Monday, November 18, 2013
While most authors who publish one book in a year find the process overwhelming, in 2013 Susan Sloate has seen three novels through publication in a single 90-day span. From July 2 to Sept. 30, her novels “Stealing Fire,” “Forward to Camelot: 50th Anniversary Edition” (both published by Drake Valley Press) and “Realizing You” have gone live. To compound the difficulty, the books are written in three different genres and styles, with no subject, character or situation in common.
All three books are receiving laudatory reviews from critics and readers. “Stealing Fire,” a love story about Broadway in the 1980s, has already become a No. 2 Amazon bestseller. “Realizing You” (co-authored with Ron Doades) introduces a brand-new genre: the self-help novel, teaching nonfiction life lessons through a fully-developed plot and characters in novel form.
The novel drawing the most attention this month is “Forward to Camelot,” which Sloate co-authored with her writing partner, Kevin Finn. This new edition of the novel they originally published in 2003 coincides with the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas and offers little-known factual information about that tragic event, which was connected to a covert gun-running operation intended to lead to war with Cuba. Based on years of pre-Internet research, the novel spotlights little-known events that were occurring in the months before JFK’s death, which the American public is still largely unaware of.
“Forward to Camelot” follows actress Cady Cuyler, who travels back in time to recover a priceless Kennedy artifact while searching for the truth about her own father’s disappearance on the same day Kennedy was killed. Finding undeniable links between her father’s disappearance and JFK’s assassination leads her to a far more perilous mission: can she somehow save Kennedy from assassination, with the unlikely help of a courageous ex-Marine named Lee Harvey Oswald?
“Our story began with JFK’s Bible, which was used to swear in Lyndon Johnson aboard Air Force One on Nov. 22, 1963, then vanished,” said Sloate. “That was our doorway into the adventure. What we found as we continued to dig was astonishing.”
Finn adds, “Every JFK assassination novel deals with Lee Oswald as the lone gunman, but the evidence is clear much more was happening. Killing Kennedy removed him as an opponent for the CIA and anti-Castro groups operating in the US. Everyday Americans were supposed to be so inflamed about his death that they would demand war with Cuba, forcing Lyndon Johnson, Kennedy’s successor, to invade Cuba and depose Castro. It was an ingenious plan.”
Who were these gun runners? What drove them? How close were they to invading Cuba? Was Lee Oswald really a double agent, with secret files that could expose the plotters?
Sloate and Finn answer these questions in a roller-coaster adventure that goes further than any previous JFK novel in identifying the sinister forces ranged against JFK in 1963. The characters include JFK himself, Jackie and Bobby Kennedy, Lee Oswald and Lyndon Johnson, all depicted as they really were, not air-brushed by history, and offers what they believe is the real solution to the assassination conspiracy.
Sloate has one final caution for readers: “The facts support the fiction. Gunrunning, the plot to kill JFK and a second invasion of Cuba… that all really happened. No novelist could make this stuff up.”
Sloate, the author of 20 previous books, is speaking at the Mount Pleasant Library on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 6:30 pm about the assassination and will appear on Mornings with Kelly Golden, at 94.3 WSC, on Friday, Nov. 22, between 6 and 9 a.m. Her book tour schedule for “Forward to Camelot” is available online at www.susansloate.com.
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