Bestselling author Todd Moss is a former senior State Department official who led America’s response to coups and crises in West Africa. He is also my colleague at the Center for Global Development, where he is a Senior Fellow and Chief Operating Officer.

Todd’s first two books feature a fictional hero, Judd Ryker, an analyst in State Department. In The Golden Hour, Ryker is called upon to reverse a coup in Mali (the book was published a few weeks before a real coup in Mali).  In the latest book, Minute Zero, Ryker has to handle a political crisis in Zimbabwe.

In this episode of Development Drums, Todd talks about his real life experiences in the US State Department, and explains why he uses fiction to explore US foreign policy towards Africa.

Full Transcript

United States


00:00:01downloading development drum sander 47 my name is my friend and colleague told more hello and Operating Officer by day and a successful fiction writer by night about Africa and international relations in Coos and kidnapping and political analysis and diplomacy I will be talking about why and how he uses fixing to get his mess called Welcome to development from scratch be on the show and thanks for having me Ryka who is a policy analyst working at State Department helped crises a kind of Indiana Jones
00:00:59why you became a person take three for Africa in the state department in 2007 2008 R2 school books autobiographical I first wrote the first book The Golden hour in large part as just a fun exercise I'd left government I seen some kind of crazy frustrating exhilarating things inside the US government and I actually started writing a non-fiction book about how confused and dysfunctional the US government is when they respond to crises and I just decided to be much more fun for me to do it as fiction and I thought maybe I might even reach a wider audience that way and I did use a particular example which was the 2008 coup in Mauritania as the bay
00:01:59for the plot in the golden hour I sent it which is about an hour and Molly because I thought many more people around the world have heard of Timbuktu the action takes place in very few people have heard of shot Mauritania I did that just for familiarity so it drew on a true story episode did Drew a bit on what I saw and heard and wanted to share but it's still very much fiction and you know before you ask a Judge Dredd writer is not me but he does experience some of the things that I went through
00:02:36how do you say you wrote the book about the coup in a hypothetical coup in Mali can you publish the book with the monk any similarities with what you wrote that it was quite closely from inside government and continue to watch it from outside and it actually look like things are going pretty well they were less than 2 months away from the president retiring and they were going to have an election look pretty it look pretty good for the coup as a terrible disaster for mollien but it turned out to be a sort of Lucky Strokes for me and the news I fix play the BBC reporting on what was going on in Molly was trying to get an agent at the time and this agent in New York I had was watching
00:03:36anything about Molly and hadn't realized that there were terrorists in French troops and all of that and then you realize she had to the sort of silly manuscript on his desk that maybe maybe you should take on this client so that's kind of how it happened
00:03:53that's what it said that all the experiences of jawbreaker being sent off the Molly to try to reverse the golden hour if you wouldn't have solo Rebecca to before it becomes established that literally true is that how the state department thinks about what he needs to do is that right is that kind of Rapid reaction tonsils house a department approaches that you can go in where I went so what happened I think it's absolutely true that when you got a crisis such as a coup that you have a brief window where if you want to try to influence events you need to make things happen quickly or else interest start to get in trash people start to sort themselves out and if you show up a month later it's already
00:04:53is already been determined and certainly the US I saw that people were trying to get moving quickly but that our system is so convoluted there so many people involved and how many competing interests that we often get hung up fighting with ourselves and we don't react quickly enough to be influential and the central pension from the golden hour I which is also what I experienced in Mauritania after the coup in Mauritania is that you have a country that is a close counterterrorism partner the military in case of a martini with quite effective in attacking a faction of al-Qaeda called Al Qaeda new Sonic Maghrib and we were working quite closely with them they also happen to have a democratically-elected president present Abdullahi what happens when the head of the military your security partner overthrows the democratically elected president
00:05:51you can imagine that there are parts of the US government that would like to carry on working with the with the coup maker because of security needs and then there's also parts of the US government that want to prioritize a democracy and they want to try to push out the military and get the democratically elected leader back in that's precisely where where I was
