I write to get readers turning the pages and thinking about what they read. My thought-provoking thriller, BASHERT, earned Honorable Mention in the 2015 Eric Hoffer Book Awards, and CHIPSET was a finalist for the 2014 Hoffer Award. And who am I?
I am Lior Samson, although you won't find that name on my passport or my mailbox. Lior Samson is my pen name. I am frequently asked why I write under a pseudonym, particularly since my "real" name is hardly a secret and would easily be discovered by anyone with Internet access. In this benign deception, I carry on with a long tradition and follow humbly in the footsteps of far greater writers, writers like the brilliant author of contemporary spy novels who publishes under the pen name of John le Carré, although his identity as David Cornwell has been known for many decades.
To friends, family, colleagues, and the Post Office, I am Larry Constantine, but writing under a pen name serves several purposes, including marking out my full-length fiction from all the other writing I have done. I have been writing professionally all my adult life, and, over a varied career spanning more than four decades, I have had 23 books--including one Jolt Award winner--and hundreds of papers and articles published. One of my essays even garnered a Simon Rockower Award from the American Jewish Press Association. My novels and short fiction as Lior Samson are a new direction, markedly different from most of what has gone before.
As a professional member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and the author of a number of science fiction short stories, I did not expect that I would end up writing contemporary thrillers when I finally got around to my first full-length novel. What happened? The novels are simply the stories that demanded of me to sit down at the keyboard and tell them--now--not stories of fantasy or the far future or other worlds, but stories of this world in our age, of the issues and problems and challenges we and our children face.
My pen name also helps me to brand my fiction with a particular point of view that quickly becomes apparent to my readers. Of course, I try to write stories that are, first and foremost, engaging and entertaining, that keep readers turning the pages. But I also write from a place, a perspective from which I want to challenge my readers and, by challenging them, begin a conversation that will extend beyond the book and to others. I want to get my readers thinking and rethinking some of the issues that bedevil the modern world and modern society, issues like the nature of extremism and its relation to terrorism, the roles of religion and politics in current events, our dependence on technology and its growing fragility, the nature of love and commitment in a fluid and fractured society.
When I am not writing novels, I write serious choral and instrumental music, sing baritone wherever I can, cook gourmet meals, teach at a university in Portugal, and try to keep pace with my two teenage children. It's a full life.