Thursday, November 8, 2012

Talking To New Side of Thomas Kostigen Re Debut Novel!

 BRH Announces Favorite Novel of Year -
 Can't Beat This One for me...
I was just about to welcome you and announce that I'd picked Golden Dawn as Favorite Novel of Year on Book Reader's Heaven, even though the year is not over!

TMK: Wow. Thank you so much!!

But now I've read Fatwa, and I have to first ask, are your sure that nobody other than yourself is in danger? I became concerned because when I first started gathering material, I was finding lots of pictures...then this morning, all kinds of computer glitches were happening. Will there likely be problems or danger in supporting your book?!

TMK: Ha. No danger. A fatwa is only aimed at 'blasphemy." I amped up the idea of a threat for storytelling purposes. 

Yes, I picked up on that realization after I caught my breath! Still...

I must tell you that your novel was the first which ever satisfied my craving for answers and provided that "missing point" that other writers had not yet covered!

TMK; Thank you. Very kind.

I should probably put in a disclaimer that there may be a book out there, but I've never heard of it, even though this is a hot topic...So, first, I must ask you, how much research was done to document what you wrote?

TMK: As a journalist for 25 years, research drives my writing. So as you can see from the tremendous amount of "facts" in the book that I had to find all these nuggets from historical documents.

Indeed, there was no doubt in my mind that your background had played a major role in choosing what to write in your debut novel. I found reference to the Mahdi...but to me, this should be known worldwide, and yet is not? Can you tell us whether you were able to formally document most of what you shared?

TMK: Yes, the mahdi is one of those enigmatic figures who should be known more worldwide, especially since the prophet is widely known in Islamic circles. But we in the West take a very Judeo-Christian view of the world and history. So this isn't so surprising. Ahmadinejad's comments about the mahdi are well documented. It's easy to find them with a search engine. The trick is of course, knowing what to look for. So the entire history of the mahdi up to the current time is absolutely accurate. 

While I have to agree your opinion of us is true, I'm also hoping that some of us begin to put 2 and 2 together to make 4.  When there are willing suicide bombers, Al Qaeda, and so much about the religious basis for actions, any objective individual has to be able to look to the history behind such actions. That's why your book was so important to me--it filled the gap!

Igreja Matriz de Fátima
I had earlier heard of Zoroastrians; however, again, there is little known about them. Why do you feel that these types of organizations, papers, documents, etc., are kept secret by religious organizations?

TMK: There is a great deal of ownership when it comes to religion. In my experience no religion likes to admit it has been influenced by another. Each likes to believe, I think, theirs is the one and only path. So ancient texts and influences are ignored or covered up. Just as the Third Secret of Fatima has been.

Yet, the story of Fatima is well known, "in general" but nothing about why, and how much, is not shared to the world. Why did you write this novel? Any personal interest beyond selling a great thriller?

TMK: I wrote this novel because of my interest in current events.
What shapes the events we see before our eyes? And is what we 
are seeing the truth? Are there others behind the factors at 
work? That is what got me going down the path to this story. 

You've traveled around the world quite a bit. Did you visit any locations in Golden Dawn and have you seen any information that supports your fictional account?
TMK: I traveled to all the locales in Golden Dawn except Iran. And I would go, but I can't get a visa! Still, I did a lot of research on the sites, history and people of Iran to make those scenes come alive.

Do you "believe" that your ending scene in Chapter 10 of Part 3 is even viable? Specifically, do you see one religion world-wide in the future? Why?

TMK: I do believe we will operate under a common ethos, if not religion in the future once a common "evil" arises. Then I think the world will fight together under one banner of "good." By the way, the world's religions do gather and leaders communicate. more should be written about this because I think it shows tolerance and understanding.

Indeed, I was pleased you included references to contact with the highest ranks of Catholicism. The  later actions of Mesbah Yavari's, the ayatollah who supported the president, were also a perfect statement for me. The character, Zhubin, also added greatly to the impact of what was happening...

Let's go back a little. we have always heard of false prophets. Mahmoud Talib was not just a false prophet but a criminal that purposely set out to become someone he was not. In your book, you mention the Napoleon you have an opinion about just how many who enter the political arena world-wide also have that type of mentality (or is that my own opinion seeking support, LOL?)

