Thursday, May 23, 2013

"The Dark Pool" by J. E. Fishman

The Dark Pool
by J. E. Fishman

Joel Fishman joins me today to introduce his latest book, The Dark Pool. You can also read my 5-BD review and enter the giveaway to win one of two paperback copies of the book. Enjoy!

This market's a KILLER.
Three men's lives on a knife's edge...
Shoog Clay: The nation's winningest inner-city high school football coach resists pressure to move up to the college level because his kids in the Bronx mean everything to him. But more powerful people won't take no for an answer.
Antwon Meeps: One day Harriet Tubman High School's star running back is a shoe-in for a college scholarship. The next day he's accused of a rape he didn't commit, his life begins unraveling, and he doesn't know how to stop it.
The Mean: This incognito Greenwich hedge fund manager is so rich he keeps a giant sea creature as his pet. But a risky investment threatens to ruin him, and a stubborn high school football coach holds the key to his redemption.
Soon a tragic hanging in the school gymnasium will lay bare a secret force that none of these men understands. In a "dark pool" marketplace, insatiable Wall Street players have wagered everything on certain real-world outcomes. When fortunes hang in the balance, financiers cloaked in anonymity won't hesitate to pay off their claims with the blood of others.


By Lynda Dickson
Antwon Meeps is an 18-year-old high school senior with his whole life ahead of him. He's on the winning High School football team, he has college to look forward to in a few months, and he has a promising football career. When Antwon is wrongly accused of rape, he's helped out of this sticky situation by a man to whom he now owes a favor. It could come at any time or any place, and it could be legal or illegal. Who is his mysterious savior and who will Antwon have to hurt to pay back his debt?
Enter the commodities trader who privately calls himself The Mean because he believes that "at some point the price of everything reverts to its average - its mean". What is The Mean's "dark pool" investment and how does it impact on Antwon Meeps and his coach Shoog Clay? Who's betting on whom and for what reason? And are they manipulating lives to get what they want?
All of these questions will be answered in this thrilling new book by J. E. Fishman. You won't be able to stop turning the pages in your search for the answers. Keep an eye out for the strange creature in the giant water tank. Perhaps a bit of symbolism about the dangers lurking in the "dark pool"?
Although I'm not interested in football or the money market, I found this book to be thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end. So don't be put off by the subject matter. This book is full of twists and turns and will keep you guessing until the end. I look forward to reading more books by this talented author.

Interview with the Author
Hi Joel, thanks for joining me today to discuss your new book The Dark Pool.

Which writers have influenced you the most?
I feel that I’ve been more influenced by specific books than particular authors, at least with regard to my work writing stand-alone thrillers. There have been any number of occasions when I couldn’t put a book down and thought: I’d like to tell a story that powerful. Such books have included The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone, Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris, Sophie’s Choice and The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron, any number of works by Saul Bellow and Philip Roth, The World According to Garp by John Irving, The Godfather by Mario Puzo – so many others. I’m working on a series of police procedurals now, and I’d say they’re most influenced by the work of Evan Hunter writing as Ed McBain and by Joseph Wambaugh.

What age group do you recommend your book for?
I would recommend this book to grown-ups.

What sparked the idea for this book?
Among all the outrage about the financial collapse, it struck me that there was this huge gap between people working in the financial world and the man on the street who is often inadvertently affected by the actions of traders, hedge fund managers, and the like. I was wondering how one might close that gap with storytelling when I came across dark pools, which are these kinds of secret trading platforms. When people’s actions are hidden from society, you no longer have the disinfectant of daylight, and it’s that much easier to lose your moral compass. That seemed like a pretty good environment for a financial thriller.

Which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
It comes whence it comes. In my first stand-alone thriller, Primacy, and in the new book, The Dark Pool, it began with the idea or premise. In my mystery, Cadaver Blues, it began with the character. In the next stand-alone thriller, it also begins with a character, in that case a real-life one, Typhoid Mary.

What was the hardest part to writing this book?
Beginning is always the hardest part. The abyss of the blank page.

