Tuesday 7 November 2017

Guest Post: Tradecraft in Literature and in Our Lives

Clare: I recently read and really enjoyed Shifting Sands by Michael Shusko - you can check out my review here if you would like to know more about it! I'm excited to welcome Michael on to the blog today to talk about Tradecraft!

Tradecraft in Literature and in Our Lives by Michael Shusko

Thanks so much, Clare and Ann, for your thorough review of my latest book, Shifting Sands, and the opportunity to write a guest post for your blog. 

Your guess about the epilogue indicating another book in the series was spot-on! Shifting Sands in the second title in my military thriller series, Tradecraft, which will ultimately include six books. Vector was the first, and the third title, Evil Winds, is slated to come out Spring 2018.

While each of these books follows a different cast of characters, they're tied together by the common theme of tradecraft, and also by a brewing international crisis building up behind the scenes as featured characters try to resolve the immediate problems at hand. In the first two titles of the series, the rumblings of a greater threat is just surfacing. By the final book in the series, the depth and breadth of the global plot — and the Herculean effort required to resolve it — will be revealed. 

So, what exactly is tradecraft? Tradecraft is the art of gathering intelligence — or the way in which intelligence operatives obtain the information they need to succeed in their missions. Tradecraft is obtained in formal schools and informal on-the-job training.  There are many varied tools and techniques used in the world of espionage to assist agents and operatives in their quest to gain intelligence, ranging from high-tech gadgets to simple day-to-day activities.

But the art of tradecraft is more than just using tools to gain insight into the world around us. How this information is used is just as important as the information itself — if not more so. The complex world in which our characters find themselves in the Tradecraft series is very dynamic and ever changing, not unlike our own. Unique scenarios arise and quickly evolve, requiring on-the-spot decisions based on the information at hand and the experience of the individual. It is the art of tradecraft that helps the characters successfully negotiate the fine line between life and death.

Protagonist Nick Shane experiences this reality repeatedly in Shifting Sands. Obstacles arise at every turn, disrupting meticulously planned operations forcing him and others to rely on their experiences and ability to understand their environment and decipher clues around them in order to achieve the goal of delivering Dr. Sara Qaderi safely to the UN with the precious intel she must share with the world in order to save it from a devastating war.

It's my hope that as people read the book, they see a bit of themselves in the characters of Nick and Sara. In the book, innovation and perseverance is key to accomplishing the mission. Much like in our everyday lives, we overcome obstacles by continually moving forward, assessing our progress, learning from our mistakes and making adjustments as necessary.  That's called resilience and it's one of the most powerful tradecraft tools an operative has at his or her disposal.


Dual Reads readers can enjoy the first chapter of Vector free when they sign up to join my email list at michaelshusko.com. And to nab both titles at 10% off the list price, your readers can use the code E4SH6SFT for Vector and code MZ35LFGY for Shifting Sands. (As a heads up, the codes will only work when buying the books from the CreateSpace store. But not to worry — just follow the links in the earlier sentence and they'll take you where you need to go.) 

Thanks again, Clare and Ann, for the opportunity to connect with your followers. Happy reading, all!

About the Books:
Vector: Tradecraft: Phase ZeroShifting Sands: Tradecraft: Phase One
Blurb for Vector:
When researcher Jawad Khattib gasps his last breath on the Massachusetts General Hospital floor, the Department of Homeland Security wants answers—especially after a preliminary autopsy suggests he died of radiation poisoning. What exactly was Khattib working on? And who was he working for? DHS Agent Lee Jansen is rushed to Boston and paired with expert toxicologist Dr. Emma Hess to crack the case. All evidence points to the creation of a dirty bomb, but the clues seem too clean, too obvious. During the course of their investigation, they discover the horrible truth. This new weapon is far more deadly than anyone had expected. It isn’t just capable of killing hundreds—it’s capable of killing hundreds of thousands. Can they stop what’s been set in motion by a madman with a dangerous secret before it’s too late?

About the Author:
Michael Shusko
Michael Shusko, MD, MPH, FAAFP, FACOEM, is an author, medical doctor and decorated Marine and Naval officer who has worked on intelligence and medical missions across the globe. Fluent in Arabic, he holds a bachelor's degree in Middle Eastern studies from Rutgers University. Post-undergrad, Dr. Shusko transferred from the Marines to the Navy Medical Corps and attended medical school at Wake Forest University.

Dr. Shusko's Middle Eastern experience and language skills coupled with his background in special operations and intelligence keep him busy deploying around the world. He has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East , Africa , Europe and Asia. Dr. Shusko has been awarded the Bronze Star twice for service in Iraq and Afghanistan. He currently lives in Japan with his wife and 16-year-old triplet boys.

Clare: Thank you very much to Michael Shusko for taking the time to share this guest post with us! I greatly enjoyed reading it and am now even more excited for Evil Winds to release! If you're interested in military thrillers I highly recommend picking up the Tradecraft series! 

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