Question: Who is the intended audience?
Answer: This novel of love, scandal, and death in the Congo appeals to readers who like high-concept action-packed thrillers as well as those who are more interested in romance. It’s not a romance novel per se, but there is a love triangle that adds depth to the plot.
Q: What is the book about?
A: Heart of Diamonds centers around a diamond smuggling scheme uncovered by TV journalist Valerie Grey while she is reporting on the endless civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As she follows the trail of blood diamonds from Africa to an American televangelist in Atlanta and finally to the White House, powerful forces try to stop her from exposing it to the world.
One Amazon reviewer said, “There’s enough sometimes-bloody action and intense suspense to please the most demanding thriller addict.”
Q: Why are you the best person to write this book?
A: I am a journalist, with credits in dozens of national publications and thirty years in the television business, so while this is a work of fiction, it’s based on accurate research into actual events in this tragic country. I made two trips to Central Africa to research the novel, so many of the scenes have a strong sense of place.
Q: How is this book different from other books on this topic?
A: I hope it is in how accurately I portrayed the people of the Congo. Too often, Africans are made to seem simple, slow, or lazy. But they’re not! They can be as complex as a Greenwich Village artist and as entrepreneurial as a Wall Street hedge fund manager.
Q: Is there anything else we should know about this book?
A: Heart of Diamonds also addresses the major issues facing the Democratic Republic of Congo and much of Africa. More than five million people have died there since 1998, making what’s known as the Second Congo War the deadliest conflict since World War II—and it’s still going on. I write about rape as a weapon of terror, child soldiers, widespread corruption at all levels of government, and the very sad plight of the hundreds of thousands of refugees from the violence that continues to wrack the nation.