Kuhn, 48, is best known as the author of The Intern's Handbook and Hostile Takeover, novels featuring assassin-for-hire John Lago. His newest book, The Asset, is a standalone thriller centering on Kennedy, a private airport security contractor turned counterterrorism operative. When we caught up with the author by phone on July 12, we asked him where he came up with the idea for The Asset. "It was burning a hole in my pocket. I'm a frequent air traveler and it's a world really set up for a thriller,'' he said. "I wanted to do espionage, but I wanted an everyman. A story in the vein of Three Days of the Condor. I love stories about a normal person that is put in extraordinary circumstances."
Kuhn is also a co-founder of Slamdance Film Festival, an annual program for emerging fillmmakers. In May 2014, Sony Pictures purchased screen rights for The Intern's Handbook and named Dave Franco (James Franco's brother) as one of the featured actors.
What's on your nightstand?
I'm readying Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon. It is a very difficult read. I've been wanting to read it for a decade.
Why did you pick it up? Are you interested in World War II?
Well, World War II is compelling, but the author's perspective just seemed very interesting to me. I also love (Kurt) Vonnegut, actually, Slaughterhouse-Five. With that I also loved how he dealt with war. It was an extremely unique perspective, and this is what I hope I'm also getting from Pynchon.
When you compare and contrast the two, which is easier to read?
Vonnegut for sure. I read a lot of Vonnegut. I'd buy paperbacks at garage sales, and that's where I found Slaughterhouse-Five. I was like 10 years old. I also loved Deadeye Dick. That was one of my all-time favorites.
So, how does Pynchon keep you engaged?
His prose. I love well-written prose. When I get into a masterwork of prose, it is immersive. As long as I am prepared to sit down and do it, which I do, I don't read it in bed, that's for sure because that is a nonstarter. I have a chair and commit to an hour to read it. So, it's kind of like meditating. I have to set everything else aside and get into the mind-set and make sure I don't do anything else. And that's the only way to do it, for me.
Contact Piper Castillo at [email protected] Follow @Florida_PBJC.