I’m very blessed to work with some amazing and talented people. That’s why I’m starting a new Client Spotlight feature so I can introduce them to you (and show them off a bit).
The first Client Spotlight is Craig S Wilson, author of crime thriller Rio Street Kid Stargazer. I chose him for the first ever client spotlight because his book is about the crime-ridden favelas of Rio de Janeiro during the approach to the 2016 Olympics and is on sale during the Olympic Games.
Craig S Wilson is a musician, composer, entrepreneur, and serial creative. Welcome Craig! Please be sure to connect with him on the links at the end of this post.
- The first book you published, Dating for Life, was non-fiction. When did you first consider writing fiction? When I first met my wife, I dabbled in a memoir called “Gig” that’s still in development as a fictional piece. She encouraged me to write “Dating for Life” because I was perhaps the world’s greatest Match.com date. (I just wanted to go out—and didn’t flinch at taking first dates to expensive shows or other events). However, the 4-Keys Methodology that I developed ended up driving me in a direction that was too close to the business I run and own, American Recruiters. When I leave my day-job, I want to enter an altogether different world.
- When did the story of Rio take shape in your mind? It originated from my first trip to Rio in 1988. I had just arrived at the hotel and a street kid stole my money. However, I ran after him up into the favelas, recovered my money, but was enlightened to an entirely different sub-culture than what you see along the strip.
- Who was the inspiration for Lucas Rocha? I said to myself, what kind of life might that street kid be trying to improve? What if he was stealing to take care of his family?
- Who was the inspiration for the drug lord, Dez? I wrote Dez as this charismatic, sociopath who would be ruler of the largest favela in Rio. As his character developed, it occurred to me that he migrated into this antagonist role by starting out as a street kid just like Lucas. Ironically, the prior head of Amigos dos Amigos gang, Nem, is also a sympathetic character.
- Rio’s tagline is sometimes good people do bad things for the greater good. How far would you go to feed and protect your family? In real life, Nem—the head of Amigos dos Amigos until last year, joined the gang because they were the only organization that would pay for expensive medical treatment for Nem’s infant who came down with an auto-immune disease. Wouldn’t you say he fits this scenario?
- Your book shows the difficulties youth face in the favelas of Rio and slums all over the world. What do you think we as a global society could do to help them? It’s very hard to break the cycle. The only way to do so is to provide legitimate opportunities where kids have a better choice than doing bad things to survive.
- Lucas endures many tragedies and faces many grave challenges in this and future books. As a father and a man, if you could give a Lucas some advice, what would it be? In this crazy world, try to keep a sense of virtue and do the right thing whenever you can.
- What authors do you feel have influence your work the most? I loved Mario Puzzo. My book has a “Huck Finn meets the Godfather in the slums of Rio” sense about it. The Godfather was a lesson in life and business as well as a very detailed description of the mob subset of life. So is Rio Street Kid Stargazer.
- What do you think is the biggest challenge in marketing your book? Overcoming the noise of so many other books out there. My story is real, compelling, timely, and a great read. You’ll get hooked.
- What will we see coming from you in the future? Book II, Rio Journeyman Druglord.
Thanks to Craig for stopping by. I’ll leave his info for you all below. -Christa
About the Book
Beyond the beautiful beaches and elegant hotels lurks the squalor and crushing poverty of Rio’s notorious favelas. It is a dangerous, exotic world governed by a different set of laws and shaped by contrasts — beauty, violence, power, poverty, protection, corruption, faith and drugs. Here, in the slums of Rio, thousands of poor people face horrific choices every day. It’s no exception when sixteen-year-old Rio street kid Lucas Rocha meets Daniel Burke, a Brazilian-American businessman visiting from Boston. When Lucas snatches Daniel’s wallet in an act of desperation, it sets in motion a series of catastrophic events, and the lives of these two strangers become permanently … and dangerously … entangled.
Facing down Rio’s powerful drug lords, both Lucas and Daniel are hell-bent to beat the odds and make things right. But what is right in a world filled with wrong?
“This book has it all!” | “Masterful writing!” | “Lively, fast-paced!”
Buy the Book (99¢ till 8/21/2016)
Connect with Craig S Wilson
Pinterest: RIO Board
Please leave your questions for Craig S Wilson below.
Look forward to meeting more of my clients every week 🙂