If you’re interested in fiction about the world of business, or want to see more of the world portrayed by Mad Men, or just wonder where authors get their ideas from, then read this peek into the mind of the author of The MineFields.
Do you think business fiction is on the rise? What inspired you to take the leap?
I remember asking associates around my office one summer in the early 90’s before heading off to vacation in Vermont, if anyone knew of a novel, I said, “Nothing wrong with trashy either… that when I start reading it I just won’t be able to put it down.” I remember the comments. “No Roth? Heller? Fast for your getaway?” I said , “Not this year… something really fast… a page turner.” And one of my favorite copywriters who worked with me at the time said, “ I have just the book but you’re going to be bad company until you finish it because you won’t be able to get your nose out of the book.” And Kim was right! It’s the only book in my lifetime I read all through the night and into the next morning: The Firm by John Grisham.
It had a pacing I had never experienced before or after . It never quit… it’s like Secretariat on a tear. And of all the novelists whose work run a bit deeper, like Roth, the author who has travelled with me on more vacations… it was this Grisham’s book that, I said to myself, “When I write that great American novel could I write with Grisham’s tempo. And it was not only the pacing that hit me about this novel. It was how cinema graphic the book was. I remember saying to myself while reading all night long, “I can’t wait to see the movie.”
What struck me so is how Grisham changed for me the perception of the legal field. I thought working at a law firm was sober/ boring stuff until I read The Firm only to see it’s inners fly off the page. What drama and “sturm und dram that book has!” And using the ad world to tell my story, Mad Men putting the bar very high, I knew people would be expecting the drama and that I had to deliver on it above and beyond Grisham… whose world, by its nature appears to be more laid back. So THEMINEFIELDS had to be a story that would charge out of the gate and never quit. As Bryan Burrough’s has suggested in his Off The Shelf Column, “I’ve often wondered why there aren’t more strong works of fiction dealing with the business world in The Mad Men tradition.” One just surfaced all the way home.
There is also a scavenger hunt going on as part of the blog tour, with clues scattered among excerpts of the first chapter posted at various blogs. Click on the tour button or go to The MineFields blog tour page at BookTrib for more details. Read the first chapter for yourself and see how fascinating the advertising business can be. You’ll be sold.