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I am an accidental writer. In “real life” I have graduate degrees in business and engineering and spent many years writing boring technical, business, and legal papers. In late 2012 a friend’s death prompted me to ask what would be the one thing I regret not doing. I’ve always been an avid reader but have not had the courage to write. And I made a New Year resolution to write a book. That’s how “The Great Game” was born. D.R.Bell is a pen name, I was too intimidated to use my real one when I was publishing the “The Great Game” – what if it’s absolutely horrible? I was planning to end my writing career after that and actually managed to stay away for two weeks before starting the next book. I guess once you get the writing fever, it’s hard to stop.
I try to write about serious topics but wrap them into an action-filled story. In that formula I’ve been influenced by Ayn Rand works. Like her, I grew up in the former Soviet Union. I will readily admit to libertarian leanings, particularly when it comes to the balance of power between the state and an individual (“Madisonian” would probably be a better term – I think libertarians, classic liberals and conservatives have much more in common than typically realized). These are the types of issues I try to deal with in my books, together with the seduction of power, inequality and its impact on the society, consequences of financial policies, technological evolution, global struggle for supremacy, etc. Hopefully I do this in a way that does not put readers to sleep. While all my books are entirely fictional, each of them carries a Commentary how the fiction is rooted in facts and realities of current events.
The main characters in my books are always regular people. You will not find people with super-human abilities, zombies or vampires. No cool MI-6 or CIA agents with nerves of steel. No visions of apocalypse. Not even unconventional sex. Just ordinary people trying to rise to dangerous challenges when placed into difficult situations. The setting is either near past or the near future, based as much as possible on the actual events, facts and trends.