00:06:13the book is in a way of getting to this point within the government bureaucracy is the US fighting. Helena read something about what life is really like in the American government or is that a fictionalized exaggeration to I think if anything I had two purposes for the storage shed more complicated more bitter and more confusing in real life and it's both that the US government has multiple in in in many places we have legitimate security I interesting in lots of countries and we have legitimate human rights and democracy and governance concern
00:07:13very often and it's not just that on a substance level that we have perhaps to make some trade-off it's also a tactical level which is that the agencies and cells are set up to fight with each other because they pursue different interest and so therefore official go through all kinds of bureaucratic theater and all kinds of backroom negotiations to try to work that all out and that was what I tried to capture in the golden hour not just a judge Riker has a dispute with it but in this case the defense attache at the embassy about what we should do but actually the way that you'd rather have to go about kind of winning or trying to outmaneuver these other people it's in some ways it's not a front Channel debate around a table that the conference table meetings are all political theater
00:08:13it's making deals behind the scene and throw out my Nuvaring out thinking you're your opponent I might've actually I had originally called the called a manuscript back Channel and the way that everything gets done is not by having an open discussion across the table but by sneakily pre-cooking all of the decisions ahead of time I'm by using back channel to make to make things happen to be surprised with governments have most of competing interests in a way that overtime trying to do justice to the mobile app that's what I was surprised by somebody who work in the government is the mechanism for resolving those different
00:09:13government really well. My sense is that you would get people sit around the table that you would write some advice and then a minister would make a decision and then Triple 7 would go open loyalty do the thing that the minister had decided but I wondered if this is partly a function of the place that ization of the top of the American public service collectors in Melbourne right and the elected government whether you think that set of issues about how decisions I make mazes it's only one device that well it certainly true that we have many more political appointments they go many layers deeper in the American system than they do in the British government system I'm not sure that
00:10:13problem is the political appointees they're probably even more loyal to the top and then say some of the the civil servants might be because the political appointees are trying to get everything done before their party is thrown out which is usually every four years and and the the the civil servant today don't like something they know that they can just wait everyone out what I do think is different in the u.s. system is that our government is just so almost you know I'm a incomprehensibly huge it's not just that there are so many people involved it's at there so many agencies involved and this is getting worse I just give you a ridiculous example I remember from my time and government we spent weeks debating whether the small nation of comoros should be
00:11:13ball for a Goa benefit of the country that had about $80,000 a year and trade with the United States and we spent many multiple of Staff of the value of Staff time arguing about this and there were 12 13 14 different agencies involved and when you get so many people involved in so many decisions you got that you you really get gridlock and you get you don't get the best outcome and particularly even within the state department we now have a lot of bureaus and Becca law offices that have a single issue so there for example there's a special office on trafficking in person. The representative for the trafficking in persons office zero incentive to compromise on one person's issues that's all that there are there to do so if there's a country let's say you know Ethiopia
00:12:13and we're trying to negotiate security partnership and economic trade well trafficking in persons office can effectively hold things up for a single issue and that kind of sort of dysfunction happens all the time. Dysfunctionality in one of the characters in the book the rivals just coming out which is about Zimbabwe views between two different people within the same government can look at the same situation and come to very different conclusion in the case of zero you've got you got a part of the government with Judd Riker is part of which sees an election being stolen and series of dictators and his thugs suppressing democracy
00:13:13and feeling away the people's rights and opportunities you got another part of the state department is that you know what is not very important it's actually quiet people are killing each other the elections not perfect but you know that's good enough let's not make trouble and that's the sort of central tension there where he started fighting against Washington in different I'm trying to trying to get things done so you've been associated with Zimbabwe for many years how much of zero which is based on reality and how much of that lately obvious that I would I would make it fat in Zimbabwe and
