Crisis Deluxe (Author Interview)

 




https://www.amazon.com/dp/B091BKKDJ1/

Crisis Deluxe looks like an exciting story.  Can you tell us a little about Alexander Street and the story?

Crisis Deluxe starts out with global financial markets on the verge of collapse.  Merger specialist Alexander “Dusty” Street is ordered to hop on a plane from Buenos Aires, where he’s just completed a huge deal, to fly to Hong Kong to try and save a failing acquisition worth billions. 

Dusty was just about to fly home to his wife and kids, and he’s already fed up with the exhausting, globe-trotting life he's chosen.  Dutifully, he flies to Hong Kong, torn between the wife and family in New York he never sees and the heavy responsibilities of his career.  

Shortly after he arrives in Hong Kong Dusty faces a completely unexpected development:  the appearance of Jacqueline, a woman he once loved 20 years ago, and has never forgotten.

Suddenly, Dusty finds himself struggling to navigate much more than a complex business deal.  Seeing Jacqueline again forces Dusty to realize he has reason to reconsider his life choices, both professionally and personally, at the most basic level.

As world financial markets continue to plummet, to his horror Dusty grapples with the growing awareness a defeat on this deal would crush his career, destroying everything he’s worked for—and yet to find a way out against all odds, Dusty must learn to calculate the true cost of career, family and love.

 

Any plans to turn it into a series?

Yes, as a matter of fact—early readers have all been asking if there’s another book coming, and are enthusiastic about finding out about the next adventure of Dusty Street.  In fact, while Dusty makes some hard choices in Crisis Deluxe, his life is very intense and complex, and he faces a whole new set of challenges when he moves to Sydney, Australia in the next book, called Crisis Down Under.  I’ve travelled to Hong Kong on business so I knew what I was writing about when I wrote Crisis Deluxe, but I lived in Sydney for 25 years and raised my children there, so I know exactly what Dusty’s about to experience.

 

That’s an amazing cover.  Can you tell us a little about it?

Thank you!  I want to give a shout at to Tracy Lyn at Virtually Possible Designs:  https://www.virtuallypossibledesigns.com

Tracy is super-talented and it’s been fun working with her.

That’s a view of Hong Kong from Barker Road, which is a wonderful part of the city, and the cover dramatizes the way Dusty’s dilemmas are completely intertwined between the exotic, high-stakes world of Hong Kong, the temptations of his dream come true, and the brutal reality of a world in deep crisis with the livelihoods and well-being of billions of people at risk if Dusty makes a mistake—or neglects his personal responsibilities because of selfish personal reasons.

 

What inspired you to write Crisis Deluxe?   

Crisis Deluxe was originally a private exercise prompted by news about the Asian Financial Crisis, which brought personal memories flooding back of a woman I met when we were 13 years old in a city as interesting as Hong Kong. 

The last time Nicole and I saw one another was when we were 17 in the summer of 1978 and I drove Nicole and her father to San Francisco on her way to start at Smith College in Massachusetts. We wrote letters all through high school and college, but by the end of our college years we ended our letter writing and I never saw Nicole again.

Twenty years ago, rather than trying to find out where Nicole might be in the middle of the Asian Financial Crisis, I wrote this story as an exercise in imagining circumstances in which Nicole and I did meet again, with me in my current situation as a husband and father, and Nicole in a presumably similar situation.

I set the story in the middle of the financial crisis of the time, but those events are totally products of my imagination. I have absolutely no inside information about the Asian Financial Crisis, and honestly at the time the investment banking plot was really just a context for me working out my feelings for Nicole at the age of forty, when I hadn't seen her for 23 years.

What was relevant to me was the way the story expressed my feelings in my late thirties / early forties about Nicole and our relationship, and the novel that is now Crisis Deluxe was my way of saying goodbye to Nicole, once and for all.

The exercise was so successful I completely forgot about the novel, including its title, until last summer when 42 years later Nicole and I met up again.  We have five grown children between us and both of our marriages were over--and so against all reasonable expectations we are now engaged to be married and living together with Nicole’s two horses in Williams Township, Pennsylvania.

That's the true backstory to Crisis Deluxe.

 

Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing Crisis Deluxe?

Some of the writing was lots of fun—I love Hong Kong and feel deeply about the tragic events unfolding in that wonderful city as the Communist Chinese Government crushes the liberties of the freedom-loving people of Hong Kong—and I enjoyed bringing the city in what now turns out to be its hey-day to life in Crisis Deluxe.  Much of the writing was a real emotional challenge as I struggled with the temptations and ethical issues of the situation I imagined between Nicole and me.  And I also found it challenging to portray the very complex world of investment banking and financial markets in a way that is clear and compelling to people without that professional background—but readers are telling me I succeeded, and I’m really happy about it.

 

What do you like to do when not writing?

I’m a big reader, as you can probably imagine, and I love the outdoors and physical exercise.  When I lived in Sydney I was a surfer, and one of my favourite activities is to swing on what are called the Travelling Rings, which are located in Santa Monica, CA and Riverside Park, NYC.  Surfing is really hard but it looks easy, and swinging on the rings, while not easy, isn’t as hard as it looks.  It’s extremely healthy and both men and women can do it.  A friend of mine in LA who is a great ringer had a flight physical with United Airlines.  He is really ripped and muscular, and the doctor told him he had the cardio-vascular profile of a marathoner--and marathoners are typically skinny guys with very little upper body.  We spent a million years in trees, and our DNA just loves it when we swing, so swinging on the rings is one of the healthiest things we can do.

Here’s a couple videos I made of swinging on the rings:

https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/69668967

https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/116816918

 

Where can readers find out more about your work?

Crisis Deluxe is my d├ębut novel, but I’ve written an article for Mystery & Suspense Magazine and I have a podcast with Eric Knight called The Recovering Investment Banker.  They can be found at:

https://www.mysteryandsuspense.com/financial-thrillers/

https://the-recovering-investment-banker.simplecast.com/episodes

There’s also a Crisis Deluxe website:  www.crisisdeluxe.com

In early 2022 I’ll release the next book about Dusty Street titled Crisis Down Under!


 

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