Author Interview & Book Giveaway: The Target by Bill Bowen

Welcome to author Bill Bowen


Bill Bowen holds degrees in foreign affairs from the United States Air Force Academy and Georgetown University. He has served in military intelligence and in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs … at the intersection of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the President’s National Security Advisor.

Bowen lives in San Francisco with his wife, Sue, where he enjoys the political theater of local and state government and shares his thoughts at

If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
I would like to go to a time in the future when the scientists and philosophers have unravelled the mysteries of the universe. Who are we?

If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?
Steven Hawking; Jimmy Carter; Bill Gates; Wen Jiabao; Charlie Rose to manage the conversation.

If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?
Food; water; my wife.

What is one book everyone should read?
Other than The Target, the Bible.

If you were a superhero what would your name be?
Obi Wan Kenobi

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
Mindreading, but I would have to be able to turn it off.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Eggs Benedict.

What’s your favorite music genre? Favorite artist? Song?
Ballads. Leonard Cohen. After the Goldrush.

Is there anything you need in order to write? (ie Chocolate, quiet, music)
Just to be rested. My mind needs to be able to drift into the world of the characters.

Night owl, or early bird?
Early bird.

One food you would never eat?
A. Monkey brains, an Indiana Jones staple.

Pet Peeves?
People who feel superior.

Skittles or M&Ms?
M&Ms, perhaps a generational thing.

Favorite Cartoon?
Underdog. At the USAF Academy we watched this on Saturday mornings before parades.

What is your favorite sport to watch on TV?
College basketball, particularly the NCAA tournament.

How do you react to a bad review?
A good “bad review” is a learning opportunity. Seriously, I believe in Kaizen (continuous improvement) and have much to learn about writing.

If you could be a paranormal creature, what would you choose to be?
Agrajag from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

What is your favorite book that has been made into a movie?

What do you do when you are in-between books?
Work on marketing, hoping to get back to writing.

Where is your favorite place to read/write?
We rent a house in Ogunquit, Maine each August.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
The Target provides a respectful and balanced discussion of the motivations, objectives, and potential methods of nuclear terrorists – Muslim and American.

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world which would it be?
The Bible, particularly the Book of Acts.

What is your favorite quote?
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
Pilgrim’s Progress – Part II. I am from an English/Welch New England family.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Taking a day off to watch the Red Sox.

What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you’d be embarrassed to admit?
NCIS. A bit is OK, but every night?

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
I sold it at a house party in Maine. The buyer wrote my first Amazon review (of 30 or so.) We had champagne.

Write a haiku about your book.
Chicago Christmas
Terrorism is a surprise
And the Mecca Jajj

The Target by Bill Bowen:
Mike Curran is an ordinary American – the son of a South Side Chicago cop, a Notre Dame graduate, an Iraq War veteran, and a LaSalle Street stock broker. When he is a victim of a dirty bomb attack at Union Station, he gives up on the government and embarks on a journey from despair and revenge to a striking demonstration of deterrence. In contrast to Osama bin Laden hiding in Afghanistan, Mike and a group of like-minded associates enjoy tremendous resources and freedom of action. His greatest problem is with his conscience.

Aisha al-Rashid, a moderate descendant of Arabian royalty and the sister of one of the Union Station bombers, serves as a thoughtful counterpoint, as her path exposes her to the Americans’ plot.

Barbara from Berkeley, an intellectual liberal blogger, provides a third perspective on the unfolding story.

The Target reflects Bowen’s concern about the combination of terrorism and nuclear weapons and the missing element of deterrence in that equation. It is his hope that the leaders of Iran, Pakistan, and other countries will understand the danger of uncontrolled proliferation.

Giveaway Details:
1 copy of The Target by Bill Bowen
Open to US only.
Ends 1/30/11

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