00:14:08what did happen is back in 2008 when the Bob way had an election in Morgan Sanger I won the first round there was this moment when nobody knew what was going to happen next Mugabe we knew that magavi had lost but it took almost a month for the election results to be released and an interim the Army and the police gone out and attacked the opposition and we watch I watch this from Washington DC going from a high where we thought Mugabe was was finally gone to a terrible love when we realized he wasn't going to give up and in fact he was fighting and I really you know that something that's really hungover me and I wondered many times you know what else might the United States the state department of kick it or what could we have done so in the days after the election
00:15:08then when nobody needs to do what would happen next is there something else we could have done that might have changed history and now it's that's really the question that I tried to answer in a fictional format for a minute zero that's the concept of minute dero does narrow window and nobody knows what comes next and you can try to influence event fictional story you know it's not Robert Mugabe it's a president named Winston Tina 10. He's got a military General named Simba to Marengo who is controlling things for him and looks like he's going to lose an election and there's an internal battle about what what happens next right after work with the opposition and a lobbyist and different people around Zimbabwe to try to alter the course of the election some of it is trying to think what might have happened in 2008
00:16:08and well maybe we'll just maybe before that
00:16:16I don't want you to give away the ending but to what extent do you think it is a good idea for you. United States of the United Kingdom to be held constantly trying to engineer a different outcome from the election is about intentions of even if you believe that that is the Democratic mandate to what extent do those kinds of intervention Works what event do they have unintended consequence is that something that you would you think about what might have been is that something you with the United States should have done more than welcome I think the phrase regime changes you know it's pretty loaded actually used in the book but you know there's something about you clearly they're on antenna
00:17:16we usually don't really understand the circumstances very well we usually have highly imperfect tools and things off and go in directions we don't expect there's no question about that and that it's a very dangerous game to try to intervene in a foreign country influenced the outcome of something like a presidential election at the same time there's an unusual amount of power and influence that say The British Ambassador in Zimbabwe or the American ambassador in Zimbabwe wheel just buy the very size of the countries it that they represent and if there's a moment in time you know it's if if it looks like the Army was going to rebell or the police were going to Riot to the street to the Capitol the very actions and words of say The British Ambassador or the American ambassador can either inflamed things or can actually help to suppress them
00:18:15and I think that it is you know without without over over stating that there there's someone of responsibility I think on influential Powers when people look to them for signal that they use those responsibly and I know that the US Embassy in Harare take this responsibility incredibly seriously that's why they they watched very carefully what they say and how they how they act because they know that people inside zanu-pf people in the opposition people in the business Community are looking to see okay what are the Americans going to do for the British going to do what are the Australians going to do and I think that whether we like it or not we have that influence and it's a decision as to how strategically do we will.
00:19:06on that book is coming out about now a long run series book starring Judd right right right now I've got A4 book contract with Putnam book which is an imprint of penguin random house and they're all out there going to be there going to be for Judd Ryker books at least and the third book is called its heart is already almost almost completed its called ghost of Havana and you can guess where that takes place
00:19:47I can do that moving away from your beloved Africa to Cuba I didn't want all crisis in the continent of Africa is a little bit of in the Cuba story of course but I don't want the to be pigeonholed as as only the charger I can only goes to solve problems in Africa he actually goes anywhere that there is a anywhere he sent
00:20:15set to what extent is what you're trying to do to change your Rita's attitudes to Africa I would trade quite as you would expect about how effective America risen didn't take the back off a resume for mainstream Thriller for ordinary people who might not think of Africa except what day you know that accept changes after news on CNN I've been in Africa junkie since I was a student there 25 years ago in Zimbabwe you know I think my family member some of them thought I was kind of weird that I had this Africa Obsession and now that Africa is becoming more
00:21:15important to the West than ever before for security for economic and for cultural exchange reason it just seemed to me logical that mainstream Thrillers with a lot of people like to read why wouldn't you have more of them sat in Africa frankly it was a little bit tough I had a couple of Agents early on said these stories you know you're at your story is great but I don't think that this is I was looking for American agent at the time you know I don't think American audiences really are ready for book set in Africa I think that's changing we're seeing more but it's still I still think it is sort of still out there