How do you hope this book affects its readers?
Two ways. First, I want people to find turning the pages irresistible. Then I want them to become more thoughtful about the unintended consequences of all our actions.

How long did it take you to write this book?
About six months.

What is your writing routine?
I report to an office every day. I use an outline. But then I ignore the outline when a better idea hits me.

How did you get your book published?
I met my publisher at ThrillerFest, the International Thriller Writers conference in New York, and we hit it off.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Hold yourself to a high standard.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I read, of course. Play tennis. Travel. I love to go to restaurants, live theater, and movies with my wife and daughter.

What does your family think of your writing?
It’s too adult for my eleven-year-old daughter, so I won’t let her read it, but she loves the idea that I’m a writer. My wife is among my biggest fans and biggest critics, which is as it should be. My parents have always been unconditionally supportive.

Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
I grew up in an upper-middle-class family in a suburb of Long Island. Nothing spectacular ever happened to me, but I was touched by tragedy when my mother died. I was twelve years old at the time, and all these years later I’m still not sure I’ve ever fully understood the impact of that upon me.

Did you enjoy school?
I enjoyed learning and achieving some things. School in general was an uneven experience.

Did you like reading?
I’ve always been a big reader, fiction and nonfiction, and I always read eclectically. I rarely delved into a single writer and read everything he or she wrote. I had this sense there was just too much out there to end up in that kind of rut.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I could remember, but it took me half a lifetime to get around to it.

Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
That seems like something for others to judge. Generally I would say it’s impossible not to be influenced by the totality of one’s experiences.

What was your favorite book growing up?
As a kid my favorite books by far were Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. I recall being on vacation when I finished the last book. I intentionally slowed down and set the book aside frequently because I didn’t want it to end.

Who were your favorite authors?
In high school I read a lot of science fiction – Ray Bradbury, Frank Herbert, Robert Heinlein, like that. In college I was swept away by Nineteenth Century stuff – Dickens, the Brontë sisters, Henry James and Herman Melville. Later I got into more contemporary American novelists.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I’m early in my career, but so far the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Many people, I think, appreciate not only the page-turning plots, but also that my work includes bigger themes. Of course, I’d love to hear more from my readers. If you’re moved to comment on the work, it usually means that the work moved you in some way.

What can we look forward to from you in the future?
I’m working on a series of police procedurals set in New York right now, to be followed by a new book in the Phu Goldberg series, and then another stand-alone thriller.

Thank you so much for talking to me today. I think you'll be happy to hear I couldn't put your book down. I wish you every success with your writing.

About the Author
J. E. Fishman grew up on Long Island, N.Y., and received a bachelor's degree in English literature from Tufts University in Boston. A long-time resident of New York City and Westchester County, he now lives mostly in the Brandywine Valley region of eastern Pennsylvania, America's mushroom farming capital and the backdrop to his novel Cadaver Blues (StoneGate Ink, Oct. 2012). Cadaver Blues is a wisecracking mystery that follows debt man Phuoc Goldberg as he becomes seduced by the beautiful niece of a man who has disappeared and whose house is slated for foreclosure. Before long, Phu isn't just looking for cash relief, but for cadavers.
J. E. Fishman is also the author of Primacy: A Thriller, which Kirkus Reviews called "more fun than a barrel of overgrown monkeys" and Publishers Weekly called "an appealing debut thriller." Fishman's most recent book, The Dark Pool (StoneGate Ink, Jan. 2013), is a financial thriller inspired by the corruption of Wall Street and its effect on the common man. In The Dark Pool, strange and tragic events begin occurring around high school football coach Shoog Clay and his star player, Antwon Meeps. Together they eventually discover a secret marketplace where investors bet on the coach's marketing prospects (his Q Score). Those who are bullish on Clay want him to succeed, no matter who gets hurt. Those who are bearish on him will stop at nothing to see him fail - even if it means killing him.
When he isn't writing fiction or blogging, Fishman - a former Doubleday editor, literary agent, and ghostwriter - works as an entrepreneur. He divides his time between Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and New York City.

Thanks to Joel's fantastic publicity team at Shelton Interactive, we have two paperback copies of The Dark Pool to give away. Please enter the giveaway below.