Message From The Author

C.S. Graham

Genre: Thriller, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

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Author's Message

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As an Army Intelligence officer in the 1970s, Steven Harris had more to contend with than the Soviet arms race. For starters, there was the psychic arms race.

Harris, who with his wife, historical romance and mystery novelist Candice Proctor, aka C.S. Harris, comprises the C.S. Graham writing team, was trained to be a remote viewer. Something akin to a psychic investigator, a remote viewer can spot hidden objects, making him or her a crucial tool when it comes to spying. Remote viewers were employed to help find the captured Americans during the Iranian hostage crisis.

Public ridicule eventually prompted
the Army to abandon remote viewing, but
it still has its proponents, and in Harris
and Proctor's first novel, The Archangel Project (Harper), out this month, it sets off a deadly chain of events for remote viewer October "Tobie" Guinness (the heroine), a young Iraq War veteran who must join forces with CIA fixer Jax Alexander (the hero) to find out what happened when the burnt body of a Tulane professor leads them to a scheme that could threaten the future of the United States.

The plot may sound gloomy and doomy, but they injected humor into the proceedings -- or at least the characters did for them. "The characters drove the tone of the book," Proctor says. "The interaction between Tobie and Jax just created the atmosphere, and the frustration that she feels came through.

"The whole character creation process is very magical for me. No matter how much I pre-plan, I very frequently go in directions I hadn't intended."

Harris and Proctor, who live in New Orleans, met through the local Romance Writers of America chapter and are part of a writing group that also includes Laura Joh Rowland (The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Bronte). Friendship led to marriage, and a book Proctor was writing about an out-of-body experience led to their book when Harris began sharing his experiences with remote viewing.

"She actually does the writing, and we'll sit back and go over
what she's done," Harris explains. "Occasionally, she'll have the characters doing something that is a stretch, but since this is something that would be expected in a thriller, sometimes I bite my tongue. In the real world the intelligence business looks a lot like Get Smart. We had a lot of operations that were successful because of accidents rather than clever planning."

-- Diane Snyder

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