The Crime Fiction Lounge Podcast

Episode #17 – Craig S Wilson, Author of The Lucas Rocha Thriller Series

March 02, 2019 Season 1 Episode 17
The Crime Fiction Lounge Podcast
Episode #17 – Craig S Wilson, Author of The Lucas Rocha Thriller Series
Chapters
The Crime Fiction Lounge Podcast
Episode #17 – Craig S Wilson, Author of The Lucas Rocha Thriller Series
Mar 02, 2019 Season 1 Episode 17
Paul Stretton-Stephens
Join Paul as he chats with Craig S Wilson about his latest thriller, Shadow Deliverer.
Show Notes Transcript

Today, Paul chats with Craig Wilson. Craig is a writer and world traveler having visited over 67 countries. He is also the author of, The Lucas Rocha Thriller Series, which includes the titles, Renegade Pawn, Crossfire Fugitive, Journeyman Drug Lord, and more recently, Shadow Deliverer. He conceived of the idea for this series after his own tragic encounter with a street kid in a Rio favela. 

Craig is also a serial creative having written more than 300 songs and three musicals?  

So sit back and relax for this fascinating chat with Craig.

Speaker 1:
0:01
Hello and welcome to the crime fiction lounge. You're listening to episode 17 with also Craig s Wilson, and I'll be talking to him about his new novel shadow deliverer.
Speaker 2:
0:12
Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you the crime fiction lounge, the place for crime fiction lovers. Sit back, relax and unwind. You listened to some of your favorite crime fiction and thriller authors, and here's your host, Paul Stretton Stephens. Okay.
Speaker 1:
0:37
Today I have great pleasure in introducing Youtube, Craig s Wilson. He's a writer and world traveler having visited over 67 countries. He's also the author of the Lucas Rochester Thriller series, which includes the titles renegade porn, spelled p, a w n crossfire, a fugitive journeymen drug, Lord, and more recently shadow deliverer. He conceived the idea for this series after his own tragic encounter with a street kid in a out for Vela. Craig interestingly is also a serial creative, having written more than the 300 songs and three musicals. So I encourage you to sit back and relax for this fascinating chat with Craig. I hope you enjoy it. Hi Craig. Welcome to the crime fiction lounge. How are you today?
Speaker 3:
1:25
I'm just fine. It's a pleasure to be on show.
Speaker 1:
1:28
Okay. Can you, can you tell our listeners where, where you're from and a little bit about your background?
Speaker 3:
1:33
Yes. I'm from my whole life from the Greater Chicago land area in the United States. Uh, I've been a serial creative for a long time. Um, almost went to a bar to major in a professional music and creative arts, but a chose engineering instead. And it's one of those a monopoly games moves where you can't go back home and pass, go and collect 200 hour. So, you know, once you get on that pathway, you, you, you're on it. And, uh, so I had a wonderful career, but, um, it creative stuff just kept bubbling up within me. And so I, um, written 300 songs and three musicals and my wife is a publisher and she said, you wish you really should get into writing books. You have a certain knack. And, and so I did. And so I've written a few books prior to this series, but now I'm very much into the Lucas Porsche, you know, thriller series. And it's, it's been a lot of fun. You really learn a lot. And um, and you really fall in love with the characters. They're real people in my mind anyway.
Speaker 1:
2:40
Yeah. Yeah. And you say you're married if you have, you got kids, got grandkids. So,
Speaker 3:
2:45
uh, yeah, we've got, uh, my wife and I are on second marriage, so she and I had been together coming up on 10 years. It's September. She has two children, prior marriage, both, uh, two sons in their thirties. I've got a sermon daughter in thirties. Um, three grandkids. Um, and uh, life is good. All is well.
Speaker 1:
3:07
Good, good. What do you do in your spare time? I know you said your music, I was going to ask you about you, your songs and your musicals. I mean, what type of songs do you write and what musicals?
Speaker 3:
3:19
Well, I, uh, I didn't know that I could write songs until some girlfriend in my twenties, Bro, you know, kind of took my heart out and stomped on it. And it's all of a sudden songs started pouring out of me and that's Kinda how it works. I wish I'd known. I could write songs a lot earlier. I probably would have made that other career move decision. But, um, I've written songs that are, uh, mostly, uh, pop, a little bit of rock, a little bit of, uh, uh, easy ballad type of songs. But I got involved in a theater group that was creating musicals and, um, it's, it's a long story, but fundamentally, a long time ago when I was on a business trip because I traveled the world for a company that was making conveyor up conveyor up pizza ovens for Pizza Hut and Domino's pizza. So from a kid that was from a suburb of Chicago to traveling the world 3 million miles in five years, I saw the world in a greatly different context and started writing songs about it. Um, I even wrote a musical about Rio, uh, from an incident when I went there in the 80s and was up in the favelas and looking about, so, uh, I'm, I'm somewhat of an accomplished musician. The problem is if you, if you don't, right. And seeing what you write and live in La and New York or Nashville is, there's not much of a market for somebody living in Chicago unless you're going to do commercials.
