The Journalist

The Journalist - M.F. Moonzajer

Deciding to undertake the process of writing an espionage thriller is no small matter. There are so many additional details and plot lines to follow, even plot lines that you don't specifically lay out within the pages. 

Moonzajer's The Journalist had all the great plot points that you would expect from this type of thriller. However, I did find myself getting confused on a couple of occasions. There were several chapters I had to reread to try to find my bearings once again so that I could continue on with the plot. 

But the writing is very well done and it's an overall very exciting story. 


Some Bio Information

M.F. Moonzajer is a former intern for the United Nations Secretariat in Bonn, Germany, an International Development Research Center of Canada scholar, the current editor of the International Scientific Journal of Issues, Research and Essay (JSRE), and the chairman of the Indie Authors Promotion Center. Moonzajer is also a former correspondent for the Journalism in Crisis Coalition of New Zealand, a coordinator for the International Media Support of Denmark, a fellow for the Sustainable Development Policy Institute of Pakistan and a policy maker for an international NGO in Afghanistan. He has BA in Journalism and a Master’s degree in Development Studies.


Q&A

1. What inspired you to write this book? 

I have read and watched many spy (MI6, FBI and CIA) books and movies, and I always wanted to have my own version of spy and espionage story. The Journalist is like my kid. I have had nurtured the story in my dreams for years. Previously, I had written a number of nonfiction books on different topics, but the Journalist is my first fiction book. To tell you the truth, the dead of Mike Spann, the first CIA agent killed in Afghanistan in 2001, inspired me to write this book and I have also dedicated this book to him and his heroism. 

2. Was there a deciding point in your life that made you want to become an author? 

Yes, I was born and raised in an illiterate family. Education was not our thing at all. I failed to pass the exam during my seventh grade, because I could not read or write even my name. Then I had to decide whether leave the school or do my best. I succeeded to continue my education, and I completed school, then university (first person who went to university in our generations) and then I completed my master academic program. Along the journey, I started writing academic papers, I wrote for the international journals and magazines such as the Global Foreign Policy Magazine, News Safety Institute of America, Express tribune, Wave Magazine of Europe etc. and the collection of my academic papers turned into a book “30 pieces”. I felt that I owe the world, and now it is my time to write. 

3. Are there any authors who influence your writing? 

Yes, I like reading Robert Ludlum’s books a lot. I have read most of his books. He has a unique style of writing. His imaginations are awesome. I want to continue the trilogy of the Journalist like his series spy fiction. I also enjoy reading John le Carre’s spy fiction. 

4. Can you tell me a little bit about your writing process? 

Well, as I said, it is my first fiction, and the eighth book in total, in this special case, I developed the story, the characters, and then start writing it. It took me just a few months to draft the book. I faced many problems, especially in the post drafting process. I live in Afghanistan and it is hard to find people who can read and understand English and then it is difficult, because those who can read English are too busy or they do not read at all, or even they are not interested in reading and giving you feedback. I like to have control over my writing process. I first design the plot and storyline, then I draft it, and later I work on illustration of events, introducing characters and it goes on until it is finalized. It is more like a child’s 9 months process. 

5. Who is your favorite character in your work? 

Characters are like an author’s children. Some of them are good and some of them are bad, but what makes a few of them is the connection you find between yourself and the character. I loved Elena, for her softness, simplicity and kindheartedness, but I had to let her go, because the world inside the Journalist was too harsh for her. I also like a complicated character like Takdeer, so it is between good and bad. 

6. How would you describe your writing style?  

I think I need to re-evaluate that. I have been writing academic papers, which is all about facts; no imagination is needed at all. Well, I use active voice; I try to use alliteration. I also use prose in the second edition of the Journalist (November 2015). 

7. What’s your ultimate writing goal? 

We have many untold stories in my country (Afghanistan). I want to write as many as good quality books and tell the stories to the world. I want to take part in changing the life of people through writing.