The Wayward Assassin
by Susan Ouellette
March 1-31, 2022 Virtual Book Tour
Revenge knows no deadline.
Although told to stand down now that the Chechen rebel who killed her fiancé is dead, CIA analyst Maggie Jenkins believes otherwise and goes rogue to track down the assassin. Soon it becomes clear that failure to find Zara will have repercussions far beyond the personal, as Maggie uncovers plans for a horrific attack on innocent Americans. Zara is the new face of terrorism–someone who doesn’t fit the profile, who can slip undetected from attack to attack, and who’s intent on pursuing a personal vendetta at any cost.
Chasing Zara from Russia to the war-torn streets of Chechnya, to London, and finally, to the suburbs of Washington, D. C., Maggie risks her life to stop a deadly plot.
Praise for The Wayward Assassin:
“Ouellette, herself a former intelligence analyst for the CIA, imbues the exciting action with authenticity. Readers will want to see more of the wily Maggie . . .”
“Every once in a decade you read a book like The Wayward Spy, which is thrilling, addictive, and sends you reading more thrillers, but you’ll go back to this stunning book by Susan Ouellette and reread this tour de force.”
—The Strand Magazine, a Top 12 Book of the Year
Published by: CamCat Books
Publication Date: March 15, 2022
Number of Pages: 416
ISBN: 0744304784 (ISBN13: 9780744304787)
Series: The Wayward Series, Book 2 || Each is a Stand Alone Book
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | IndieBound.Org | CamCat Books
Read an excerpt:
Susan Ouellette is the author of The Wayward Spy, a thriller that Publishers Weekly calls a “gripping debut and series launch.” She was born and raised in the suburbs of Boston, where she studied international relations and Russian as both an undergraduate and graduate student. As the Soviet Union teetered on the edge of collapse, she worked as a CIA intelligence analyst. Subsequently, Susan worked on Capitol Hill as a professional staff member for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). Since her stint on Capitol Hill, she has worked for several federal consulting firms. Susan lives on a farm outside of Washington, D.C. with her family.
Q&A with Susan Ouellette
What was the inspiration for this book?
There were two inspirations for THE WAYWARD ASSASSIN. First, is my career in the intelligence world. After working as a CIA analyst in college and graduate school, I took a job on Capitol Hill working for the House Intelligence Committee. It was there, tucked away in a secure room in the attic of the U.S. Capitol Building, where I came up with my series’ protagonist, Maggie Jenkins, an intelligence analyst who uncovered threats to the United States and corruption at the highest levels of power. The second inspiration came from real world events. I hesitate to use the word “inspiration” for the real world event that anchored this story, so let’s just call it a “marker” in my life. In 2004, Chechen separatists in Russia killed hundreds of people in an attack on a school in Beslan, Russia. As a mother of school-aged children, this event captured my attention like no event since the September 11th attacks. I started writing fictionalized scenes about this school siege in an attempt to try to make sense of such a senseless loss of life.These scenes ended up in critical scenes in THE WAYWARD ASSASSIN.
What has been the biggest challenge in your writing career?
The biggest challenge in my writing career has been persevering through rejection. I wrote the first book in this series (THE WAYWARD SPY) in 2001 and wrote THE WAYWARD ASSASSIN in 2007. I secured agents for both books but didn’t land a book deal for either. For years, I put the manuscripts in a drawer. But even though I “gave up” on becoming an author, I never truly gave up. I’d revise the manuscripts, query new agents, and submit the manuscripts to contests. Eventually, I found an outstanding freelance editor who helped to untangle my overly complicated plots. Soon after, I signed with an agent and a publisher.
What do you absolutely need while writing?
I need my laptop (of course) and uninterrupted silence. Oh, and water or coffee and access to a bathroom.
Do you adhere to a strict routine when writing or write when the ideas are flowing?
I jot down ideas when they come to me, but I get the real work done when adhering to a strict routine. Otherwise, I find every reason in the world not to write–laundry, talking to the cat, organizing the pantry….
Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
Maggie, my protagonist, is my favorite character. She’s an every-woman, the girl next door who has to use her wits to get out of situations she never wanted in the first place.
Tell us why we should read your book.
If you like page-turning, realistic thrillers, you should read THE WAYWARD ASSASSIN. I’d like to apologize in advance for keeping you awake past your bedtime!
Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book?
I changed the ending of THE WAYWARD ASSASSIN more times than I can count. Most of the changes involved who lives and who dies.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
At the risk of sounding like a motivational speaker, I’ll say this: If you have a dream, don’t give up. Keep plugging away. It took me twenty years from Chapter One to publication. You’ll never know what’s possible if you give up.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
As a teenager, I was fascinated by the CIA but had no idea how to go about getting a job there. When I was in college, I went to a job fair where I met a CIA recruiter. It took almost a year from applying to walking into CIA headquarters. I loved my time at the Agency. But I also love writing. I’m so grateful that I was able to combine those two passions and entertain people in the process.
What’s next that we can look forward to?
The third book in the Maggie Jenkins series, THE WAYWARD TARGET, will be out in the spring of 2023.
Catch Up With Susan Ouellette:
BookBub – @susanobooks1
Instagram – @susanobooks
Twitter – @smobooks
Facebook – @SusanOuelletteAuthor
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