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Dan Fesperman's travels as a writer have
taken him to 30 countries and three war zones, beginning with the
Persian Gulf War in 1991. But it was his introductory trip to the
besieged city of Sarajevo in January 1994 that inspired his first novel,
Lie in the Dark. In the ensuing years he has drawn on the exotica and intrigue of similarly far flung locales for setting, character and plot. He grew up in North Carolina, where he was educated in the public
schools of Charlotte before graduating from the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill.
As a journalist he worked at the Fayetteville (N.C.) Times, Durham Morning Herald, Charlotte News, Miami Herald, and The Sun and Evening Sun of Baltimore, contributing heartily to the eventual insolvency of two of those newspapers. But it was the Sun
which catered most grandly to his wanderlust. Baltimore editors
dispatched him to cover the Gulf War from Jordan, Saudi Arabia and
Kuwait; then sent him to Berlin to run the paper's Europe bureau during
the years of the Yugoslav civil wars in Croatia and Bosnia; and in 2001
assigned him to cover events in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the wake of
9-11. Along the way he also reported from throughout the rest of Europe
and the Middle East.
Memories of his three years in Germany eventually helped inspire The Arms Maker of Berlin, and his occasional travels to the Middle East deeply influenced The Amateur Spy.
More recent travels, which he now does on his own dime, have
contributed to his research for The Prisoner of Guantanamo (where he was
a visitor, not an inmate) and Layover in Dubai. But the biggest influence on his newest book, The Double Game, was his longtime enthusiasm for espionage novels, particularly the classics of the Cold War era.
His work abroad has come with a fair share of adventures, not the least
of which include accepting the surrender, along with a colleague, of 10
forlorn and unarmed Iraqi soldiers in the Kuwaiti desert in 1991, and
surviving a fatal ambush on a convoy of journalists traveling through
Afghanistan in November 2001.
Unlike Skelly, the American correspondent depicted in The Warlord's Son,
Dan's occasional vagabond existence has not rendered him too restless
for steadfast marriage and fatherhood. Since 1988 he has been married to
Liz Bowie, also a journalist, and they live in Baltimore. Their
children Emma and Will are in college.