Speaker 1:
4:47
Oh, I see. I see. I see. What instrument do you play? Instruments?
Speaker 3:
4:52
Um, piano and a little bit of guitar and trumpet. Um, in a band we had probably a thousand gigs for weddings and whatnot until the, uh, the Dj's finally, uh, pushed us out of the way and it was always an avocation, not my primary trade.
Speaker 1:
5:09
Yeah. Okay. Well that's interesting, right? Very talented man then,
Speaker 3:
5:14
well, you know, if you have the blood flowing and you, you want to, you want to keep it stimulated I think, and uh, whatever gets anyone up in the morning and puts a spring in their step, they should pursue it.
Speaker 1:
5:25
I couldn't agree more. Couldn't agree more. Now you've mentioned travel. I mean, I read somewhere that you've visited about 67 countries, is that right?
Speaker 3:
5:33
Correct. Um, I, I was with a company that is now over three and a half billion. Uh, but at the time they were about $17 million and it just gotten going with pizza hut to put in a, an automated conveyor oven to cook pizza versus deck ovens. And they had no representation in the world. And so I ended up getting on a plane and, and seeing the world that you just wouldn't normally imagine doing. So. And uh, it was, it was quite a quite an eye opener. It's an absolute fact that no one can really read about the world without in the same context of seeing, you know, being there, walking through, talking to the people. Um, and, uh, although I will say that, uh, having become a writer, I remember going to a humanitarian, uh, humanities festival in Chicago and they honored, you know, doctoral for rag time and other books and they asked him, maybe it, it had been a war and he said, no, but you don't have to be in a war. You just need to talk to soldiers that were in the war and you'll get a pretty good picture. And I've always remembered that quote because as I traveled through the world and I'm in different countries, you just have to immerse yourself and talk to people and say, what's, what's really going on here and how does things work and what society like. And you get a very good perspective that you'd never get read in the newspapers or magazine.
Speaker 1:
7:04
Absolutely. Yeah, I quite agree. Which countries really stood out for you. Okay,
Speaker 3:
7:10
wow. That's a tough one. I can tell you that one of my all time go to his has been England because wherever I was in the Middle East or any parts of Europe, especially a opening up in eastern Europe, I mean I was at in the 80s I was in Czechoslovakia when they had virtually nothing. They had empty shelves and they were just still part of the eastern block. Um, and Mcdonald's, when it first opened up in Hungary back in like 86, you know, there, there was nothing there. But wherever I was in the Middle East Mea, I would always circle back, stop over in London, go see some theater in the west end and, and then go home the next day. So London has always been one of my favorite places. Um, and I, I like towns. I like communities that are vibrant. Um, it's always, it's always a pleasure to go to a city like Hong Kong, Paris. Uh, uh, but the little towns are great too. I, I really haven't had a bad trip, honestly in any of the trips I've taken some or been a little more rugged than others and, but I'm fundamentally what fundamental truth is in the world is most people are good and they want to do good.
Speaker 1:
8:23
Yup. Yup. Yeah. I mean, we, we love musicals, so when we, I know where you're coming from a, we've got to go and see one in a couple of weeks in London. In fact, um, have you seen Tina Turner the musical? Oh, no, but I've heard it's great. Yeah. We're going to go and stay on the, I think, the 5th of March. So we're looking forward to that.
Speaker 3:
8:41
She has a, she has a terrific story to tell and one who overcame diversity, adversity and, uh, she's, uh, a good example of somebody who can make something out of nothing.
Speaker 1:
8:53
Absolutely. Let's talk about your writing. When did
Speaker 3:
8:56
you start writing or why did you stop? Um, so I was always interested in writing. I was in creative writing classes in high school and then I, again, I went to the engineering route, um, and I was a musician with perfect pitch. So my writing would have started writing the lyrics to go with songs that I write. Um, and that's pretty honestly easy. I'm not going to say that it's, uh, that, that a masterpiece song isn't, uh, uh, a very, uh, magical thing, but to write, you know, three verses in a repeating chorus, you can do that in fairly easy fashion, although they're great songs or wants it break through barriers with their poetic, you know, reference and in the lyrics it's just people don't forget. So I was writing lyrics more so on a creative sense. Um, obviously you're not asking me about writing emails and writing, you know, business papers.
Speaker 3:
9:52
But, uh, so that would be my first experience with writing. And one thing I did learn is that you really need to care for in choosing your words. Um, words have meanings and that, uh, you don't have much time to tell your story in a two and a half, three minute songs. So you better be quick to the point and um, and be alliterative. So I, I learned that sort of skill. Um, and then when writing, when writing a musical, it, cause really what could compel me to do it was I'd written all these songs and it's a, it's a silly story, but my reminders, we'll tell it, and this is back in the day of maybe the 70s, 80s, I'd written some songs and I went to Hollywood to try to sell them. And of course I'm not from Hollywood. And so this Guy Dale [inaudible], MCA music, which is part of universal, he looked at me and he said, come on, I want to talk to you.
