Here’s an answer to another question few have asked.
The idea for Hell Is Other People came to me at lunch at the restaurant of the Santa Monica Aviation Museum, DC3. This was on Easter vacation of 1998. Number One Son, being interested in planes wanted to visit. The restaurant offered a view of Santa Monica Airport, which services only private planes.
During this period of my life, I was spending many hours on long-haul flights, mostly in first class. I do not know when the thought occurred to me, but I wondered why I never saw attractive women on first class flights, as one is led to believe in films and television shows. Looking at Santa Monica Airport, I guessed that most must not fly...or use chartered flights. That sparked the idea for a novel.
I needed a male character that had time to have an affair and enough money to fly by chartered jet. I fell upon the idea of an author. I chose the name, because I was reading the biography of Winston Churchill. I had recently discovered young, female Country singers on the audio channel on a United flight, so I picked that as the female lead. The name came from my secretary's first born child, combined with a the name of a guy I knew (I wanted something short). The rest came by asking a whole bunch of what ifs. I wrote the basic novel on one weekend in July, after thinking about the story on several long flights and sleepless nights in foreign hotels. I picked it up countless times, fiddled with details, and let it rest for months, years even, before finally deciding to finish the bloody thing this year. None of the basic story changed in all those years, but it was nearly fine-tuned to death.
Now, aren’t you happy you did not ask...
A few years back, I had an idea for a book. The idea was for a company to buy a country, such as Microsoft (back when it was rich and successful) and, say, Cuba. Imagine business executives descending upon the country and taking over the government and ruling society. There would be vast scope for character, setting, and plot. Company politics mixed with government politics; ethnocentric squabbling; arrogance vs. pride; and so on. It would be a massive and epic novel (maybe!).
Anyway, I was surprised/encouraged when I spotted the following headline in Time:
"Are Companies More Powerful Than Countries?"
It might not be exactly the same idea, but it’s close and could lead to my idea. It is not the first time that I have been ahead of my time (awareness of pun came after writing!)
* crossing of an ignoramus with a savant
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.