Disclosure: David Liss is represented by Pump Up Your Book Promotion, a public relations agency owned and operated by the author of this article.
David Liss is the author of six novels, most recently The Devil’s Company. He has five previous bestselling novels: A Conspiracy of Paper, winner of the 2000 Edgar Award for Best First Novel, The Coffee Trader, A Spectacle of Corruption, The Ethical Assassin, and The Whiskey Rebels.
In 2008, at the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in Bali, Indonesia, Liss was named an Artist for Integrity by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. No one is really sure why he should receive this honor or what it means, but it very possibly makes him the Bono of historical fiction.
David Liss’ novels have been translated into more than two dozen languages. He lives in San Antonio with his wife and children, and can be reached via his web page, which features his endlessly fascinating and edifying blog. You can also contact David Liss on Facebook.
We interviewed David to find out more about his new book, The Devil’s Company, and his life as a published author.
Your newest book, The Devil’s Company, is filled with foreign spies, government operatives, and a large number of very dangerous and greedy people. Why did you decide to write this type of book?
I've always been very interested in writing about how large social movements, especially economic and political movements, affect people largely ignored by history. In this novel I have, on the one hand, the incredible and growing power of the British East India Company, and on the other, the ordinary people, especially laborers, but also stockholders and consumers, whose lives are shaped, and often distorted, by that power. When you are writing about such daunting subjects, it often makes things more interesting to include elements of suspense, but suspense is more than just a narrative trick for me. It is at the heart of traditional fiction. Wondering what will happen next, or how characters will cope with obstacles and dangers and setbacks, is one of the great pleasures of reading.
Why did you feel the British East India Company was perfect for your story?