Speaker 3:
10:48
And he brought me in the back and I thought, oh, this is great. I'm going to, I'm going to make it, you know? And then he talked to me back there and he said, what do you think folks? And they looked at me and he said, yeah, I think so. I think so. And I said, what? They said, well, we want you to be a body double for Christopher Reeve in Superman. And I went, what? What does that mean? And they said, well, you know, you fly into a wall or something and then things crumble on you. And then, then Christopher comes on the scene and then they shoot from there. And I'm like, no, I'm here to sell myself, you know? And so obviously that didn't, that didn't fair where it very well, and I didn't want to do that route. So, um, I started thinking about it and I said, well, you know what?
Speaker 3:
11:31
Nope, it's, anybody can write a song. I love you. You love me worse. Happy as can be, right? Oh, I just wrote a song. Well, you know what? I thought not everybody can write a musical. So I started on this process of I'm going to write a full length musical where the story carries from beginning to end. And I wrote a few of them thinking of course, now you've read, there was no competition. Well of course there is and, but I learned the traffic really on my own and there was some good stuff and some of them played in Chicago. But the reality is to launch a musical today is a 12 to $20 million investment with no guarantees that it's going to get likes. And you have a limited period of time that you're renting the theater space. You know, the whole Gig, you know, it's not successful.
Speaker 3:
12:14
You've lost a ton of money. So more and more musicals that turned into revising brands, uh, you know, there's a lot of comic book musicals. There's a lot of, uh, you know, Disney's huge in them and they have the resources. So it's a little hard to break through in that space, uh, because of the degree of investment. And, and sadly, you know, you could write a whole musical and not even get it staged cause you have to hire 10 20 actors to do it. So it's a pretty tough game if you're not in there already. So, um, I got to know people by doing it. I met Charles Strauss who's wonderful guy and he wrote bye bye Birdie and, and Annie and uh, uh, the golden a child and he wrote a applause. So very notable hall of fame writer. And back in the day he used to play bridge with people like, uh, as they used to refer to it, he'd be like, uh, with um, oh gosh, uh, Arrow, um, some of the people that wrote some of the biggest stuff like Peter Pan, which was a drawing or by Carolyn Lee.
Speaker 3:
13:20
And uh, so he, they would play poker and bridge on Tuesday nights. And he told me once he let this young punk in named Marvin, it was Marvin Hamlisch and he let them join their crowd, but they just discussed every, every, you know, poker night, what they wanted to write for the next show that was coming up. Because they were feeding this sort of channel and it was just what you did. And it wasn't a big cost of entry. And back in the 60, 70 days, that was a golden time to just write musicals and put them out on stage in anybody. Go see him. Nowadays it's a whole different game and um, you really need a lot of bucks to get into it. So I decided musicals wasn't going to be my past. Uh, my, my future rather. And my wife is a publisher. Uh, Melissa, uh, Gee Wilson owns a business called Networlding publishing and most of what she does is nonfiction work.
Speaker 3:
14:14
She's had some great writers come through and most of them are business books and books on a self development and a basic, a inspirational books. So, and she's had 17 bestseller. So she said, why don't you write a book? I said, okay, fine, I'll give it a shot. But I wasn't quite sure what to write about. So I actually thought about the time I was in Rio on a very first trip and it was my, my, my, my distributor who was supposed to meet me there, his is a visa, had expired and he was literally being carted out of the country and he said, I'll see you in Argentina. So I got to Rio for the very first time, my first time in all of Brazil, never been there before, don't speak a lick of Portuguese. And I kind of had to wing it on my own and make the next three days work with appointments with distributors and whatnot.
Speaker 3:
15:13
And in my very first day outside the hotel, right along Ipanema beach, taking in this beautiful splendor of, of scenery, it's kind of like a Honolulu on steroids. And, uh, this, this kid with, you know, Havaianas flip flops and a torn shirt. Threw a little dirt on my shoes, like as if I didn't see it. And then started saying, you need your shoes shined. And he wanted to shine my shoes. And I said, well, sure, no problem. And, um, and what happened was when he finished, he wanted the equivalent of thinking, I wouldn't know the currency exchange, you one of the equivalent of about $30. And I said, well, that's a bit much, but I'll tell you what, I do up about $10 worth of Brazilian coins, which are Cruzado. So at the time, and I, and I said, I'll give it to you. And his little friends at gathered.
Speaker 3:
16:01
So I went to pull up my money clip and he grabbed it out of my hand and ran up the hill and I was doing triathlons back then. So I chased him and I was like the t three terminator. I mean, he just couldn't get away from me. He kept running, they don't the hill. I kept chasing him and closing in on him. And when, when we finally got to the, uh, uh, you know, he finally got to a point way up in the hills where there was kind of a dead end and, and he, and he threw the money up in the air and push an old woman over and ran down another route, jumped over a roofing and disappeared. And I helped a woman up. And to my surprise, she, she scolded me. She said, never feed the street. Rats. You only make the problem worse.
