Lee Matthew Goldbergs debut for Fahrenheit, The Desire Card, is out today. To celebrate we have a fantastic guest post for Lee.
The Desire Card is available to buy direct here:
I will be posting my review of the second in the series tomorrow for #Fahrenbruary, I won’t say any more about these books now, I’ll leave that up to Lee. So with a huge THANKS for his support, I’ll hand you over:
I am excited to announce the first two books of my new series coming from punk wonder-publishers Fahrenheit Press. The first novel, THE DESIRE CARD, drops February 21st while the second book, PREY NO MORE, will be out later this year. The series centers around an evil corporation that promises its elite clients, Any Wish Fulfilled…for the right price. In the DESIRE CARD, Harrison Stockton is a Wall Streeter who has abused his liver. He winds up with cirrhosis, far down on the donor list. But when he contacts the Desire Card for a new one, let’s just say things don’t turn out how he planned. The donor they find is not such a willing participant. In PREY NO MORE, J.D. Noble is an ex-Army sniper working for the Desire Card as a hitman tasked to fulfil their clients’ more extreme wishes. But when he starts to regret his moral descent, he goes on the run. He learns that no one defies the Card and its mega-powerful boss, who goes by the name Clark Gable because of the movie idol’s mask he wears to stay incognito.
My first novel SLOW DOWN was published by New Pulp Press and my second THE MENTOR came out from St. Martin’s Press. I was looking for a publisher for the Desire series who was interested in multiple books and really got what I was going for with them. I had a couple of publishers who liked the books but wanted them to be lighter, happier (seriously, that was a note I got), or was possibly interested in one but reticent to sign on for a series. I’d heard great things about Fahrenheit and absolutely loved their eye-catching covers. I read a few titles and was blown away by the talent. I’m agented but decided to query its publisher Chris McVeigh on my own. He got my query as he was getting on a flight to Scotland. By the time he landed, he read and loved the first book. We had an excellent phone conversation and a deal for the first two books within the week. I love how passionate he was about the titles and that his press had new ideas for promotion. With my last book at a big house, I felt like it didn’t get the marketing it deserved. More importantly, I want these books to be with a press that’s excited and doesn’t want to make them less controversial because it might help mainstream sales.
Currently, I’ve finished the third book in the series, VICIOUS RIPPLES, which brings together all the characters from the first two books. I’m working on the fourth book in the series, IMMORAL ORIGINS, that takes place in 1978 when the boss founded the organization. I have an idea for a fifth book set in Mexico with all the remaining characters who’ve survived. I think the series should end there, but if another idea organically came about, I’d be open to more.
The idea for first book in the series was sparked when I learned that money doesn’t help someone move up the donor list to get a liver. I wanted to write about the rich not getting everything they want. I live in New York City and it’s preposterous to see the kind of wealth here. A new building just went up with the penthouse apartment going for $250 million dollars. Insane.
As a thriller writer, I’ve been heavily influenced by a lot of greats. Stephen King has really helped me see how to accelerate plots. He always wants the action to ramp up as you get to the bottom of a page so you’ll keep turning to the next one. Jim Thompson is another favorite. The Getaway and The Grifters are two of his best, full of characters you want to hate but end up loving.
For PREY NO MORE, I was influenced heavily by Elmore Leonard. The novel is lean and quick, full of action and intrigue. La Brava, Killshot, Swag. He’s written so many. I still have a ton on my list to finish. I was also watching a lot of films when writing. I like to think of my writing style as very visual. I want to do the work for the reader and paint a picture as if they’re reading a movie. I actually wrote PREY NO MORE as a screenplay first, just to get the plot down on paper instead of using an outline. Then I fleshed it out as a novel. I watched a lot of Quentin Tarantino when writing that one. Also, I did a lot of research about soldiers in the Iraq war to develop my character, J.D. And because the Card’s members wear masks of old movie idols, I caught up on a lot of black and white films with James Cagney, Bogart, Greta Garbo, Jimmy Stewart, and other stars that became characters in the book.
My ideal vision for the books would have it be developed into multiple films or a TV series. I could see a provider like Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu working best. Since one of its scripts is already finished, hopefully lightening can strike and the right producer catches wind. Are you listening producers? Snap these books up.