1. What inspired you to write your book?
While living in New York a few years ago, I was intrigued by the number of “dark properties” in our neighborhood and in other parts of the city. “Dark properties” are multi-million dollar condominiums that have no one living in them, and whose ownership is hidden from public records. Through my own research and in subsequent newspaper investigations, I learned that many of these properties in New York, and in other American cities, are owned by members of the Chinese Communist Party who are hiding illicit assets outside of China. Other foreign officials from countries like Russia were also buying such properties because, unlike opening a bank or securities account, ownership of real estate assets is easy to hide under existing American laws. What made the Chinese ownership most intriguing was not only the size and scale of foreign assets owned by Communist Party leaders, but the intense and brutal efforts being made to repatriate these assets after a regime change in China.
My story is about a wealthy and successful hedge fund manager from Beverly Hills who discovers a dark and ultimately deadly secret about the source of billions of dollars he manages for his largest client. Using events taken from current headlines, a regime change in China ensnares the hedge fund manager, his associates and family in a deadly battle for possession of the secret assets. Chinese agents are secretly dispatched to the United States to take control of these assets, but not for the Chinese people. The assets are to be taken by the new leaders of the Communist Party, and all those who know the true source of these funds must be permanently silenced.
Greed is as old as human existence, and is a powerful motivator for success, wealth and power. But greed can also make us avoid the tough questions that may have answers we don’t want to hear, especially when money is involved. It’s not the questions you ask which make a difference in your life; it’s the questions you don’t ask. In this story, it is the questions never asked that lead to a desperate struggle for survival, revenge, and redemption.
This is my first novel, so I’m not qualified to give advice except to say it is fun to write about what you know. My background is in finance and investments, and I’ve tried to tell a compelling story, based on current events, centered around the world of finance. I hope readers find it not only thrilling, but that they learn something about the investment world as well.
It seems to me that the whole publishing industry is becoming more reader-driven. Social media has made it easier than ever before to see what people like to read and what drives their interest. I think this makes it easier for both publishers and authors alike to create even wider, more diverse and creative content than ever before.
6. What challenges did you have in writing your book?
The biggest challenge was getting the grammar and layout in the proper format for a well-written novel. I believe I wrote a good story, but was concerned that readers find it well-written as well. Fortunately, I hired a good editor who didn’t suggest many changes in the story, but was a big help with proper format, style and grammar for a novel.