Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Philly author Bowden among those to go on Middle East tour with USO this fall

Mark Bowden, Clive Cussler, Sandra Brown, Kathy Reichs, and Andrew Peterson are among authors who will bring a touch of home to the front lines as part of the USO's Operation Thriller tour this fall. Throughout the weeklong tour of undisclosed Middle East locations, they will sign autographs, pose for photos with the troops and talk about their books, movies, television series and writing.

Bowden, 60, of the Chester County borough of Oxford, (pictured at right), author of "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War" (A 1999 book based on a series of articles he wrote for The Philadelphia Inquirer, which was made into a movie in 2001), "Killing Pablo," "Guests of the Ayatollah" and "Worm," will join the following bestselling authors on an upcoming USO tour:

  • Clive Cussler ("Raise The Titanic," "Sahara," and "Deep Six," among others)
  • Sandra Brown ("French Silk"," Smoke Screen," "Smash Cut," "Ricochet," "The Crush" and "Unspeakable," among others)
  • Kathy Reichs (The Temperance Brennan Series that became the basis for the popular Fox television series, “Bones,” "Déjà Dead," "Death du Jour," "Fatal Voyage," "Grave Secrets," and "Monday Mourning," among others)
  • Andrew Peterson ("First to Kill," recently optioned for a major motion picture, and "Forced to Kill.")

For security reasons, the USO said the countries and tour dates cannot be released at this time.

Bowden is a graduate of Loyola University, Md., where he is an adjunct professor in creative writing and journalism. He is a contributing editor at "Vanity Fair." He worked as a reporter at the Baltimore News-American from 1973-79 and as a Philadelphia Inquirer staff writer from 1979 to 2003, and has written for numerous magazines including "The New Yorker," "The Atlantic," and "Rolling Stone."

His book "Bringing the Heat: A Pro Football Team's Quest for Glory, Fame, Immortality, and a Bigger Piece of the Action" was named one of best sports books of 1994 by the New York Times. He also contributes occasionally to National Public Radio. Bowden and his wife, Gail, have five children and a grandchild.

At left is a photo of the cover of Bowden's paperback version of "Black Hawk Down."

This USO trip marks the tour’s second installment. The first one kicked off in November 2010 and was comprised of Steve Berry, David Morrell, Doug Preston, James Rollins and Andy Harp. That tour visited five bases in eight days and lifted the spirits of thousands of service men and women stationed in Kuwait and Iraq. Each author is a member of the International Thriller Writers, the nation’s first and only professional organization devoted solely to thriller authors

To learn more about Operation Thriller, click here.

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