Interview with Steve Douglass

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I escaped from the daily races and disappeared into obscurity at the tender age of forty-nine. Obscurity for my wife, Ann and me was a lovely cottage on the shore of Lake Rosseau, Ontario, Canada, with a view of islands, rocks and beautiful sunsets. The area, known as Muskoka, is a destination for business owners, financial engineers, movie stars, and overpaid hockey players, anxious to get away from the stress of it all.

Shortly after our arrival, I accepted a dinner invitation from our newest closest neighbor, the owner of another lovely cottage on the shore of an adjacent bay. While sipping brandies with our host and hostess at the conclusion of a sumptuous meal, small talk dominated until our host smiled at me and said, “It’s rather unusual for someone so young to retire and build a cottage on Lake Rosseau. What did you do for a living, Steve?”

I risked boring him with the story of my crazy life in the Canadian oil business. The brandy encouraged me to give him the longer version.

His stunned expression spoke volumes. “Holy shit!” he exclaimed. “That’s an incredible story! Have you ever considered writing a book about it?”

I shook my head and replied, “I’ve never written anything longer than an essay in university.”

“That shouldn’t deter you,” he insisted. “Your story is a piece of international crime lore. It has to be told.”

The thought of writing an entire novel brought back vivid memories of writing that essay. It was akin to root canal. I thanked him and suggested politely, “Let’s change the subject and have another drink.”

As years went by, my neighbor’s suggestion stayed with me, pestered and gnawed until I finally had written The Bridge To Caracas, entirely in long hand. “Why not tell the story?” I asked myself. “It’s arguably one of the most unique crime sagas ever.” I subsequently typed it, using four fingers on a now ancient Apple 2e.
How did you come up with your stories?
Having spent my entire working life in the oil business, the stories were choices, not decisions.
You have created great characters. Which one is your favorite?
I have three favorite characters in The King Trilogy: two antagonists, (both male), and one protagonist, (female).

The first, Jim Servito, the unscrupulous criminal in The Bridge To Caracas.

The second, Louis Visconti, the larcenous money manager in The Tainted Trust.

The third, Kerri King, the heroic survivor in Kerri’s War.
Who would you cast to play the characters in a movie?
Jim Servito, (The Bridge To Caracas): Al Pacino.

Louis Visconti, (The Tainted Trust): Leonardo DiCaprio

Kerri King, (Kerri’s War): Jennifer A
Were the plot and subplots completely planned from the start or did they change during the process, and if so, how?
Both plot and subplots of all three volumes were unplanned. They changed as quickly and capriciously as the weather. The common thread throughout the trilogy is the inconvenient fortune, the fruits of Jim Servito’s crimes. My objective from beginning to end was to confront the principal characters with stressful situations, then to describe their thoughts and reactions. I discovered the best way to do this is to imagine myself in the same situation and ask myself how I would respond. Having been in stressful situations throughout my working life, this process made writing fun for me, a long way from the “root canal” of writing that essay in university.
What is your main reason for writing?
As I mentioned in the answer to question one, writing was meant to be a hobby for me, and nothing more. Shame on me for ever treating it as something more, although there is a constant temptation so to do.
What is the idea behind your series?
The accumulation of a gigantic and illicit fortune and its catastrophic effect on the lives of everyone who touches it. The Bridge To Caracas, (Volume One), described the accumulation of the fortune and only the beginning of the catastrophic effects. The Tainted Trust and Kerri’s War, (Volumes Two and Three), take the reader through a litany of catastrophic developments, all leading to and beyond the final disposition of the inconvenient fortune.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have a summer home near Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, and a winter home in Port St. Lucie, Florida, U.S.A. Both homes require a considerable amount of my attention. My wife, Ann, the love of my life, and our two cats, Abby and Samantha, also require, demand my attention. To satisfy bucket list items, we travel often. Finally, when I’m free from all of the above, I play horrifying golf.
Tell us one odd thing about you and one really mundane thing.
That’s a very difficult question. There are so many odd things about me I strain to pick one. I suppose one of the oddest is that having retired at age forty-nine, I get up in the morning with nothing to do, then return to bed at night with only half of it done.

One of the most mundane things about me is that I am an incurable romantic.
Who are your favorite authors?
Daniel Silva

John Grisham

Ken Follett

Jeffrey Archer
What is your advice to new authors?
There is an inverse relationship between the level of expectation and the degree of satisfaction.
What are you currently reading?
The Boys in the Boat. (ebook).
What is your favorite book?
The Prize, by Daniel Yergin.
What makes you laugh?
A politician asking me to trust him.
What would you take to a lonely island?
A large box of matches. Rubbing sticks together takes a dreadful amount of time.
How have you found the experience of self-publishing? What were your highs and lows?
Self-publishing a trilogy has truly been one of the most exciting things I have ever done. If I never sold a single book all of the effort and expense would still be worth it.

If I manage to remind myself that writing for me was never meant to be anything more than a hobby, there are no lows. If I forget and allow my ego to rear its ugly head, my status as an unknown and obscure author becomes a low.
Published 2016-08-20.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Kerri's War, (Volume Three of The King Trilogy)
Series: THE KING TRILOGY. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 98,050. Language: English. Published: September 5, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
KERRI’S WAR, Volume 3 of The King Trilogy, is the story of a thirty-three year old woman who chose to go to war with the greed and avarice of big business, the overwhelming power of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, and a billion dollar shareholder lawsuit against her. Simultaneously, she chooses to fall in love with a man who is engaged to marry another woman.
The Tainted Trust, (Volume Two of The King Trilogy)
Series: THE KING TRILOGY. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 96,360. Language: English. Published: September 5, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
No one wept when Jim Servito died. He left an estate amounting to $325,000,000 when his wife, Karen killed him in Caracas. He had accumulated the fortune the old fashioned way: he stole it from the U.S. and Canadian Governments using a brilliant gasoline tax evasion scam. The money is hot, deposited in a Cayman Island bank, and it was cursed. It has a profound effect on everyone who touches it.
The Bridge To Caracas, (Volume One of The King Trilogy)
Series: THE KING TRILOGY. Price: Free! Words: 84,580. Language: English. Published: September 5, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Jim Servito shatters the hopes and aspirations of star-crossed lovers, Mike King and Karen Taylor, while simultaneously engineering a grand theft ranking as one of the largest and most audacious in Canadian and U.S. history. Cynical and remorselessly ruthless, he possesses a brilliant criminal mind, has enormous contempt for the law, police, governments, and the system in which they function.