TMK: Oh I believe every politician is a megalomaniac. Otherwise why run for public office. All that scrutiny? Who needs that? Only big egos!

Not going to disagree with you there... Sean O'Shaughnessy is an intriguing character, do you see any possibility that Michael will become more like his uncle in the future? At the same time, how does the fatwa affect the future of Michael Shea's character?

TMK: I'd rather not explicate the future of Michael. But I will say he will carry on with Sean's torch. 

I knew you wouldn't answer that except as you did...But I did get the answer I really wanted to see--that there will be a sequel! I've already signed up for information on your site so I'll look forward to learning when it comes out!

Neda's role is one that was somewhat uncertain at the end of the novel. Can you share whether she will be called upon to follow her Zoroastrian rather than her personal relationship with Michael? Can she do both? Can Michael stay the somewhat uncommitted man he is regarding faith?

TMK: Again, I don't want to reveal to much about the sequel either, but Neda will be in it as a prominent character.

You're making it too easy for me...LOL...I just was looking forward to the continued romance angle...hey, they are a unique couple and I look forward to seeing how they deal with the religious aspect of their lives...

Mesbah Yavari seems to be fooled in his interpretations of what the Koran and books of hadith were saying. And yet he also was willing to consider optional there any true way to believe any of any early documents.

TMK: The problem and blessing with faith is that it is subjective. I think people can believe and adjust their beliefs for particular purposes (the selling of indulgences, the Crusades, etc). Every religion does this. I believe Yavari could or can as well.

You mentioned that the Sunni, Shia, Sufi, Wahhabism all were slightly different in the Muslim world. Do you see this as similar to those differences in Protestant beliefs, or is there any correlation at all? Or is Catholicism closer?

TMK: I think these belief systems are very different from Christianity because they infect lifestyle, culture, and politics in very deep and radical ways that most -- and I say most -- Christians do not embrace. But I do see a similarity in terms of fundamentalism.

Is the Black Flag, the Al-Quaida's flag, really a part of the Mahdi document?

TMK: Yes, absolutely true!

Do you personally believe the statement made by Neda "They cannot force people to live like this, in fear. We are not hateful people but our government wants us to be hateful. I wish people in the West could understand that. Only a minority of the country is made up of religious zealots. The rest of us are like you. People are the same. Governments and religions corrupt people."

TMK: That statement is the cornerstone of the book. Thank you for identifying it and for asking. This is what we should be taking away from the Arab Spring, the Iranian protests, and the revolts in Syria. It's politics, not the people.

And that, Thomas, was why your book became my favorite. I believe in your cornerstone!

Without putting you on the spot, there was a comment by Michael that the news service was not reporting as they had in the past--that was why we see so much on the personal lives of stars, athletes and politicians...? Many of us no longer trust or see the value of news reporting as in the past. Can we trust anybody??

TMK: I will take a line from Ronald Reagan: trust but verify...

Good answer, but not so easily done these days, in my opinion... The political ads that just bombarded our homes, surely couldn't permit anybody rational to believe any of them...

And finally, why go with the fatwa rather than continuing the series?

TMK: Fatwa is meant as a complementary series. Golden Dawn will continue on its own...and Michael Shea will be back.

Excellent! Now I'm really excited!

Fatwa is a dynamite piece of writing after a novel...very unique...saw the copyright statements in the book...but is there "anything" I can use for this... I can at least do a short review, but how much can I say???

TMK: You can say as much as you want and feel free to use a few pages if you'd like. 

Yes, it all makes sense now...I'm so happy to have had you visit...but with two series running'd better hurry back to your writing! Come back soon!

Book Readers Heaven has been pleased and honored to have you share in response to my questions...I applaud you in tackling and working to highlight what I consider the major issue facing the world today... My selection of your book is based upon my own assessment of what's important for the future...and in no way reflects on the quality of any other books! You all know by now I pretty much say what I think...and I love books...

My selection of Mr. Kostigen's book as my favorite is purely based upon "my personal opinions related to politics and religion" and I don't say that lightly...

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