Saturday, April 20, 2013

Spotlight and Interview: Blood Makes Noise by Screenwriter Gregory Widen


On a summer’s night in 1955, CIA agent Michael Suslov is summoned to a secret vault in the heart of Buenos Aires. His mission: transport the corpse of Eva Peron to a new hiding place in the wake of her husband’s fall from power. But before Michael can comply, everything goes tragically, horribly wrong…

Sixteen years later, Michael Suslov is a ghost of a man, an ex-government agent living off the radar—and the only soul alive who knows where Evita is buried. When an old friend from Argentine Military Intelligence appeals to him for help bringing the body home, Michael agrees, hoping this final mission will quiet the demons from his past. But he’s not the only one on a recovery mission: two rogue CIA agents are tracking him, desperate to unearth Evita before Michael does—and to claim the secret millions they believe she took to her grave.

Based on a little-known yet fascinating true story, Blood Makes Noise is a brilliant examination of the power of the dead over the lives of the living.

Interview with Screenwriter Gregory Widen

Please join me in welcoming author Gregory Widen to Socrates’ Book Review Blog.  Gregory is a screenwriter and has recently written his first novel, Blood Makes Noise scheduled to be released on April 30th

1. What are the differences in screenwriting and writing a novel?

Mainly that the idea in a book has to be strong enough to hold a reader over several days, whereas in a movie you just need two hours. So a bus that explodes if it goes under 55 MPH works in a movie, but probably not in a novel. Ironically though, the writing itself is easier, if longer, in a novel. In a screenplay it’s just what you hear and what you see. There’s an almost haiku level of format necessary that requires a lot of work around. You can do whatever you want in a novel

2. How much research is involved in setting your book in the 1950’s?

Huge. Lots of reading, actually walking the old streets, looking at films and photos. An enormous help was also the friendship I had with some ex CIA station chiefs who knew the time and place. Their help was invaluable.

3. What made you choose this genre and time period to write?

When I first heard about the strange, violent journey made by Evita’s body after her death, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I’d just never read a story like it before.
It just seemed an obvious book. Everything followed from that.

4. Do you have plans to write more books set in this era?

My next book is set in the present, but you never know, that was an amazing time
full of rich stories.

5. If you could choose one book to read for your own enjoyment, what would it be?

That I’ve already read? “Unbroken” was my last read. Simply awesome in both its breadth of knowledge of a historical event and the sheer ease, clarity and generosity of its prose.

6. Now turning to movies, what is your all time favorite movie?

I think Terence Mallick’s “Days of Heaven”, probably because it has very little dialog. It’s pure cinema.

7. Who is the biggest influence in your writing career?

Realistic thriller writers who take you to, and inside, places you don’t know and you feel are giving you a secret education about them. John Le Carre would fit that, as well as Tom Rob Smith’s “Child 44.”

8. What do you think of the recent popularity of the different social media avenues?

Fascinating. A friend of mine is in charge of original programming for YouTube and it’s remarkable the stuff that’s being produced outside the traditional system.

9. Have you had much interaction with fans?

Sure. Any fireman I meet wants to talk about “Backdraft” and there’s a world of people who can’t get enough about “Highlander”. I enjoy it, the interaction mostly.
Writing, both for books and film, is a pretty solitary job.

10. Can you share any sneak peeks at your next releases?

Ha ha. Even my dog hasn’t seen that yet.

Thank you for taking the time to visit Socrates’ Book Review Blog!


  1. Blood Makes Noise sounds good and interesting reading the authors take on the difference between screenwriting and writing a book.
    Great post!

  2. I just recently saw this book for the first time, and the title didn't grab me. Thanks to your post, I'm now going to add it to my list. It sounds fascinating! Makes me think I need to stop being a title snob!


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