Hello everyone! It is so wonderful to be here to receive this Honorable Mention for The Masada Faktor. My page of acknowledgments in my book states, “I have no one to thank but myself.” But now, I am extremely grateful to be able to thank The Southern California Book Festival for this recognition and validation of my creativity in writing my first book of fiction.
The Masada Faktor is my third book. My first two books are non-fiction. I am proud of those books, as I recorded my family history and also how my entire life was affected, both positively and negatively, as the child of both a holocaust survivor and the American GI hero who brought her to America.
I was inspired to write the mystery of The Masada Faktor when I went to Israel last year in 2014. I made Aliyah, which in Hebrew means that “I ascended, or climbed a mountain.” I became a citizen of the Great State of Israel, while retaining my American citizenship. Initially I spent six months in Israel. I traveled the country, lived in three different cities, was caught up in the Gaza War, and dreamed up the plots that played out in my book, while also documenting some of the history of terrorism that has occurred in Israel.
While I was there, I went on a tour of Masada. I ascended that mountain, the ancient fortification and greatest Jewish symbol where, two thousand years ago, the last Jewish stronghold against Roman invasion stood. It was there that I conceived of what I was able to eventually put together to create The Masada Faktor.
This book is my contribution in the fight against the existential threat that continues daily against my people and the terrorism that is now occurring worldwide by the barbarians at the gates. Thank you, again, for this incredible honor for my book, The Masada Faktor.