00:22:00weather famous grantor of school have the rights that African-Americans I have to be tall and skinny or they have to be kind of Africa reading section which how to write about Africa Britain the Wii U Wii U come to survive did you have that pain. Pepper boy those the North Korean. I'm not sure I avoided it entirely one issue that I definitely struggled with is what some people call the white savior complex while are you reading
00:23:00store for free about some American that comes in and save the day and at the way that I dealt with it is that in the golden hour Judd Ryker actually confront this head-on he's he's in a helicopter flying to the Sahara Desert and he's wondering you know am I becoming a character of everything I hate am I falling into this white white savior complex and that he himself has been trying to trying to dispel and you know he doesn't resolve that I think that's probably true that I'm not I haven't resolved that I thought about making the the protagonist an African character I just didn't think I could pull it off you know I am who I am I'm a middle-class Suburban guy from Rochester New York I'm not from the streets of Lagos I just don't think I could have pulled that off in the credible way
00:24:00but I did actively try to make sure that there were three dimensional African characters there's good guys and bad guys from all different nationalities and and try to portray you know Africa the way that I have experienced it as as an academic as a diplomat as a Taurus I'm and try to do that as accurately as I could
00:24:28choice to use fiction to convey your right is an audience about about the man you've obviously you're not there isn't one of them we just talked about about the way the American system work you're obviously come back messages in the character of dead Riker about the use of analysis and data in making decisions and did that just to read the big rodent or a different audience or did you were you able to write and fix them things that you wouldn't have been able to convey and some other way
00:25:15god I think I'm a very practical sense if I was writing this as nonfiction I just I would have to be extremely careful about classified information and what would I was revealing and personal relationships with former colleagues that I wouldn't want to burn an infection you can say whatever you like it's much much easier and you can also create much more of you know you be easier to create tension the reality is that fighting in meetings and writing competing memos is just not very compelling narrative so you can make it much more exciting through fiction you know I'm telling the truth that that I knew you know you can exaggerate at the same time the reality in many places just crazier and more outrageous NY
00:26:15you can dream up infection I'm so I didn't find you know what was I found constraining from section is that I wanted to write a story that my friends back at the state department or people that are working in the white house now that were there they would still find it credible I did not want you know people you know doing the facepalm when they read this and say you know Todd shoulda known better so so that was definitely in my mind as I wrote it
00:26:45I need a credible that replace my lack of understanding has taken the word academic who comes in and tells them of the price of multiple under what circumstances do people like to drive to Enterprise size 8 apartment uncommon for academics to get pulled into special in into government positions use a temporary basis you know Jeremy Weinstein who's our friend and colleague and is one of the leading Scholars on on guerrilla warfare in Africa has been pulled in multiple times into the White House he was just Samantha Powers Deputy at the UN I'm so it's not it's not uncommon at all for for academics to
00:27:45where to find themselves in positions of influence and it's also not uncommon for special offices to be created so in the in the story The Golden hour Judd writer comes any shows this is data model and he's he's named head of this new special office called the crisis reaction unit and I use the the government acronyms a / c r u what was based in my head I had something called a splash CRS which was something created under under Condoleezza Rice at state which was the state office for the coordinator for reconstruction and stabilization and what that was a kind of special office brought in to try to be cross-cutting for civilian responses after the war after different Wards are out some kind of disaster and they don't with fcrs dealt with a lot of the bureaucratic Politics the Judd Riker has to deal with in fact I gave a book talk to the strs crowd
00:28:45I was a little bit it was half hawk half therapy session where people really wanted to unload some of their some of their work stories about this that it is is uncommon at all what I think doesn't really happen is that you don't get data models really impact and colicy in the way that that is presented in the book actually are finds out that for all of his clever data model that got him the job nobody wants to listen to any of that which is absolutely the case
00:29:21right so you cut up his office if it's the kind of thing that seems like a good idea to have this extra nights but if I can I can imagine that that's the solution to the problem is I will set up some off a hero really and decorations out on a date in the book
