6th July 2019
The Saturday Interview: Debra Tash
Thanks very much for your time, Ms Tash. Could you please introduce yourself and your book ‘Last Call America: Last Call Before Darkness Falls’?
I’m the editor of a local news site in Ventura County California. I have been writing for over 30 years and have been published, both in non-fiction/travel articles and news stories as well as fiction. I love history, especially American history, having written about that time period and visiting sites where pivotal events occurred in our nation’s genesis. Last Call was a step out of my comfort zone/genre. It is set in the not so distant future in a country that has been pulled apart and devastated by the political class. It tells the story of the next revolution that will either bring America back or be its end.
Do you feel that Last Call explores a fantastical scenario or could you see it being something that really happens?
I do think that if we don’t clean up the political class, both parties, it can very well come true.
Do you think then that the issue is as a result of an adversarial two-party or something else?
I think it’s human nature. Look at history and those in power try to scoop up more power when they have it, centralize it. That’s why our founders devised a divided government. It isn’t necessarily the two parties to be wary of, it’s the political class itself, entrenched in the seats of government.
What were your inspirations behind the book?
The current political climate. I come across a great many stories of what can be called, “the forgotten American.” How government overshadows the individual through regulation and overbearing bureaucracy. This nation was founded for the people and by the people, the individual citizen being sovereign.
Earlier, you mentioned Last Call being out of your comfort zone. Do you feel then that you wrote your novel to convey a message as well as to entertain?
Absolutely. I love history. We need to learn from it. Tyrants rise up in every generation. I hope people can see it and win back the freedoms we have lost over the last century.
What specifically do you feel has been lost? If you had to choose something specific to be the first thing to win back, what would that be?
Our rights to private property, to function in business, to bear arms, many freedoms that have been legislated away without the proper amendment process outlined in the constitution. The founders made the amendment process difficult for this reason.
Is political fiction an interest of yours?
Politics certainly is and to relate that in a way that invites the reader into a world that makes them wonder if they can make a difference most definitely interests me.
What do you think is the core of a good thriller?
Well drawn characters that can triumph, survive ever increasing obstacles to winning the goal.
Do you have a favourite thriller author?
Great researcher. Builds a solid story.
Outside of writing, what are your passions?
Travelling, politics (local and on a wider stage), art and history, always.
Do you think someone could become a successful writer without an interest in the wider world?
I think you have to go beyond the bubble where you live. Life is a journey. Hit the road. It’s a great ride.
What would you consider to be the core experience that shaped you as a writer?
Studying history, especially American history and the founding of our nation.
As a general question: do you feel that writer’s block exists? Opinion in this interview series has been very divided.
I do. When we become closed in, isolated, the adventure stops, the inspiration dries up.
Is it something you’ve ever suffered from and, if so, how did you move past it?
I have. Travel. Reading. All of those help.
If people would like to interact with you online, what’s the best way of doing that?
Visit my website: https://debratash.com/
Thank you for your time.