Speaker 3:
16:46
And I'm in the middle of this favela way up in the mountains, looking down on the beaches and the beautiful and then up on them on a, you know, Corcovado is the crystal redundant or which is the Christ redeemer famous statue with arms extended out over this hires. And it's what a setting. And, and, and yet the reality is that the people with the best views way up in the mountains have dire poverty, no running water and, and, and stolen electricity from other people's wires. And it was quite a setting. And so I started thinking to myself, why did the kid do it? What you know, what was his life be about and how do people fend for themselves? And, and the more you do research, you're more, you realize that the government doesn't give a darn about them because they're all squatters. They don't literally own the land.
Speaker 3:
17:39
They just started building on it in the 50s when Rio was the original capital of Brazil and they were looking for work and there's over a million and a half people up there and lot of them are, uh, showing cigarettes and the beaches are pointing things or, you know, and they get drug gangs are literally the mayors, the heads of the gangs in these hills or the mayors of those communities because the government doesn't provide many services. There's no hospitals, schools, there's no roads. These are narrow pathways because they're so steep, you couldn't really drive up them all right? And so it was quite, quite, uh, quite a, quite a beginning to a story. And I, I kinda thought, well, let's see where it goes. And so I, that's what I picked as the beginning of my story for the Lucas Porsche and you know, rotor series and renegade pawn. Oh, what, what made you decide to make it a thriller? Theories?
Speaker 3:
18:35
Well, well actually I was, um, I was originally, and I, I've rewritten it. Uh, the first book I wrote was worn the pattern of my very favorite book of all time, the Godfather, which is truly an epic kind of book that covers a whole life of, you know, don Corleone, but also the family. And it's more than just a a crime book. It's, it's a book about love with Michael Corleone, fallen in love with Apollonia. It's an epic, gets a James Michener painting of, you know, what goes on in that period of time. And that's what I wrote. Unfortunately, in today's world with so many books being written, something like 5,000 a day are uploaded ams, I learned rather quickly after writing that first draft that you have to write to your audience. You know, you can't, maybe if you're an established artist and he's a known writer, you can write whatever you want.
Speaker 3:
19:35
Yeah. But you, you need to write to the readers that want your materials. So I rewrote that book and created a series out of it, which is really a suspense thriller, but with some touches of romance in it. Uh, but it's really about the lives of a, of a character named, uh, uh, Lucas for Shah, who's got two twin sisters who are six years old and he's just lost his mother within the last month and his brother was killed by a desk squad. He's got to take care of them and sometimes good people do bad things for a greater good. And he's got a lot of, uh, you know, Christian values in them because of the, you know, upbringing head. But he's also got to fend for himself and take care of his family. And he runs into the path of them on American coming down who was also originally from Brazil named Daniel Burke. And he is, uh, uh, uh, uh, off duty, a DEA agent from Boston from a deal gone bad, who's, who's going to Reese retried or find his roots from the time he was adopted from an orphanage in Brazil. And in Lucas steals his wallet at airport after shining his shoes, if you will. That's where I got the original idea. And where does it all go from there? Well, it's quite an interesting story, which has evolved into a four book series.
Speaker 1:
20:59
Okay. So the first one is the renegade porn spelled p Awn. Yes, yes, correct. Yeah. And is that sort of the introduction you've just been describing in, in that particular book?
Speaker 3:
21:10
Yes. Renegade pawn is really setting the tone for Lucas, his sisters, his community. It paints a real picture of the fellows, but it also has lots of intrigue because after it's failed, attempted stealing a wallet and he decides to, cause his sisters are in parallel while he's gone all day trying to work the airport. So he thinks in his mind the best thing to do is it become a drug runner. I can, you know, deliver drugs at night while my sisters sleep and then I can take care of them during the day. And of course that idea doesn't work quite to plan and it opens up all kinds of perilous adventure for him. Um, and he gets very much in burst in the most powerful drug gang down there. And meanwhile, course is, uh, is, uh, uh, coal protagonist, if you will, Daniel Burke, uh, uh, is looking for his wallet and their lives in her intersection in quite interesting ways.
Speaker 3:
22:11
Um, and as I wrote the book and I, and it, of course, there are various cliffs and, uh, challenges throughout his life throughout Daniel's life and throughout Dez, who's the, uh, the king pin of the world's largest or the biggest drug gang and in Rio anyway, and it, and it evolves and it, of course, it takes place right during the time when the Olympics are being considered for real. And the government with its pacification forces called [inaudible], which are trained really to kill, not to pacify, they're going into these fellows to clean out gangs, to try to make room for future Olympic housing and to try to, they're trying to normalize the area to make it more palatable for the Olympic Committee so they'll get the final selection. And so it's in 2007 and at that time the Olympic Committee was considering real among other areas. So it's very historically authentic.
Speaker 3:
23:14
Um, all events, all, all areas within Rio or are, are factual, all the dates or exact, but the only thing different is its characters so starkly fictiony uh, its characteristic existing within a scenario that did happen. And of course it's interesting to file for me now having written it because now that the Olympics are over, they're kind of given the favelas back to the gangs. They really don't care. And the newly elected real president is like, I, I, I just don't want so just get out of mine, Eric neighborhood. And the same thing's happened in Columbia by the way. They, the poacher pre or I think the, the Nobel peace prize went to the new or the prior president of Colombia for no other reason that he struck a truce with the, the cartels down there and just basically said you take your areas, you take Kelly and Medellin Midian and leave, leave Bogota and leave a Carta Haina alone and he didn't solve the problem. You just pretty much gave their areas back to them. And if they want to do their trade, they can do their trade. It's pretty ironic, but that, that was the solution for peace in Colombia. And in the same sense it's in Brazil. They're, they're giving the favela is back to the gangs rather than trying to control them.