00:30:21right there are mechanisms for getting Research into the policy process within the state department the secretary has a special office called the policy planning office and head of that meat directly with the secretary gets to say whatever he or she likes and their team if it's a mix of Outsiders and and career Foreign Service but the idea is really to try to not be stuck in your day today bierocracy but to bring new ideas into the process that works well sometimes sometimes not but like any special office you know the other offices react almost compare it to you know an organ transplant where the host body is sort of rejecting it and they do whatever they can to keep these these guys with their wacky ideas out of their out of their business I mean that's really what you said right
00:31:21finds that he comes in he's very beholding to the Secretary of State's chief of staff and since his Patron and he needs to use the the chief of staff to get anything done even to get invited to the meetings he's supposed to be in I'm so that's where he's got to be quite clever and figuring out okay and nobody wants me here how can I still have an influence
00:31:46American Publishers that writing books set in Africa was was going to say no but I think there is we are seeing more books are written set in Africa my my publisher Putnam has four or five different Thrillers Now set in sub-Saharan Africa so that's I think positive I think you're seeing African a partially because of the large and growing African expatriate community in the United States typically Nigerian that you're seeing a lot more African culture becoming more more mainstream
00:32:45you know we've seen a real success of of African authors in the United States and I think that's all just making it more normal last exotic and that you know somebody at at at the airport on their way to the beach might pick up a book set in you know Zimbabwe or Molly and that was weird which might have been the case 10 years ago normalizing people with respect to people thinking about investment and trade in the dangerous that will get sucked into a narrative about Africa Rising that is wishful thinking
00:33:45hoping that if we talk Africa rocks that it will be that will be careful feeling like in behind the reality and what do you think I feel I just can't even the all apps and downs and downs as there are you know in All In All Region what I would hope is that we would treat the countries of Africa in Washington DC we would treat them just like we think of any other region it's not special it doesn't need special promotion but it's also it doesn't need our pity we don't you know I would like to think that we would be developing relationships and Partnerships with foreign governments based on our mutual interest that the way we think about what does America want to do in Thailand would be no different than the way
00:34:45think about Kenya you know I think that it's just gotten treated first with such disregard particularly once the Cold War was over we had no idea if we had any interest whatsoever but I think Justice worth at just as bad as as total negligence is treating me like some special step child that needs to be you know I need to be held with kid gloves or something so I would like to see you know the agenda of the United States on the security side and on the economic side just think about Africa through the same lens that we would look at other regions of the world and that and that would be based on our mutual interest
00:35:36Coulter inhibit you you all do you think good Hollywood infection and the way with the way Africans treated in the trunk help to have contributed to our inability or unwillingness I farted to treat African countries in the way we would see each other country history with Africa and lots of young Brittany Snow visit Africa is completely normal that was just not it's becoming less less than usual but just not the case for the United States it's further away we just don't have those historical Lane and certainly 25 years ago and I went as a college student Africa I was the only one I knew that was doing
00:36:36I do I still cringe when I watch Regular American TV and there's some African issue that's that's thrown up there and it's it's still treated like you know like Mars and you know I still think there's there's a long way to go but the more people I believe the more that regular people see Africa as another place is not a disaster it's got its ups and downs it's got its good and bad that that you'll see people just treat it like anywhere else I need a big part of that is the incredibly impressive idea that we have in the United States from Africa and they're they're the most educated immigrant group that we have and among the most successful immigrant groups that we have and that's really angry at people get to know African ticular y'all country like Nigeria
00:37:36stigma you know when people get to know Nigerian that when their neighbors are Nigerian said that that helps to reframe perceptions quite a bit
00:37:48Rachel commit about how would you go about writing a book of this is about how you manage your time I was really impressed by how well recommended books writing books I guess I'm did you go and did you did your publisher help you or are you just good at writing and I did it just said how that this is something you're good at what what how do you learn the skills to write a work of fiction
