By Kristina Houck
In celebration of its 20th year, the San Diego Jewish Book Fair is kicking off its summer book fair July 24 with a special event featuring award-winning author Daniel Silva at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla.
“I hope it is an entertaining evening,” Silva said. “A writer spends months and months and months locked in a room working on something alone, and then you bring it into the world. You really have no idea what to expect. I enjoy this time of year when I get to spend a little time with my readers.”
During “A Conversation With Daniel Silva,” Silva will chat about his latest novel “The Heist.” His 17th novel follows art restorer and sometime Israeli secret agent Gabriel Allon, a character featured in many of Silva’s novels.
“Because of the nature of the character, the alliances that he has, the friendships that he has, he is called upon by lots of different people to do very interesting and very different kinds of jobs,” Silva said. “I think that’s how I keep it fresh.”
In the latest tale of intrigue and espionage, Allon searches for a stolen Caravaggio painting. The story takes him from Italy and France, to London, Austria and Geneva.
“I always wanted to write about this missing Caravaggio,” said Silva, who noted that the famous “Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence” was stolen in 1969 from Sicily. “It’s truly one of the most iconic stolen artworks in the world.”
Although Silva’s thrillers are fiction, many of his story ideas are derived from facts — something for which he credits his journalism background.
Born in Michigan and raised in California, Silva said he realized early he wanted to become a writer.
While pursuing a master’s degree, Silva received a temporary job offer from United Press International to help cover the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco. Later that year, he joined UPI full time, working in San Francisco, then on the foreign desk in Washington, and finally as a Middle East correspondent in Cairo and the Persian Gulf. He later worked for CNN.
Silva released his first novel, “The Unlikely Spy,” in 1996. In 1997, he left CNN to pursue writing full time.
“Every single day I write sentences or paragraphs or small scenes or exchanges of dialogue that I’m either very proud of, pleased with or just make me laugh,” Silva said. “I’m not sure there are many other jobs quite like that.”
“A Conversation with Daniel Silva” begins at 7 p.m. July 24 at the David and Dorothea Garfield Theatre at the Jewish Community Center, 4126 Executive Drive in La Jolla.
Tickets cost $32. Jewish Community Center member tickets cost $27. Tickets include a signed copy of “The Heist.”
For information and to buy tickets, call 858-362-1348 or visit www.sdjbf.org.
For more about Daniel Silva, visit danielsilvabooks.com.