Speaker 1:
24:32
And how much, how much research do you need, do you do for you,
Speaker 3:
24:36
for the books? Well, it's a lot of work, um, because you're really painting an accurate historical picture. You're really, and, and it's phenomenal what you can do with Google. Uh, um, you know, uh, Google travel or Google maps, you can literally walk down these roads and see what was plausible. And, uh, so it's, it's, it was a very fun thing to do, but it's a lot of work. Um, I wrote a book prior, it was Rizza simple how to, when I was first working on my craft and it was called dating for life, and it's one of those where there's four keys to it and boom, boom, boom. And I think I, I wrote that book and all over about three weeks. But this series has been the combination of about one and a half years of work. Yeah. Oh yeah. No.
Speaker 1:
25:29
From what, from listening to you and from, from looking at your work, there seems to be, I mean, I know you've experienced going to Brazil and being in the favelas, it, it just strikes me and also from some of the reviewers, the way they've actually reviewed your books is that it seems to be something personal going on there and you're writing, I mean, why does this here is matters so much to you?
Speaker 3:
25:50
You know, uh, that's a very good question. I, I do. Um, I do care about the people there. Um, Lucas Horseshoe in many senses is any street kid in any country in the world who, uh, just has terrific potential and a wonderful spirit just happened to be born into that situation. And, and not, not everybody's born into a good situation. Um, and so it's a universal sort of challenge that people have in life. Um, how do you survive and how do you be happy? How do you take care of your family? Um, and so I do care about the characters. Um, and I do write from my heart. Um, his, his, his relationship with his, his brother who died, his relationship with his mother is, you know, very, uh, real and, uh, certainly it would be real for many, many kids in the same situation. Um, so I, I, I'm pleased that the reviews have been coming in positively. I mean, the people that read these books, uh, are feeling like they're really there and that they're deeply immersed in the situation and they get a good sense of, of, uh, the story. But it's also, it's also a definite roller coaster ride. So they're, they're getting on a, uh, it's a page Turner. There's no doubt about it. I wrote the entire series to be a page Turner.
Speaker 1:
27:28
Yeah. I mean, one of the reviews here, it says how well the desperation of the main characters is sold and how vivid the backdrop of Rio is described the cross sections of humanity portrayed, et cetera. You know, I think, yeah, that is a real testament to sort of how you've, how you've put everything in, what you've just been telling us into the work.
Speaker 3:
27:47
Well, I, I'm, I'm very pleased with work. Uh, and uh, one thing that I very important to me, um, if for people that love suspense thrillers and, and if you're a book writer, and I'm sure you all know this now, when you watch a movie or you read another book and you see a plot hole where he'd go, wait a minute, that's not right. It throws the reader off and you know, you get a real good eye for it when you've written your own books. And, um, I'm very proud to say that all of the actions that happen between these characters and their wants and needs, it's all plausible. It's all tied together tightly. There isn't any possibility in these books were a reader or someone would go, oh, no, no, no, this, this stuff technically all could have happened. In fact, um, I don't want to tip my hand because of the future books, but, um, when you start doing research, it's marvelous to see a way beyond the scope of just these people in one of the hills in a favela or in the entire area of Rio where there's, you know, so much crime and murder rate is like third in the world.
Speaker 3:
29:08
And then you, you look at, um, the cartels and you look at where the drug money goes around the world and then you realize even an, and this is further and many a, the third and fourth books in the series, even at how the CIA has had been involved in it and your, your, your, your eyes open up when you say what I mean, I never realized it, but that the largest export or of drugs in the Vietnam war was a CIA. Yup. Yup. They were literally overriding the DEA in their ability to say, look, this is going to help this counter, you know, uh, effort to overthrow the Vietcong. So we're going to allow them to sell millions of dollars of drugs to America so they can buy weapons so we can overthrow hoochie men. I mean, what the CIA did that you start doing this research.
Speaker 3:
30:00
And so everything I'm writing is all very plausible and intriguing as all get out the latest releases, the chateau deliverer. Yes. Now, can you tell us a little bit about the plot without any spoilers? Oh yeah, that's going to be tough. So a renegade pawn is to bleed it off. Is it? Lucas is, you know, big challenge, if you will, and how he's going to race and care for his family. Um, and his, his encounters with Dez who, who tests him to the limit that does to being the, uh, you know, uh, Amigos Savannah Denatos a drug gang kingpin, um, cross, uh, cross fire of fugitive is, is really now Lucas on the Lam and on the run and trying to, you know, dig himself out of a deep hole from becoming a drug runner in his first deal. A drug. It doesn't go very well, let's just say.
