Michael Roman is the author of Zehbel: The Clever One, a memoir of his experiences as an FAA technician and Major General in the Imperial Iranian Air Force under Reza Shah Pahlavi in the 1970s. (note: Mike is a resident of Quakertown, PA and Beaufort, NC,)
After a successful private printing, Zehbel is now available in paperback on Amazon and other online distributors, selling thousands of copies. The true-life action adventure story has proven to be especially appealing to military and retired expatriates, but Mike notes young people have also responded positively to his experiences in the Middle East.
"I was always taught you've got to fight for what you believe in. Growing up in Hokendauqua, I was always a good fighter. World War II vets were our leaders in the Boy Scouts, in the late 40s and 50s. They taught us integrity, the importance of keeping your word."
"I accepted an FAA assignment to Iran because it paid good money, and I had a family to support. The Shah's people offered me a higher salary doing the same job, installing equipment on Iranian airbases. I had no idea what I was getting into. I discovered terrorists were targeting American contractors, mainly retired military. My last 5 years in Iran were extremely dangerous. If I didn't approve a company's equipment contract, they'd hire someone to kill me. By 1976 it had become too dangerous to stay. Zehbel: The Clever One is the story of how I survived ten years in Iran." As Mike observes, writing down his memoir has been a real eye-opener for family and friends. Note: fact checking on Mike's story includes written testimony from colleagues who knew Mike in Iran during the 1960s and 70s.
In recent months, Mike's story has also been turned into a screenplay. He just returned from a screenwriter's pitch conference in Los Angeles, with promising results. Producers there are intrigued by his story, so we'll keep you posted. One thing Mike has learned -- its always good to write down your story and share it with others. You never know what will happen!