Bestselling Author Celebrates 30th Anniversary Of His Fact-To-Fiction Spy Hero, Aleksandr Talanov
Bestselling author JAMES HOUSTON TURNER launches a video series, The Talanov Mystique, to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the inspiring, true-life incident behind the creation of his "Ludlumesque" spy hero, Aleksandr Talanov.
Jan. 13, 2015 - AUSTIN, Texas -- Thirty years ago, in 1985, James Houston Turner's life was changed by a man he never met and whose name he still does not know.
"I had landed myself in trouble with the KGB because of my smuggling activities behind the old Iron Curtain," Turner recounts. "But an actual agent in Moscow leaked word through a network of secret contacts that I was on a watchlist and being followed in San Diego, where I was living at the time. His act of heroism -- he could have been executed for what he did -- inspired my fictional hero, Colonel Aleksandr Talanov, who went on to become a spy for America during the Cold War. Today, in my Talanov thriller series, our hero works for the CIA, who mistrusts him because of his KGB past and yet needs him for that very same reason."
Turner says he is frequently asked about the fact-versus-
A smuggler who has transported tons and tons of Bibles, clothing, food, and medical supplies, Turner says he has always been intrigued and inspired by the people he met behind the old Iron Curtain. "They were stout, hearty, solid people of faith, with a no-nonsense approach to God," he explains. "They demonstrated strength in adversity and hardship rather than blaming God and abandoning their faith. One man in particular, Josek, had been exiled to the coal mines of Siberia because of his faith. While there, he carved a small figurine -- of a fisherman holding a fish -- that served as a symbol of his faith, since Bibles were forbidden. That carving sits in my home today atop chunks of the Berlin Wall and a brick from the bombed headquarters of Adolph Hitler. It's a testimony to the power of faith over tyranny, and was a personal gift from Josek for our having delivered Bibles and food."
Turner continues, "Once the idea of Talanov as a fictional hero began to grow, I remember sitting with Josek's wooden carving in my hands, imagining Talanov to be the person responsible for exiling people like Josek to Siberia. And the storyteller in me began to ask: how, then, did this KGB bad guy become a good guy? That musing eventually became a novel."
The novel is November Echo, which takes readers on an assignment with Talanov and his partner to Spain to track down a defecting scientist, where Talanov is betrayed by the KGB, which proves to be the first of several "conversion"
experiences that not only lead him to become a spy, but also a man who begins defending the helpless rather than hunting them.
Set against Biopreparat, the actual biological weapons program of the old Soviet Union, November Echo soared to #1 after its 2014 release on Amazon.com. Visit http://www.amazon.com/
dp/B00G727L70 for additional details and reviews.
Turner's anticipated new thriller, Dragon Head, is scheduled for an October, 2015, release, with plans being currently underway to produce a film adapted from the book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
James Houston Turner is the bestselling author of the Aleksandr Talanov thriller series. Once given eighteen months to live, he is a cancer survivor of more than twenty-three years. Drawing on this and other experiences, he has spoken to thousands of students across America about not being defeated by the hard knocks of life. He holds a bachelor's degree from Baker University and a master's degree from the University of Houston (Clear Lake). After twenty years in Australia, he and his wife, Wendy, live in Austin, Texas.