00:38:33the first book I was completely making it up I just I actually gave my side to side and one day I was going to write a novel I'm going to do it for fun actually gave myself I said I'm going to get myself five year to do it I'll try and do it in little bits and pieces in the morning here and there whenever I could grab some time and I did it and I said it down for 2 or 3 months and then come back and it took about three three and a half years to finish it and but once I had a contract and I had an editor I had to be much much more disciplined about it my editor is wonderful I've already learned don't you know if we just finished editing through three bucks I've learned so much about how you take a complicated story but make them easy for readers to follow and and just so much for my my editor Neil nyren but I've had to be extremely
00:39:33extremely discipline now because I'm on a delivery schedule at every 12 months for a new book and I've had to go from completely winging it you know when I started I had no idea how it's going to end for the golden hour for book 2 3 and 4 outline mapped out exactly what's going to happen before I write the first work and that's that that's the sort of just learning as I go as I'm going
00:40:00Alan doing are you having to make sacrifices either in terms of you know thinking about the coloring with some offices they become successful is that you guys helped out to you in terms of interesting and fun I know whatever you having to make sacrifices in terms of acceptability in the story you know that you you thought think about what is the audience of one rather than what do I want to tell them about your real again so you know talk about it yeah yeah I think
00:40:51you want to always keep your ideas fresh you know I just just the other last weekend I got what I think is a brilliant idea for book 5 I wasn't sure I was going to write book 5 and I'm very excited to do it so you want to keep you definitely want to keep your ideas fresh but you also thinking about the audience it's less about really what I think people want then not being self indulgent about what you want to tell them that's why I recognize that I'm an African junkie and I could go deep on lots of issues that most people would not find very interesting so I think that's the balance that that that you try to strike if you're not excited about the story that's going to come out in the writing so you know I think you have to keep it fresh you have to keep yourself excited by that some of that is not knowing exactly what you know where it's going to
00:41:51what what's going to happen to your to your league characters
00:41:58yeah I guess that's that that's something all writers will struggle with
00:42:02how do you do this and he got a full-time job full-time job with the Europe program TV do you have a much bigger set of challenges to manage how do you combine these two quite challenging role so I keep a very strict calendar I put writing time for reading fiction on my calendar I do it three or four times a week I put a 90-minute block usually very early in the morning so I'll typically ride from say 5 to 6:30 or 5:30 at the 7 in the morning and I'm fresh I'm Precious too early in the morning the house is quiet and then the other thing that I do is I use an app on my phone called remember the milk which I think I learned about from you out with i u
00:43:02when I have if I have ideas during the day it all goes into that app and so then when I sit down to work I've got a list of all the ideas that I had I had the last time I wrote and it's amazing and I'll look at this list of three or four items usually on it and I can't remember any of them if I have to know if I hadn't written it down they would all be long I thought I always feel like I'm trying to I'm trying to trick my stupid future self which won't remember any of this so I can between those two between the calendar and my iPhone. That's how I manage it
00:43:42now when you going to daydreaming on the on the Metro the thing you think about when you wake up is mainly about what the right is going to do next. North is going to write a paper about looking up the you know how to get African to use oil well I do both but you know I think on the subway when I'm you know I've got 15 minutes of white noise in in my own head I probably thinking more affection when I'm in the office working it's pretty easy to block that out and you have to say that family a little crazy I'm pretty weird in that I can block out noise I can sit in the kitchen I got 3 kids and they can all be making breakfast and arguing and rushing around
00:44:42I can be staring at my laptop and I will not hear a word so I can do that you know what wherever I am
00:44:50and if the fixing icing if you continue to be inspired you felt this good and you just have an inspiration I did some double number 5 could you imagine doing this full-time job with become become Joker
00:45:08yeah I would I would I would hope not in that you know is keeping keeping a large foot in the policy world is where I get ideas and I think I would find it quite isolating just just writing fiction all day I love you know being in the mix on the policy world I think that's that's what inspires me it's also super helpful on the fiction side I think you quickly would lose touch with what was going on in Washington if I was just so you know in a cabin somewhere I typing away with it with nothing but me and my imagination so I hope that I'll be able to continue to do both I mean I guess if the book somehow became a fabulously successful that there be a time where I'd have to make that decision but we're oh oh and we're far away from