Speaker 3:
30:57
And, and so there's a huge resolution, um, with all characters at the end of book two. Um, I can't describe a whole lot about journeymen drug lord in without giving away too much on the plot other than to say that, um, there's, uh, there's a trial that has to happen and while it's happening, Lucas is actually moving further up in the gang. So he is the journeymen drug lord for this gang, albeit he's only just on the cusp of 17 years old, but most of the gang members there are between 17.2 years. Also. They're all young. Um, they're there why they're, they're hardened, uh, men in, in certain sense, the guys that went off to World War II that came back were certainly not 21 anymore. But, um, then the fourth book, the shadow deliver is really the wrap up for the four books series. Um, where, uh, in reality the drug gangs and the DEA are all pawns in a much greater game.
Speaker 3:
32:06
And, uh, the, there they're just victims of, of the power of money in government moving in different directions. So, uh, it leaves the possibility open for their lives to continue to evolve. Um, the main characters anyway with Daniel Lucas and uh, and their related families, but, and even the drug gang. But, um, it's, it's quite a wrap up. Uh, it was, and maybe if you've written a series, know what I'm talking about. The, the complexities continue with a series where there's more and more connected points with all characters and ours is really pleased to have tied it all together so that basically every ending of this at this point in time in the story is tight. And that, uh, the possibilities for all the characters moving forward are still intact. And, um, I didn't jump the shark. Let's just say that
Speaker 1:
33:08
now there's that, there's an old saying that to a good villain can be hard to write. So how have you gone about that?
Speaker 3:
33:13
It good. A story or a good player?
Speaker 1:
33:17
Hmm, a good villain. A good, a good bad guy can be hard to write.
Speaker 3:
33:21
Oh, a good villain. Um, you know, uh, I would agree with that. Um, in reality, the antagonist, if it's a stereotypical devil, you really don't, um, you know, I and loving place I even, or Eugene O'Neill, you know, at the end of the day, you can't watch too many of those are you want to like just go home and kill yourself. You know, depressing because you don't care for the characters. And in my opinion, the antagonist has to be just as interesting as the protagonist. The villain has to, there's a reason why that person's a villain. There's a reason why that person has risen to the top. How, let me ask this question to you, Paul. How does someone run a gang of renegades when in fact, there are no laws to support them? There's no constitution, there's no, uh, enforcement and, and, and it's true today. I mean, how did, how did El Chew pay, you know, the Guzman run a gang out of the Sim enroller cartel out of Mexico?
Speaker 3:
34:34
How does he run it out of jail? Right? There's, there's a reason. And the reason is that person is spell binding and the person has a certain charisma. I mean I got how Hitler keep is everybody together. And he was, he was a madman, but he had, he had a certain knack for, you know, getting the Gestapo and the ss against each other and everybody wanted to win his favor. Well, it's no different in the gangs. They mean these guys run gangs that are considerable businesses and yet, you know, anybody could walk in and pat the guy off but they don't. And the question is why. And so Dez is quite an interesting and clever villain who does have a heart and he has a, he has a wife and he's now got a kid, but he's also running a game. Um, I can, I can, you know, tell you that one of the big king pins in Rio, in reality there's a, there's a drug gang named Amigos dos Amigos, which is friends of friends, which makes an interesting play on the fact that the only friend that some of the people in the favelas have and, and you don't commit crimes in their hill because they don't want crimes in their own backyard.
Speaker 3:
35:45
You say all our families. And the interesting thing about this is that the guy that rose to power in that thing, his name was Nem, uh, and he actually was a good with money. It was an accountant. And what happened and how he got to power in that particular game was that he had a daughter, I believe, who had a very serious viral infection and she was two years old and it was going to take, I dunno, thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars in medical bills to save her life. And he wasn't getting any medical insurance from the company where he worked as an accountant. And so he actually went to the Amigos dos Amigos gang and said, will you help me? And they said, well, if you'll do some of the books, we'll give you some more money. And they help pay for the operation.
Speaker 3:
36:34
And they like the way you handle money. And the guy who rose to the top of this really, you know, big gang in Rio, uh, simply because he was really good with money and he and he, and he showed them make better use of it. And, and so it's a real story that, that happens to be a real story. But you know, how do the guy run to the top of the game? Well, it's not from the pathway you think. Um, so some of these villains can be actually be very intriguing people and in some ways does that my villain came up through the ranks no differently than Lucas row horror shows rising through the ranks as well, you know, because he needed to. We had to.
Speaker 1:
37:15
Okay. So just probably from his interest to be clear, we got the Lucas Marshalls thriller theories. It's got full titles, a renegade poon crossfire, fugitive journeymen drug load and the latest ones is shadow deliverer. Is that right?
Speaker 3:
37:32
That is correct.
Speaker 1:
37:33
And, and how can people get Ahold of the box?
