Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve been an investment banker (mergers & acquisitions) for over 25 years, working with major firms on the Street (Merrill Lynch, Rothschild, BofA). I have my own financial advisory firm and keep my toe in that sphere with a deal in the works from time to time, but have now turned to writing almost full-time. I write thrillers, because that’s primarily what I read these days, in part because that’s what kind of novels I decided to write. I know that sounds circular, but how I got there is as follows: I was an English major and read classic literature for most of my life. One vacation I decided to read something totally different to get away from it all, and chose a thriller. Since then I’ve become a fan of the genre. I’d always wanted to write, and after years of false starts, realized I wasn’t F. Scott Fitzgerald. So I started outlining a thriller with it in mind to write a book I’d like to read on vacation. That outline became Trojan Horse, my current novel.
Tell us something few know about you.
I try to give away a half dozen copies of The Great Gatsby every year. It’s my favorite novel, and when I strike up a conversation with someone who hasn’t read it I get his/her address and gift them one from Amazon. My second toe is longer than my big toe. I’m told that has something to do with sprinting or sex. Even though I’ve been an investment banker for my entire career, I’m not very good at math. Thank God for the HP-12C calculator.
L.L. Reaper here. Isn’t everyone’s second toe longer than their big toe? I guess I need to look at more feet. Now back to our regularly scheduled program.
What genre(s) do you like to read?
Mostly thrillers, some suspense and the occasional classic or contemporary literary fiction.
What is your favorite novel and why?
F. Scott Fitzgerald is my favorite writer and I think The Great Gatsby is the great American novel. Few write with his rhythm, economy (Gatsby is only about 50 thousand words), or mixture of romantic sensitivity and understanding of human depravity.
What was the last novel you read that you enjoyed and why?
Elmore Leonard’s Road Dogs. I like almost anything Leonard writes. He’s in his 80s and I hope he lives until 150, because I never want to run out of his novels to read. I’m not through his backlist yet, but someday I will be. Leonard does dialog like nobody I’ve ever read. Anybody who writes should read him as a laboratory of how to do it. Same with his technique on folding in backstory.
When did you begin writing?
As a kid, then I took it up seriously about 15 years ago. I got caught up in my investment banking career again and didn’t get fully committed until the last few years.
What genre(s) do you write?
Thrillers and suspense. But I’ve also started a memoir about our first year of life with our recently adopted pit bull puppy, Styles. I’m five months into it and enjoying it.
Tell us about your latest book?
My latest, Trojan Horse, is a love story wrapped around a thriller. Daniel Youngblood is a world-weary oil and gas investment banker who’s ready to hit the beach, when he’s hired by a Saudi Prince for an OPEC deal where he can net himself $25 million as a swan song. At the same time, he meets and falls in love with Lydia, an exotic European fashion photographer, who he later discovers is really a CIA-trained spy with a shocking history with the Saudi Prince. She convinces Daniel to enlist in what becomes a race for the lovers to stop a Muslim terrorist Internet plot to bring down the Saudi royal family and cripple the world’s oil capacity, all before they wind up dead.
What other titles have you written?
I have a finished novel, Bull Street, I am getting ready to release. Bull Street is the story of a naïve, young Wall Streeter who gives a jaded billionaire the chance for redemption, as they team up to bring down an insider trading ring before they wind up in jail or dead.
If you could change one thing about your writing career thus far, what would it be?
I would have committed myself to it earlier.
What do you have on the burner for the next year?
I am finishing up a novella, The Gravy Train, also set on Wall Street. It’s about a young investment banker who helps an elderly Chairman try to buy his company back after some ruthless Wall Street sharks have driven it into bankruptcy, and are trying to carve it up for themselves. And, I’ve started another thriller, about an award-winning documentary filmmaker who has a drug industry whistle-blower give her evidence of a concrete link between the national vaccine program and autism, and then races to expose it before a megalomaniacal drug industry CEO can have her killed.
David, thank you for giving us a glimpse into your life and your writing. I look forward to reading Trojan Horse and hearing more from you in the future. Feel free to drop by anytime. Readers, be sure to purchase a copy of Trojan Horse, which is available in eBook and print formats.