An Interview with Dan Bar Hava, Author of The 36 Watchers Series.

Short bio: Dan Bar was born and raised in Jerusalem. Creativity was an essential part of Dan’s life early on, with music being the focus during teens and young adulthood and writing thereafter. After serving in the military and phase I of higher education, Dan Bar moved to the US. Dan Bar has co-written the film Falling Star (AKA Goyband), a romantic comedy, featuring Adam Pascal and Natasha Lyonne and Brooklyn, All American, a coming-of-age sports tale. The Thirty Six Watchers is Dan’s first novel Book II Spring.

  1. If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Creativity, piano, chocolate

  1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey as a writer, from your early years in Jerusalem to your experiences in the US?

I was this kid who read too many books – when LOTR came out in Hebrew I took all 3 books to my room and said “No one bothers me for the whole Saturday please!” and read the whole thing cover to cover. I did read 7 books in one day, my personal best.

 Jerusalem is a special place, I am not a religious person, I am very spiritual, Jerusalem is an extremely spiritual place and I immersed myself deeply in it. Many years later, it was part of what made me decide to embark on this book series.

I was a musician from age 6, when it was time for military service, I auditioned and got accepted to military band. It was a very difficult decision to make but I decided to go into combat instead, to help protect my country. Had I taken the military band route my life would probably be very different. I saw some action when I was serving and it helped shape who I am today.

.After military and college I came to New York City to study jazz piano and composition at the Manhattan school of music. My family was now in 3 continents – me in the US, my brother in Israel and my sister in New Zealand. That’s how we roll. Travel is in our blood and we stay connected. I have many students, with whom I forged personal connections and I love travel, solo and with my lady. We have been to quite a few places and plan on being in many more.

Back to memory lane…

In New York I formed a band called FIO (freedom in order), It was a great band, until…

One night the singer came to me and said: “Danny, I am with child”, I said, “Why are telling me this, he is not mine”, she said, “Yes, but you are the band leader and the band is very important to me, so if you want me too, I will take care of it and stay in NYC to continue with the band”.

“No way”, I said, “I very much appreciate the sentiment, but this is your decision, not mine”.

She went back home, and although I kept in music. I believe that there and then, the seeds of my writing career were planted, my creative focus and passion shifted from music to writing.

I have co-written a few movie scripts, one of them “Falling Star”, a romantic comedy with music overtones was made into a film, with people like Natasha Lyonne and Adam Pascal.

  1. Can you provide a brief overview of “The 36 Watchers” series for those who may not be familiar with it?

I would actually like to quote a recent review of the book, I’ve had quite a few but this one is really on the money!

Step into a world of intrigue and mystique with “The 36 Watchers: Book II Spring” by Dan Bar Hava. Unveiling the secrets of a covert society dedicated to eradicating evil, the ’36 Watchers’ possess extraordinary powers embedded in their very DNA, allowing them to traverse different dimensions and even travel into the future. At the heart of this thrilling narrative is Jenna Berg, a young Watcher from the bustling streets of NYC, on a daring mission to thwart an imminent evil intervention. Assisted by her uncle Josh, another skilled Watcher, Jenna faces a formidable antagonist—an ancient mythical force known as Yaldabaoth, taking the ominous form of a lion-headed serpent.

In this concise 126-page book, the author skillfully incorporates scientific, historical, and religious references, like electron spin, the Talmud, Menes (the first king of Egypt), and Bishop Eusebius. Jenna’s journey to thwart evil offers a captivating cultural exploration of the Middle East and Africa, highlighting their rich traditions. This additional dimension significantly enriched my reading experience. Jenna’s struggle throughout her journey and her moments of confusion deeply resonated with me. Considering this is the second book in the series, I recommend starting with the first book, “The 36 Watchers: Book I Fall,” for a comprehensive understanding. This book is more suitable for readers interested in dissecting and studying the profound meanings incorporated within its pages.

  1. Can you share some insights into the research you conducted on topics like the Titanic, World War II, and the crucifixion to create a believable and engaging storyline?

Nathan and Isidor Straus were two brothers. Nathan invented canned food, before world war I. which saved many lives of many soldiers, his brother died on the Titanic. All this is historically accurate. I took these facts and weaved them into the 36 watchers and how they protect humanity. I needed something like this, I spent many nights looking for a truth that will fit into the narrative and I remember doing a little dance, when I finally discovered the brothers Straus.

