so far: The Abomination Assignment and The Honeymoon Assignment. They are the first two books of a series I call the Bowin novels after the protagonists Tom and Alice Bowin.

In the first book Tom is recruited to be a US government-sanctioned assassin in the war on terror. We witness a kill in Amsterdam when he is an experienced agent, his first kill in Hamburg and a kill in Montreal when he meets and works with Captain Alice Wilson, a counterterrorism expert in the Royal Canadian Army’s Special Operations Command. We learn of his life, loves and exploits culminating in his love affair with Alice and their joint effort to hunt down a religious fanatic who has gotten his hands on a Weapon of Mass Destruction.

The second book is the story of a series of adventures of Alice and Tom shortly after their wedding. The adventures begin on a private resort island in the Bahamas and lead to an exploit that changes their lives forever.

If you gave some of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?

They do speak for themselves in the books. They speak of their hopes and fears as well as their relationships and the challenges they face.

Do you have plans for a new book?

I’m well into the third Bowin novel, The Ana├»s Assignment. However, I have written a number of other novels, one of which “Impediments” is now in the hands of my editor, Gwendolyne Wood, and which we plan to publish next. Impediments is the first of The Sonnet Trilogy and is, essentially, a coming of age and love story. The Trilogy is a complex saga of two countries, two cultures and their interactions. There is a complete list of my ten novels, published and unpublished, on the Novels page of my website

What inspired you to write your book?

I’m not quite sure. I wrote and published poetry for 25 years. That well dried up and, being a voracious reader of books (both fiction and non-fiction) I decided I should write a novel. I started and it became an enjoyable and evolving happening. The Sonnet Trilogy is what I distilled from about half of the material I created in that first attempt which, when finished, was a about twice the length of War and Peace and unreadable.

Would you like to be contacted by readers to do book reviews?

I am always happy to hear from readers, and I’m thrilled when they write reviews (provided they are favourable reviews).

How did you come up with the title and cover design?

The titles of the two books published so far have to do with the plots. I can’t say more about that without revealing the plots. For technical reasons, there are two cover designs for these books. The paperback covers I created using Createspace’s cover builder software. The ebook covers are based on a photograph taken by my editor Gwendolyne Wood. The first was made on Photoshop with the assistance of Christopher Short. The second was made by me using a combination of Mac software. I plan to continue the duel cover scheme for the rest of the Bowin series, but all other books will have uniform covers now that I’ve conquered the technology.

Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life?

No, the characters and events are purely the products of imagination. However, physical descriptions are generally based on people I have at least seen or composites of such people (mix and match). Also, what I know and write about character, personality and attitudes is based on personal observation as well as studies in psychology. Finally, I write about places that I have been and know well. I supplement my personal knowledge with extensive research.

What books have most influenced your writing most and why?

That’s hard to say. The writers who I admire most stylistically are Jane Austen, John Fowles and Robert Parker. Why? Because they write so cleanly and so well.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?

The contemporary author I admire most is the poet Adrienne Su, and she is a personal friend. Beyond her, I would be happy to meet any and all the fellow authors whom I have made friends with on Goodreads.

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcovers?

For reading I prefer paperbacks, but because there are ebooks I want to read, I plan to get an ereader soon.

Have you ever read a book more than once?

Yes, I have read all of Jane Austen’s novels several times. Ditto those of John Fowles. I reread Shakespeare’s Sonnets regularly.

Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?

The Shinning.

What book are you currently reading?

Rabid by T. K. Kenyon

What book do you know that you will never read?

There are hundreds I pass up on Goodreads everyday. This is a matter of necessity. However, I have been trying to broaden the genres I dip into. There are some authors whose books I won’t read because I didn’t like one or more of theirs I did read. I won’t dismiss any author unread.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and why?

Because of Goodreads and the author friends I’ve met there, my reading horizons have broadened. In recent months I’ve read Roxanne Smolen, Christa Polkinhorn, Alice Osborn, T. K. Kenyon and Patry Francis (Goodreads authors all) and been greatly enriched by having done so.

Is there anything you would change in your last book and why?

No. I enjoy rewriting and working with my editor. My problem is knowing when to stop rewriting.

Who designed the cover of your book?

Gwendolyne Wood and I.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write, self-publish and promote your books on FB and GR. You will find the advice, support and encouragement you need on these networks.

Lee Holz Books:

The Abomination Assignment (The Bowin Novels)

What do a Palestinian gunman in Hamburg, an al-Qaida operative in Amsterdam, a Saudi bomber in Montreal and an American self-proclaimed "Prophet of the People" with a WMD and bad intentions have in common?

Dr. Thomas Bowin, noted neuroscientist and occasional government-sanctioned assassin, is on a mission to hunt them down.

Add the Prophet's naked handmaiden, a seductive spy and a beautiful Royal Canadian Special Operations Command major.

Tom Bowin's adventures are as interesting as they are violent.

The Honeymoon Assignment (The Bowin Novels)

An ex-Mossad operative is at the posh Georges Cay Resort in the Bahamas, but she is not on vacation.

She is believed to be an assassin for hire. Possible targets among her fellow guests are an American cyber security genius, an African opposition leader in exile, a Texan billionaire, a Columbian drug lord, a Miami mob boss, a noted French journalist and a Moroccan yacht owner and his Egyptian traveling companion.

Recently married US agents Alice and Tom Bowin, undercover as a vacationing couple from San Francisco join the party. The Bowins' usual assignments are to hunt "specially designated global terrorists."

Now they are charged with preventing an assassination rather than committing one. When one of the guests goes mysteriously missing, things become more complicated and the Royal Bahamian Police Force arrives to investigate. If the Bowins don't identify and neutralize the bad guys fast, there will be hell to pay.

Lee Holz - Amazon page:

Image of "Lee Holz"
Lee Holz is a novelist, poet, opera fan and eclectic reader. He lived in Europe for many years, and his travels took him to Australia and more than thirty countries on five continents. Lee's collected poems are currently available on line at his website

He has written a number of novels. The first to be published was The Abomination Assignment, an international assassin/spy thriller, which is currently available as a paperback from Amazon and as an ebook for Kindle and Nook.

The Abomination Assignment is the first of a series of thrillers featuring Dr. Thomas Bowin, full time scientist and part-time government-sanctioned assassin, and Major Alice Wilson of the Royal Canadian Army's Special Operations Command.

The second in the series, The Honeymoon Assignment, will be published in the near future by Farm Road Publishing and made available through Amazon and other outlets. The series is called The Bowin Novels, and more are planned.

In the near future, Lee plans to publish a psychological thriller and a saga trilogy about life and love on two continents during the 1950s and 1960s.

Lee lives in the country with his best-friend-lover-wife and their assorted feline buddies 'far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife.'

Where can your readers follow you?

My blog:

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My Goodreads author page:

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