Leslie Cockburn is a woman of many accomplishments (award-winning journalist, documentarian, and mother among them), but she counts fiction writer as the latest addition to the list with the August release of her first novel, Baghdad Solitaire. After over 30 years as a stalwart journalist and war correspondent in Iraq for "Frontline," Vanity Fair, and "60 Minutes," the Bay Area native had ample material beyond the small sliver she was able to put in her stories. “It’s the other 95 percent that I really wanted to do something with in a novel,” she says. She’s done so in a political thriller that’s at once vivid and sensual in the painterly quality of her prose and painfully real, with detailed descriptions of the horrifying realities of war—tableaus Cockburn witnessed firsthand. At the book party thrown in San Francisco in September in her honor, attended by the elite of the SF literati (including Joyce Maynard and Phil Bronstein), she had the audience enraptured by the passages she shared. We caught up with her afterwards about her Bay Area roots, moving from fact to fiction, her movie star daughter, and more.