ESSAYS ON THE FIRE:
The first essay, written by author Paul Witcover, writer of Waking Beauty (HarperCollins, 1997), Tumbling After (HarperCollins, 2004), Dracula: Asylum (Dark Horse, 2006) and Everland and Other Stories (PS Publishing, 2009), provides intriguing, little-known background on Catherine the Great, “Empress of All the Russias,” a figure who appears as a key character in THE EIGHT and reappears, in force, in THE FIRE. Other essays by Paul discuss such topics as TALLEYRAND, LORD BYRON, SECRET SOCIETIES, and even the role that FOOD AND DRINK play in both books.
ESSAYS ON THE EIGHT:
And then, an especially fascinating twenty-seven page essay written by the noted Spanish journalist, Ricard Ruiz Garzon—entitled “THE ETERNAL GAME” — in which he brilliantly decrypts some of of the more scintillating puzzles that are buried in THE EIGHT.