Speaker 3:
37:36
Well, I do have it available through bullets, uh, Amazon and kindle ebooks. I've got it available for Ingram spark, so it's available for Trenton through the Barnes and noble nook. And it is also available in audio book form off or books in the series. And, uh, I took a little break from riding it, only to spend some time getting the word out, but, uh, I'm getting nothing but a lot of positive reviews and we're going to, you know, see how the series goes because everyone's so far saying in the reviews that they can't wait to read the next book. So, you know, if a lot of people have had a lot of fun in the, in this rollercoaster ride of Lucas Horseshoe, then I probably come out with some more books down.
Speaker 1:
38:26
Okay. Okay. Well, Craig, I come to the part mean to you now when I do some rapid fire questions and answers
Speaker 3:
38:33
park, what was that again?
Speaker 1:
38:35
I come to the parts of the interview now where
Speaker 3:
38:36
I do some rapid fire questions and answers. Oh, by all means, you know, I've got a few questions for you said the audience can get to know you a little bit better. Sure.
Speaker 1:
38:45
If you could chat with any crime fiction author dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Speaker 3:
38:52
I would very much like just spend time with, uh, Paul, uh, with Dan Brown because, um, and he's alive. And the reason is he did an incredible amount of research and Divinci code and the subsequent books and, uh, they literally have tours now through Paris where, you know, the, the characters would have gone. And I did something similar to that with, uh, my, my series in Rio. You could literally go to the various locations where the characters had dinner, where they visited, where at Lucas escaped death by, you know, going on a subway and you know, where, where he was in a cemetery, the Katoomba cemetery, and he is, you know, escaped, uh, a bill pay rate. And so, uh, I really admire what he did. It was a lot of hard work to pull that little, uh, uh, passage way together. You know, the, the who done it in his inimitable style, which he's really owns that style, but I admired it. So I did something similar. Okay.
Speaker 1:
39:56
Um, could you tell us something unique and interesting about you that not many people may know?
Speaker 4:
40:01
Okay.
Speaker 3:
40:01
Oh boy. Um, I live life in crescendo as a musician. You know, it isn't that the music gets louder every day, but, but it's, it's about, and I learned it from Charles Stross. It's about getting up every day with a spring in your step and being excited because today is going to be something that never happened before and therefore your life is always in crescendo.
Speaker 1:
40:27
So if you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?
Speaker 4:
40:31
Okay.
Speaker 3:
40:31
If I could give advice to anyone.
Speaker 4:
40:34
Okay.
Speaker 1:
40:35
I maybe you could tell your younger self anything.
Speaker 3:
40:40
Would I give myself advice to anything?
Speaker 1:
40:45
If you could tell your younger self anything.
Speaker 3:
40:48
Oh my younger self. What would he be? Slow down to. Speed up. Slow down. Speed up. Yeah. In other words, take your time and bring, pour it all in before you pull the trigger. I, I've learned in my wisdom that you go off in a million directions is a, as a youth and, and pursue so many things. You may be the Jack of all trades and the master of none. And slow down to speed up means take it all in or analyze who you really are and choose one thing and go for it with all your vigor. Good advice. I like that. That's good. That's good.
Speaker 1:
41:28
And Craig, what's your, what's your favorite book and why would that be?
Speaker 3:
41:32
Well, I, I go back to it. My favorite book would definitely be the godfather just because it's a long book and a great book. But from the time you read the three vignettes of the three different people that needed to see and have an audience with the Godfather, you can't put it down. I had, I think I read it and once was straight nights, uh, just could not put it down. I think that's what hooked me on reading. And um, and I never was never disappointed in it. It's one of the few books that were turned into a very good movies where, uh, you know, Francis Coppola for actually honored the book in a, in a great way. But it all starts with a good story. And so there's, there's a kazillion good books out there where the story is, is well worth the read. I want to honor the readers cause I know that it's a long, medium in today's short, you know, uh, snippets sort of world and I don't want to return to, I have too many friends that are as well.
Speaker 3:
42:33
I'm going to plow through this and I'm gonna I know it's a long book and I don't like it, but I'm, I'm sure there's a good ending or what. And then they spend days reading a book and they get the end. They go, what, you know, why did they do that? You know? And I, I just, I can't do that. So I wanted my books actually to be short, if you like the book, it's not a novella. It's definitely a short novel, but it is in the sense of 130 140 pages, 280 pages. It's not three, 400. If you, if you like the first book, then you can read the second. And if you like the second, you can read the third. So I want people to really be fulfilled in everything they read rather than have to plow through. Or if they don't like it, well then that's so be it. Don't you didn't, you have to spend 600 pages to realize it.
Speaker 1:
43:15
Yeah. Yeah. That's true. That's true. Now have a good following them. Would that be your favorite movie too, or something different?
Speaker 3:
43:23
It would be one of my favorite. Another one would be Shawshank redemption. I just always can watch that movie. Um, uh, the corn, the Corny side of me is still so falls every time for, it's a wonderful life. And I think it's because the story is just universal. That and of course, uh, a Christmas Carol. Yeah. So, uh, those are some of my favorite movies from a comedy standpoint. I don't know why, but maybe it's from the generation generation I was in, but animal house still still rings.
Speaker 1:
43:53
Sure. Yeah. It's good. Yeah, it's good. I remember studying that goal actually.
