A Suspenseful Novel About the Navy, the White House, & International Terrorism

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Larry King, USA TODAY

An expert view, from books to Broadway April 4, 1999

In his weekly USA Today column, Larry King reports that in Circle William “Insider details double the interest in this humdinger of a thriller”



William E. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium presented Circle William author Bill Harlow the Colby Award

Norwich Vermont

The Colby Award is “presented to an author for a first book in recognition of the significant contribution to the understanding of military diplomacy and intelligence.” The award was given at the “Meet the Authors” dinner on April 16, 1999. The award and the symposium were named for the late Wm E. Colby who was director of the CIA in the 1970s.Bill joined W.E.B.Griffin, fellow Colby Award winner Fred Chiaventone for “A Road We Do Not Know – A Novel of Custer at the Little Bighorn,” and several other military writers at the 2-day event. Bill’s part of the program consisted of several classroom sessions including one for communications students with Frank Sesno of CNN and a panel discussion before 1100 people in the NU fieldhouse. Vermont Public Television video-taped the event.
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Bath Iron Works, Bath, ME, on April 17th.  The ship that plays a major role in Circle William was christened by Lady Mary Churchill
Soames, Winston Churchill’s youngest and only surviving child.  Janet Langhart Cohen,
the wife of Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, acted as a co-sponsor.  Come to
the Launch Ceremony for more about the sponsors and the ship.

Photo by

PH3 Tim Altevogt

Circle William author,
Bill Harlow, attended the traditional Navy ceremony along with several thousand visitors
including the Secretary of Defense and his equivalent number, the UK’s Minister of
Defence, George Robertson.  Appropriately, Secretary Cohen presented Minister of
Defence Robertson with a copy of Circle William.To
read more background stories on the ceremony and the ship see:

BBC Report: Churchill
the destroyer
” April 17, 1999

USN Report:U.S.
Navy christens guided missile destroyer Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81)

CNN Reporting:  Launch
April 17, 1999

honors historic leader
Portland Herald Press Wednesday,
April 14, 1999


Circle William called “the hottest new politcal-military thriller” by National Public Radio’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross.
Author Bill Harlow was interviewed for the April 8th broadcast of NPR’s long-running, award-winning program. You can download a copy of that program from the Fresh Air Archives. All you need is RealAudio which you can download from the Fresh Air site. Bill’s segement starts about the 10:21:00 mark. (It makes sense once you get there and can move the controls around.)



virpilot Virginian Pilot

Norfolk, Virginia March 28, 1999 NEW AND FAMILIAR FACES IN THE SUSPENSE FILE By Bill Roach “The debut by retired Navy Capt. Bill Harlow is an impressive one….Harlow writes with an easy, familiar style, obviously at home in the Navy as well as the higher levels of government.”



cnnin_logoSunday Morning News

Off the Shelf: “Circle William” Interview with the Author Aired March 14, 1999 – 8:53 a.m. ET

cnn6 Miles O’Brien’s very informative but rather early morning interview with Bill is available for those who missed it as a CNN Interactive transcript. Even our hand-crafted website made it to the Big Time! Miles O’Brien called this website “the best Web page I’ve seen linked to a book.”


Circle William gets a mention in the March 18th DoD Press Briefing!!



Washington Post In the Loop Column “No Bull” by Al Kamen

Friday, March 5, 1999; Page A31

Novel Idea–original on-line sub-heading

Reagan launched Clancy, Clinton does Harlow –print edition sub-heading “White House press secretary Joe Lockhart …. found a copy of CIA public affairs chief Bill Harlow’s new Navy/political thriller, “Circle William,” on the couch [on Air Force One], along with a note from President Clinton…..Clinton said it was really good and that Lockhart would like it even more because it has a press secretary as one of the heroes. Must be good, since Presidents George Bush and Jimmy Carter, both former Navy officers, have read it.” “The novel is already in its second printing. Is Hollywood far behind?” mychain2

Washington Times Reports the Circle William Book Party from Feb 17, 1999

Party Lines: people, places and politics

“President Clinton…during [the] Air Force One flight home from the funeral of Jordan’s King Hussein….curled up with a copy of Circle William, the hot new novel by Bill Harlow, the public affairs director of the CIA.

“At least, that was the story being told among 100 people, including senior military and intelligence officials… attended a book party for Mr. Harlow Thursday at the Navy Memorial’s Heritage Center.”During the evening, guests listened to a telephone call broadcast over loudspeakers from CIA Director George Tenet… “Mr. Tenet noted how workers at the CIA call his low-key spokesman ’80 over 60′ because his blood pressure never seems to get very high despite various crises.


“The author told the guests, who purchased more than 100 copies of the thriller, that Circle William is peopled with characters who are ‘vain, venal and goofy.’ “‘I want to assure everyone that none of them are based on any people in this room,’ he joked. “Friends of the author who attended included Bush administration National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft and former Navy secretaries Sean O’Keefe and John Dalton. Bob Woodward of The Washington Post was there along with a bevy of Washington reporters.”


usnewslogo U.S. News & World ReportOutlook 12/14/98WASHINGTON WHISPERS

Energy from New York, Democrats eye L.A., Secret Service ingenuity,the new Tom Clancy BY PAUL BEDARD ::::::::::: Book buzz There’s a new Tom Clancy in town. He’s Bill Harlow, author of a political-military thriller, Circle William. It’s the story of a White House press secretary and his brother, a troublesome Navy destroyer captain, and their attempt to save the nation from a Libyan chemical assault. So what’s unusual here? Harlow, a retired Navy captain, is the CIA’s spokesman and a former White House national security aide–a r�sum� that helped salt his book with insider details, so much so that Hollywood is reviewing it. It will be out in February.


From Publisher’s Weekly (December 1998)

“Harlow crafts a clever, well-plotted debut …Harlow expertly sets up the perfect ruse …. naval scenes vie with the White House settings for authenticity …. The plot takes several interesting turns before racing to a suspenseful climax. …Harlow offers a chipper, spirited first effort that augurs well for a new career.”




Bill Harlow is currently taking a break from the Circle William Book Tour road. However, Bill signed extra books at all of the bookshops he visited. Some may still have signed books available. Check out Where Bill’s Been for the locations of those friendly book stores.

You can have unsigned copies of Circle William delivered to your door by AMAZON.COM.


Drop in on the Circle William bkparty

held at the U.S. Navy Memorial, Washington, DC