The author of four novels ("The Damascus Cover," "The Chopin Express," "Bullets of Palestine" and "Waiting to Sing"), the Los Angeles native holds a BA in Middle East history from University of California-Berkeley and a master's degree in the philosophy of education. At the age of 21, Howard was sent on a mission into the Soviet Union to smuggle a dissident's manuscript on microfilm to London. His first trip was a success. On his second trip, he transferred a manuscript to the Dutch ambassador inside his Moscow embassy. A week later, he was arrested in Khartiv in the Ukraine and interrogated for two days there and and two days in Moscow, before being expelled from the USSR. The KGB had picked him up for meeting dissidents and did not know about the manuscript transfers.