It started with an initial thought — what if the unlikely collision of a failed radio talk show host and a voracious venture capitalist caused an extraordinary impact on the economy at large? For the most part, I imagined I knew how the story would unravel but then reality kicked in and character development took me down a very different path.
Having worked as a tech insider for many years, I knew the types of storylines and sub-storylines I wanted to incorporate but as a first-time novelist, I wasn’t sure of the pacing of the book. I felt some of the elements in the first few drafts sounded a bit forced, so it was back to the drawing board.
I had to put it away for a few weeks and remind myself of what I like to read and that’s dialogue. A great exchange of words can make me feel as if I’m in the book; knee-deep in the situation, which is the feeling I wanted my readers to share.
And still, I didn’t want the book to be too dialogue-heavy so I had to really challenge myself to find balance. About half way through the first draft I got into a holding pattern and a friend referred me to Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. There I learned it was okay to write only as much as I could envision in the moment and trust that as I moved forward I’d be able to edge closer in the right direction.
The end result is a mix of expository writing, inner monologue, and dialogue. The plot is completely made up, as are the characters, but I was able to extract from events and experiences and set a tone of realism, then stretch that into the absurd.
The book is biting, comic, and full of satire. From the opening scene, there’s a botched attempt to kidnap a billionaire investor, two startup execs go missing, and two terminally unlucky programmers get in way over their heads. It was important to me that I keep the action moving. I also wanted to relate finances and political power in a way that leaves you thinking, you know, way after you’ve finished the book.
This Is Rage is available from The Story Plant (ISBN: 978-1611880717).