is pleased to have as our guest today Avraham Azrieli.  Avraham has authored seven books of fiction and two non-fiction books. His most recent book is The Bootstrap Ultimatum.

Norm: Good day Avraham and thanks for participating in our interview.

Why have you been drawn to writing fiction and why do people like to read fiction?

Avraham: Writing fiction is a form of self-indulgence for those of us who love to read fiction and occasionally decide to write something we’d really like to read. But at its essence, fiction is the least medicated method we can utilize to transport ourselves to a better reality than the one we are forced to live in daily.

Norm: Do you have a specific writing style?

Avraham: Like any novelist, I probably tell my stories in a slightly different way, but it’s not a carefully planned or predesigned method. I just try to be clear and interesting to my readers, as anyone telling a story orally would try.

Norm: How did you decide you were ready to write  The Bootstrap Ultimatum?

Avraham: As I tell it in the acknowledgement page, back during my first year at law school in New York, as a new immigrant from Israel, I was shocked to see how Memorial Day in America was primarily a holiday of great sales in every department store and other fun and games, rather than a day of mourning for, and honoring of, the fallen soldiers.

This sad dichotomy between those who grieved for loved-ones who sacrificed their lives in the service of the nation, and the rest of the nation, eventually made me think up a plot: What if a veteran, or a grieving family member, decides to do something really drastic to slap America out of its ingratitude and disrespect for fallen veterans? That’s where the story of The Bootstrap Ultimatum came from. 

Norm: What does your title The Bootstrap Ultimatum represent?

Avraham: The term ‘Bootstrap’ implies self-reliance and determination in the face of mounting opposition, which characterizes both the antagonist here, who tries—single handedly—to change the way America celebrates Memorial Day, and the protagonist, Ben Teller, who is beaten down multiple times and nearly dies, yet continues on his quest to prevent a national disaster from happening.

Additionally, though not as well known, in the early days of computers, the term ‘Bootstrap’ described the computer program that starts up computing operations—which is where the more current term “Reboot” comes from. The story of The Bootstrap Ultimatum is ultimately a combination of the two meanings—the power of individual human fortitude and the power of instigating multiple computer networks to launch a nationwide crisis.

Norm: It is said that writers should write what they know. Were there any elements of the book that forced you to step out of your comfort zone, and if so, how did you approach this part of the writing?

Avraham: Writing fiction in general demands stepping out of one’s comfort zone—and stepping into an imaginary comfort zone. But more specifically, The Bootstrap Ultimatum is a story of a man and his machine (Ben and his motorcycle) against a bad guy and his/her machine (Bootstrap and the massive Social Security computer system). Writing the story demanded intimate familiarity with the relationship between rider and motorcycle (which I share) as well as the world of technology, which I had to learn about in order to write a realistic and suspenseful story.

Norm: What was your main focus when you created your protagonist Ben Teller? 

Avraham: Ben Teller first appeared in The Mormon Candidate as the young reporter who covers the nation’s capital for an online news service. He came about quite naturally for me because he is an avid motorcyclist, which requires certain personality traits (total focus, risk-taking/risk-avoidance, little patience for other people’s nonsense, and extreme individualism).

The world of news reporting is familiar to me—my father was a news reporter throughout my childhood, and I currently live near Washington DC, where Ben pursues his stories of scandal and political conspiracy. And Ben’s fiancé, Keera, is a young physician like my wife—another nice “coincidence.” 

Norm: How can our readers find out more about your and your books?

Avraham: My WEBSITE  

Norm:  What is next for Avraham Azrieli?

Avraham: I’m currently at work on another ‘Ben Teller’ novel that involves—what else?—the White House. 

Norm: As this interview draws to a close what one question would you have liked me to ask you? Please share your answer.

Norm:” What is, in your opinion, the purest form of storytelling? 

Avraham: Telling a good joke. It must be suspenseful and realistic. It requires the classic three parts structure (beginning, middle and end) and an unexpected climax. It must have a main character and, often, a fall guy. It should leave the listener seeing the world in a slightly new way. And under no circumstances can it be boring.

Here’s one from my mother: A badly feuding couple goes to the rabbi’s house for help. The aggrieved husband sets forth his complaints in detail and passion. When he’s done, the rabbi says: “You’re right!” To which the wife immediately responds with her own detailed grievances and heartfelt gripes. When she’s done, the rabbi says: “You’re right!” Then, from the kitchen, the rabbi’s wife yells: “How can they both be right?” The rabbi chuckles and says: “My dear, you’re also right!”

Norm:  Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors.

Follow Here To Read Norm's Review of The Bootstrap Ultimatum

Follow Here To Purchase The Bootstrap Ultimatum