by Lorie Lewis Ham
This week the latest book in Lee Goldberg’s Ian Ludlow Thriller series, Fake Truth, was released. We took a moment to chat with Lee about the book and the series, and in a few weeks we will also have a review of the book. This is a fun series you won’t want to miss! You can check out KRL’s reviews of the first 2 books, True Fiction and Killer Thriller here! And you will find links to purchase the new book below!
Behind the Book interview with Lee Goldberg:
KRL: For any readers who haven’t read this series can you provide a short overview of its premise?
Lee: Ian Ludlow writes thrillers about a freelance-spy-for-hire named Clint Straker. Ian’s plots have an uncanny tendency to come true, drawing the attention of not only the CIA, but the foreign intelligence agencies of our adversaries. Now he’s working as a freelance spy himself and discovers the line between fiction and reality blurring. In this book, Ian is suffering a sort of writer’s block, unable to come up with stories on the page that match what he has experienced in reality. Meanwhile, a covert Soviet think-tank has come up with a way to take “fake news” one step further… to manufacture real events, then amplify them with fake news, to force the United States into a war.
KRL: How did you come up with the premise for the series?
Lee: I wondered what would happen if a guy like me ended up in one of the situations I write about. Would I be as capable or smart as the heroes I write about? Would any of the writers I know be able to match the skills of their series characters? Michael Connelly isn’t Bosch, and Lee Child isn’t Reacher, at least not in terms of their training or experience, but they do think the same way. So perhaps there is some similarity. The more I pondered the possibilities, the more excited I became about writing a novel based on that premise. That’s how True Fiction, and then the two sequels (Killer Thriller and Fake Truth) were born.
KRL: Where did you get the idea for Fake Truth?
Lee: I was inspired by three news stories. The first was about new movie editing software that’s capable of flawlessly replicating an actor’s voice, putting any words they want into their mouths, a feature that would allow producers to record new or replacement dialogue without having the bring in the actors to record new lines. But the software hasn’t been rolled out because of the wider implications of its use. The other story was about the methods the Russians used to influence public opinion in our elections. And, finally, there was an article about foreign ownership of American media companies…and the risks that posed.
KRL: This series is a bit unusual, has it presented any special challenges? Has it made it harder to come up with plots or easier?
Lee: Much harder…because I am in the same awkward position as my hero (though, thankfully, my life isn’t at stake…and I rarely hold the fate of our country in my hands). As soon as I come up with a plot, or a plot point, it happens in reality, which is very frustrating. I did a lot of replotting as I wrote Fake Truth to try to stay ahead of the curve… but I finally gave up. I had to if I wanted to finish the book. Also, in the world we live in today, it’s very hard to come up with anything wilder or scarier than what’s actually happening.
KRL: Very true! What do you like best about your main character Ian Ludlow?
Lee: Ian is a lot like me, so in some ways it allows me to examine the creative and professional choices I’ve made…and to analyze how I go about crafting characters and stories. Ian is constantly deconstructing the genre – to understand it but also to weaponize it. That process has also made me more aware of how I write and how I plot. For me, that’s the real fun of writing these books.
KRL: What kind of research did you have to do for Fake Truth?
Lee: I read up on all of the ways that the Russians used “fake news” to manipulate Americans. I also read up on some of the technology behind replicating audio and visual elements of real footage to create fake footage (what they are now calling “deep fakes”). And I watched Hannity for a week, which was like being waterboarded with urine.
KRL: Will there be more Ian Ludlow books?
Lee: I certainly hope so. A lot depends on whether this book is successful – so buy one copy for yourself, one copy for your friends, and one copy to give to a stranger.
KRL: Where can people find you online?
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You can use this link to purchase this book from indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy, and KRL gets a portion of the sale:
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Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.