Today I'd like to welcome Gideon D. Asche, author of "Jinnik" to the Thursday interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!
Gideon Asche grew up as the child of a US diplomat. He attended private British school in Europe and is fluent in both English and German. During the late 70’s Gideon caught the eye of an intelligence organization and was recruited out of the Army to serve as an intelligence operator. After being trained in Germany, he spent the next eight years as an intelligence officer working behind the Iron Curtain. His Team's main function was to provide logistic support to the Anti-Communist movement in East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, USSR, Poland, and Bulgaria. This period of Mr. Asche’s career is the foundation for the Story “JINNIK”.
OK - HERE WE GO !!
No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. Why?
Yes, I would; without question or hesitation. My first responsibility as a soldier is to protect those who cannot protect themselves. The second is to serve my flag. The law is often wrong and as a hard fast rule I do not obey unconstitutional laws.
No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
Cabbages and politicians are both alive yet neither actually “LIVE” nor have cognitive reasoning ability. They do not live proactively or contribute to society; they simply consume resources. At least you can eat a cabbage. Truly living includes emotional pain, love, joy, loss, happiness, sorrow, commitment and service; these are the salt and pepper for the feast life has set before each of us.
No.3 What motivates you to write?
I began writing as an exercise in mental health, my notes simply morphed into “JINNIK”. The original idea was that confronting my past on paper would help keep my mind out of the past at night and put an end to the night terrors allowing me to get a night’s sleep. It did not help… but it did turn into “JINNIK”. Now writing is simply a pressure relief valve for my tired spirit.
No.4 Why do humans want children?
I have no clue. As a result of the end of “JINNIK” I will never have children but when I got married my mother took my new wife to the side and told her to: “have dogs… You will never have a meeting with your dog’s Headmaster or probation officer”. I think it had something to do with my teen years. She also advised my wife to use a bar of soap in a sock when “he gets out of line”; “it won’t leave those tell-tale marks”. I know that had something to do with my teen years. (BTW my father was US diplomat so I was sent to private British schools whenever we lived outside the US as a lad – St George’s English School. It has taken me 40 years to Re-learn how to properly spell words like Color, Jail, realize and flavor)
No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book "JINNIK" ?
Getting a release from the Dept. of State to write my story was the highest hurdle. I finally had to write a funeral into the first chapter and kill myself off so it could not be an autobiography and they required I make some name and other changes. Consequently I published “JINNIK” as fact based fiction vs an autobiography.
No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
To stand up and fight for what I believe and to compromise when it is best for our people.
No.7 How did you come up with the title "JINNIK" ?
“JINNIK” is the Zugeuner word for “Donkey” ( Zugeuner are also known as Romani or Gypsy). It is a name given to me by a Zugeuner leader in Romania after a pugilistic contest. I was much worse for wear when it ended but he said I kicked him like a donkey during our fight; harder than he had ever been kicked in his life. The name stuck and I am happy about that but every time one of my colleagues translated Jinnik into German or English it was somehow always translated as “Jack Ass”. The man who gave me that name will always be my brother and I will always bear that name with exceptional pride. I always stand out of respect when I speak his name.
No.8 How do you handle personal criticism?
Quietly; My favorite review called me an “illiterate”, but gave me 5 stars.
No.9 Why should people read your book?
Because most people have no clue that the Cold War was never cold. We continued to take casualties right up until October of 1989.
No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing?
“Nothing” is just the illusion of “ the absence of something” Even nothing is “Something” especially if it is “Nothing”. Consider how often we believe we have something and it turns out to be nothing or how often we assume that there is nothing and it turns out to be something. Therefore: The entire concept of “Nothing” is an Illusion of something. Truth is an absolute; it is perception that turns out to be a psilocybin laced rabbit hole.
Thanks Gideon for taking the time to answer my questions
& the best of luck with your new book!
Check out "Jinnik" on
Fear is like a drug; you can become addicted to it... I did.
We were an anomaly, the four of us; Heiney, Turk, Andrea and I. We were all veterans of more than four years in the field and we could count our combined border crossings in the hundreds, two of us even had sanctioned kills. Set in a time and place remembered only by those who survived and a row of upside down shot glasses behind an old bar; this exhilarating and previously untold tale of the Cold War is relayed to us by the only Operator to ever return from hell and drink from his own overturned glass.