00:46:06how do you say you're learning things from the policy will that you bring into effect and what about the other way around to what extend his writing fiction helping you think about what you do in the policy world in the in the way you the ideas you have put affecting the way you convey ideas and reach audiences is that you learned much from the
00:46:32think the best example of that is if you're when you're writing you're actually thinking explicitly about your audience what what do they know already what do I need to tell them we we say that we do this in the policy world that we write for policymakers are we right for our academic colleague but I think we we usually don't and when you when you really when the commercial success of your novel depends on not making it too confusing for your audience your your much stricter about making sure that you're clear that your your don't have unnecessary plot line you know you're not trying to confuse people you're trying to make it as as clear as possible that does apply I think in the policy world as well there's no point in trying to show how clever you are to US Treasury official if what you're saying is going to undermine the message you're trying to get to
00:47:32so I think it's just about Clarity and brevity
00:47:35Pandora station that has having it said you have a fabulous editor editor edit the teachers that part of the message that you need some you need some internal critic to help you express yourself more clearly we're going to give you honest feedback and not just tell you how wonderful it is you actually need people are going to say this doesn't make any sense when I write fiction and I've got three or four friends that I send the first draft who to give me a blunt feedback my wife is my is my best single best editor by far I'm lucky she's all
00:48:35spell Rider I'm much too much clearer writer than it then I am too cute she's great on that score and then having I mean having an editor like Neil at Putnam who's been doing this for 30 years and you know he can help untangle time in consistencies are some convoluted plot where I've gotten confused he can untangle it all that's that's of course super helpful in the policy world we we have peer review we have our colleagues that are kind of that that filter for you absolutely have to have people that will give you honest feedback especially people that are willing to give you bad news like this is no good and that's it sounds like that's terrible news but it's actually the most helpful feedback you can get
00:49:26is it going to be a Hollywood version of Detroit is it going to be certainly make a traffic television series and we're still at the beginning of this my agent who is also working with television and film right I had told me to just be patient the first book Is is hasn't been out a year the second book is only coming out in the middle of September so I think we'll continue to explore those possibilities with very exciting is that you don't for films a lot of options for films get bought and then never made
00:50:16but the explosion in television series of fact that Netflix and others are doing original content the cable series it means that Riders don't get as much money as they might have gotten in the past but that's the possible outlet for a TV series or much much greater and I think that would be fine but I don't Harbor any illusions that it's likely since the everybody that writes novel hopes that it'll get turned into 2 into something on the big screen imagine Judd run occur on the big screen what's in your head about the actor that would be playing the right guy who is it he's not you know he's not your typical Thriller adrenaline Action Hero who's running around with guns and beating people up
00:51:16is the date of nerd so I you know I bet I have lately been thinking I know this is going to sound a little strange but Zach galifinakis has you know he has that I can't right mix of Corgi nice and smart and it just a little bit weird that I think he he could be getting my wife thinks that that's terrible idea somebody who's the who's the you know a bit more of a heartthrob I think you know Matt Damon Ben Affleck
00:52:09you know somebody somebody that you know that that might be in in in some of the the fashion magazine Evo movies strong women roles are there are and you know I when I've been doing radio interview ask me about strong women in in the story I mean most of all it is his wife is Judge wife Jessica who played a bigger role as the series goes on but also you know what that wasn't a conscious decision I'm trying to be very particular about making sure that the African characters are portrayed accurately and treat him a snowy it came completely naturally strong female characters because the Secretary of State in the book is a is a is a is a woman of course I work for Condi rice we had Hillary Clinton Madeleine Albright knot to see
00:53:09completely normal all of my bosses professionally have been strong women but I was raised in a house of strong women I live in a house if it's run by totally normal but you're right that would that would create lots of opportunities for great characters in the TV series or a movie
00:53:30thanks for joining me on Development Drive
00:53:35you've been listening to the bottom and drums with me I wouldn't bother at the center and Mike yesterday has been told more minute Darrow a new book that is in the drica series but his Facebook the Golden Isles wood cupboards out yet thanks for the drums
00:54:28they still got trouble
00:54:31monster jammies
00:54:41Michael Jordan Snapchat

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