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Tobacco baron Harry White is an amalgamation of real life tobacco baron Buck Duke and J.P. Morgan. At the height of his tobacco empire Duke had control of over 40% of the North American market and some control over the rest of the world’s tobacco as well. He is the reason Trinity college was renamed many decades ago as Duke University . Morgan, who was the richest man in the world in the early Twentieth Century, once saved the United States economy by lending the U.S. Treasury 65 million dollars in gold. I read about these men and thought it would be interesting to create a character that had all the wealth and power in the world, but was conflicted between his moral North Carolina upbringing and the life of no restrictions that his influence produced.
While the idea of having a main character with Harry’s life sounded interesting, I thought an entire book of him facing one moral dilemma after another would be boring. What if while Harry was dealing with his moral dilemmas there was an organized crime family that was trying to kill him? What if there was a business rival that hated him so much, he would bribe the Vice President of the United States to try and bring him down? What if there were people who would stop at nothing to see him dead? Of course some one as smart and powerful as Harry would know there would be enemies. He would have to create a division within his company that was dedicated to protecting him from corporate espionage as well as potential hit men.
I also wanted to throw in a couple of twists; enter Lovely Simona who I deemed the first “made” woman in the New York Cosa Nostra. In reality, as far as I know, there is no such thing as a “made” woman, but what if there were? You would have to think that a woman that would be chosen for such a honored designation would have to be one bad a** bit**. The only kind of character that might be as intense would probably be a serial killer who I named Z. Imagine a madman whose only way to quell the voicein his head of his psychotic, was to find more creative ways to kill. Now imagine that this lunatic was on the payroll of the richest man in the world who is having a midlife moral crisis.
I have published a sample chapter about Z, the background of several characters, and the history of Lovely Simone which you can find on my Home page. I honestly feel that once you read the material provided you will be excited to read 1928. Please let me warn you, the story at times portrays graphic violence and very colorful language. Those of you who read my first novel, ...And God Loved, should not expect the same kind of writing or story. In fact you should probably expect the exact opposite. It was very cathartic writing a story that was so steeped in philosophy and a storyline that asked what if God was one of us and didn’t know it, but after the experience I needed to write something completely opposite. 1928 was born.
...And like I tell my friends, “I might not be Hemingway, but I can tell a heckuva story!”