Speaker 3:
44:00
Yeah. And, and, and how they winged it. I mean, these guys were just winging it. A lot of the, uh, uh, dialogue was improvised sort of like Bill Murray and the caddy shack. I mean, they didn't have a big role for him, but he was so funny. They just rewrote the movie for him. So some of those movies still cracked me up. But, uh, the most interesting one I've seen lately, and I recommend it to a lot of people, is, uh, the green book. It's a true story. And what I'd love our movies that are really, when they say they're based on a true story, boy, you can be all over the map. They're not even close to what the reality of that story was. But the green book is, is very, very much on power beak. And if you know the story, it's about a, an incredibly gifted black pianist in the, uh, early sixties, who, who did a road trip and needed to hire a driver who was more than a driver, a bodyguard, and, and the Guido played by it is a Vigo Morgenson and he's awesome. And Masha Holly Holly Paste of the black pianist, and it's a true story. And it was written by the black eye, sorry, the, the, the, uh, Italian chauffeurs son from his letters and memoirs and whatever. And pretty much a pretty much authentic [inaudible]. That's a great movie. Well worth seeing.
Speaker 1:
45:19
Oh, I made a note of that. Now this one you might find difficult, this last question here on the rapid fire section, what's your favorite piece of musical song and why?
Speaker 3:
45:34
Well, any, any song that, uh, is your favorite is, is for personal reasons, you know, uh, I think that at the end of the day, the songs that people will remember over time are the ones they resonated with for whatever reasons. And so, um,
Speaker 4:
45:58
yeah,
Speaker 3:
45:58
my favorite songs would be a couple that I've written myself, which nobody would equate to. I certainly do. So I wrote one from my wife, which is a terrific song called, uh, uh, we belong together and I followed up with a song called, um, uh, um,
Speaker 4:
46:20
yeah.
Speaker 3:
46:20
Wow. I'm drawing a blank. Um, but it was, it was about a timeless love I, and so the song was called the timeless a way. And so those are my two favorite songs. And I wrote them. But if I were to say what other artists wrote a song that they really, uh, they really got to me. It was yesterday because Paul Mccartney never used, there was no percussion and me as a Beatles song, but you basically hedges a cello and a, and an acoustic guitar. And, uh, the song was just, it had no hook line. It had no course. And yet it's such a unique song. It's been covered more than any song ever written by more artists in more ways and by more, uh, uh, acoustic and instrumental versions. Uh, yesterday is like these, the best song ever written from those standards. Um, and I, I think it's one of my favorites is it was a, it was timeless then and it's timeless now. It's one of those classics that goes forever. Um, and interestingly, uh, you might know the story, but he had the melody in his head for over a year and he couldn't figure out how to marry it up with the right lyric. And the working, the working title for it was scrambled eggs. Can't think of anything but scrambled eggs and
Speaker 1:
47:43
wow.
Speaker 3:
47:43
Yeah. And then all of a sudden, some day along the way, it's just yesterday I persisted, easy game as just boom, it packed in his head. Kind of like Billy Joel when he wrote bottle of red bottle of white, the New York state of mind, whatever. He couldn't come up with the opening until they was at an Italian restaurant in New York and a guy came up to the table, this is your bottle light bottle red, you know, or about a red ball of light. And that triggered a whole song out of room. So sometimes that's, that's how it works.
Speaker 1:
48:11
Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Craig, now, uh, listeners know about your books now and they, no way they can find them. Uh, how, how can they get in touch with you? Can you tell us what your website is?
Speaker 3:
48:23
Thanks Paul. Yes, my website is my name, so it's Craig s wilson.com. And uh, feel free to reach out to me. I've got my email on there, uh, which is Craig s Wilson, author@gmail.com. And there's ways to connect with me on the website as well. Uh, get on our subscriber list and we do send various, uh, blogs out from time to time, right every week or two, so, um, and more activities and upcoming information on, on the Lucas Porsche series. Um, but uh, yeah, I'm on Facebook, I'm on, uh, uh, Twitter, so there's a lot of ways to reach out to me.
Speaker 1:
49:09
Okay, great. Well, listen, Craig, I've had a fascinating chat with you today, uh, but I do need to call us to time here in the crime fiction lamps and I want to thank, thank you for being here. Okay.
Speaker 3:
49:20
Well I appreciate being on your show, Paul and I will definitely be listening to future shows. I love what you do and I appreciate it greatly. I hope I can help you in the future.
Speaker 1:
49:31
Yeah, thanks for being here now, hold on. Yup. For All our listeners out there craze contact details and the details of his books, we'll be on our website and that's a crime fiction loan with podcast@wwwdotpstrettonhyphenstephenswithaph.com. Forward slash. Podcast. And I want to thank you for listening and let you know that our next guest will be author Kathleen Valenti, who is releasing a third title in the Mcgee and Molly series. It's set to be under the this interview, so I'll see you then.
Speaker 2:
50:05
If you've enjoyed this episode, why not subscribe now? Leave a review and share with your friends, and don't forget to tune in for the next thrilling episode until then, stay safe.
Speaker 3:
50:23
Yeah.
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