Needless to say, I can’t share the exact nature of how the titanic fits, it is a spoiler…

Judas and the crucifixion were a bit different, the very nature of the event fits right in with the 36 watchers universe, lucky me.

I need to also give credit to Laurence Gardner, who wrote many para-scientific books, such

As “Lost secrets of the sacred Ark”, “The realm of the ring lords” and many others.

What I read helped me in constructing the world the 36 watchers are living in and protecting.

  1. What inspired you to explore the concept of the 36 special individuals who supposedly protect the world from destruction?

Sukot is a Jewish holiday, every fall, we build a shed in the back yard for 7 days, to commemorate the journey of the Jewish people in the desert, after fleeing slavery in Egypt.

During this week, everyone is invited to visit and break bread. The myth of the 36 righteous

Protectors of humanity says that some of the guests visiting the shed (or Sukah) maybe of

The 36, this always captivated my imagination.

  1. Aside from Jenna, how do other characters, including new ones introduced in Book II Spring, contribute to the unfolding narrative?

The bad guy, Gonar. I found a very convincing back story for him, all true and it helps bringing the fight with Jenna into focus. Yoav and Anana, an Israeli secret service operative and a Palestinian activist are moving the story forward, in a way that, much to my great sorrow, is even more relevant today than it was when I wrote their stories, back in 2021 and 2022.

Other truly historical characters are Empress Helena, mother of great Constantinethe great. Hasan El Sabah, the founder of the “ASASINS” from whom the word “assassin”, was coined, Moshe De Leon, a Jewish and Kabbalah scholar, and others, they all propel the narrative forward.

  1. What were some of the challenges you faced in maintaining continuity while introducing new layers to the storyline?

This is a deep story, and it has to be compelling and entertaining as well. Keeping a good balance between these two qualities was definitely a challenge.

Another challenge is my personal tendency to be cryptic. I had to make sure that this tendency of mine was not controlling my writing.

  1. The 36 Watchers series weaves in relatable topics like grief, trauma, loneliness, and anxiety alongside the supernatural storyline. How do you approach balancing these human experiences with the high-action, supernatural elements of the plot?

I think Jenna took care of that! She just felt so human, even as she was initiated as a full fledge watcher. She made her fair share of mistakes and overlooked some pretty important things, which made her so human, her humanity spilled over and made it easy for me to make all else – Josh. Chris, Stephany, Henry, Yoav and more – also human.

  1. Do you have other writers in the family and friends

My amazing sister, who has a PHD in psychology is writing a book about her experiences, it will be a great book and I can’t wait to read it!

  1. Writing can be a challenging but rewarding endeavor. What have been the most significant challenges you’ve faced as a writer, and what moments have brought you the most satisfaction?

Writing action sequences is the most challenging task. On the one hand action is quick, on the other, you need to give details – too many details slow the action down, too few, leave the reader confused, tricky dance.

The most satisfaction was at the very beginning and the very end –

The beginning of book I happened on a 12th floor balcony, overlooking the magnificent Mediterranean in Tel Aviv. I stared at the silvery water and Jenna jumped into my mind.

The end happened in Jerusalem, I was isolating during COVID. I was writing up a storm, pretty much all night and just when I was about to pass out, I was able to find the last sentence.

  1. For aspiring writers who share your love for plot twists and intrigue, what advice or tips would you offer to help them craft engaging stories?

Have a blue print before you start writing and don’t be afraid to leap forward, big picture style, you can always come back and fill what’s missing.

12. Can you give us a glimpse into your future plans for the series or any upcoming projects related to “The 36 Watchers”?

Book III of the series will be along the lines of the “Empire strikes back” in the star-wars saga.

I can’t elaborate too much on it but the events of the last 7 years on our planet led me in that direction.

13. Finally, can you describe a moment or a specific instance in your life when you realized that writing was not just a hobby but a calling that you were meant to pursue?

That evening in Tel Aviv. The first chapter of book I wrote itself, and when it was done, I read and reread it. I think that was a deciding moment for me.

Discover Dan Bar Hava’s captivating world through his books on Amazon. Dive into “The 36 Watchers”: “Book I Fall and Book II Spring”. Purchase on Amazon now!

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