You may not recognize immediately the name Howard Gordon — I know I did not — but you will probably recognize some of his work on television.
This work ranges from working for Joss Wheedon on the Buffy The Vampire Slayer series to the Beauty and the Beast series and the X-Files, writing scripts for each, as well as working as a producer on the latter series. After working on Buffy spin-off Angel for two years, he left to work on 24.
He wrote many scripts and story arcs for the 24, and for its final few seasons he was the show's executive producer and show runner.
With Gideon's War, Gordon is trying something new. The novel is the start of a series about a protagonist named Gideon, who is sort of the anti-Jack Bauer (the protagonist of 24). Incidentally, the book's blurbs include Keifer Sutherland, who played Jack Bauer.
We conducted this interview via email.
How did this book come about? You started it during the TV writer’s strike? And there’s sequel in the works or already written?
I'd held onto the dream of writing a novel, but because of my work in television, I really didn't have the chance to pursue it until we went on strike in 2007. Yes, there's a sequel in the works — though not as far I'd like it to be.
Why did you decide to write a book with two very different brothers, one violent, one a pacifist? Do you consider Gideon, the pacifist, to be as one article has suggested, the anti-Jack Bauer?
The idea of telling a story about two brothers has been with me for a long time; it was the subject of a short novel I wrote as my college thesis (Joyce Carol Oates graded it, in fact). The brother relationship is an emotionally charged one and I thought it might be a way to dramatize opposing points of view on how we conduct our foreign policy.
Who are you most like, Jack, Gideon, or Gideon’s brother, Tillman? Also, maybe it was just me but when I first came across the name Tillman I thought of Pat Tillman, the football start killed by friendly fire in the war. Was that a conscious connection or just a coincidence?
Tillman was not intentionally named for Pat Tillman — so it was really a coincidence. But I suspect there was something unconscious at work. Once it was pointed out to me by someone, I chose to keep the name. As for who I'm most like — I guess I aspire to be like both of them.