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Corporate trouble-shooter Marcus Ramsay has been transferred
from Chicago to a small division of Allied Foods in central Texas to
help the business. Marcus encounters resistance to his ideas as he
doggedly researches the company's past. Then, he uncovers evidence that
implicates some of the locals in a ten-year-old murder. Paranoid and fearful
of his Yankee ways, the locals are sure Ramsay is possessed by the
murdered man's spirit, seeking to take revenge on them. Maybe he is.
Interview with Jack Eadon
A Consequence of Greed, Third Edition
Eloquence Press (2004)
Reviewed by for Reader Views (08/06)
Reader Views welcomes Jack Eadon, author of “A Consequence of Greed.” Jack is being interviewed by Juanita Watson, Assistant Editor of Reader Views.
Juanita: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today Jack. Would you please tell us about the storyline in your book “A Consequence of Greed”?
Jack: Sure. Nice to be here. The book opens as James Post, president of Coyote Brand Chili in Corsicana, Texas, is about to head for home on a Friday evening. But he never makes it home and is killed when his brakes mysteriously fail. That’s the prologue. Ten years later the book starts when Sheila Hickman, the wife of the current president, Earl Hickman, has an extended flashback, revealing details about Post’s mysterious death. Before long, we learn that Earl has driven the company into disarray. Marcus Ramsay, a troubleshooter from headquarters in Chicago, is sent down to Corsicana to turn things around. Upon his arrival, he becomes possessed in a dramatic scene by the spirit of James Post. Before long Marcus embarks on a journey that discovers the possibility that locals might have been behind Post’s death a decade before. For the balance of the book, Ramsay teams up with his assistant Daisy to uncover those who might have been behind what now looks like the murder of James Post. Ramsay, possessed by Post’s spirit and somewhat led by heavenly traveler Reginald Waverly, uncovers the guilty parties and takes revenge on them in unique ways.
Juanita: What was the inspired you to write this particular story?
Jack: At one point I worked for a company that sent me to Texas to straighten things out in a local division in much the same way that Marcus was employed. When I left the company, my short but robust tenure in Corsicana drove me to write the book. I spun a realistic yarn into a somewhat supernatural one by introducing supernatural renditions of the afterlife, an apparition of James Post, surrealistic dreams to deliver backstory, and interesting manifestations of Post’s spirit throughout. It was fun playing with reality and spinning it just up to the unbelievable, but always maintaining a strong level of verisimilitude, not unlike what Jules Verne was able to do in an era where under-sea travel was not possible.
Juanita: What made the small town of Corsicana, TX the perfect backdrop for “A Consequence of Greed”?
Jack: Because Corsicana was in a time warp of sorts, it was the perfect backdrop for my book. The locals had a hearty skepticism toward Yankees—sort of a disbelief or non-understanding of them—so that aided me as I spun a fairly unbelievable plot at times.
Juanita: Who are your leading characters?
Jack: James Post is the lead character, but he is killed off quickly. He greatly impacts how the citizenry reacts to the Yankee “invaders” like Ramsay. Sheila and Earl Hickman are indeed the book’s antagonists and seek to gain what they can by their “royal” management of the company. Daisy and Coy Duncan provide color since both are quite believable as citizens of Corsicana. Daisy serves as a wonderful and beautiful assistant and sidekick for Ramsay. Fred Benedict, the evil food broker, and Erlene Hickman, Earl and Sheila’s daughter, provide love interest despite their almost objectionable age difference. Cecil Evans, Coyote’s Sales Manager, Lenora Cooper, Earl’s assistant, and others, round out the extensive cast.
Juanita: Tell us about your character Marcus Ramsay. How did you create this character, and how did this young, idealistic man from Chicago, disrupt business as usual in small-town Texas?
Jack: Since Marcus was primarily based on my experience in Corsicana, he is very autobiographical except for his interaction with Post’s spirit. He’s very idealistic, like I was, and his coming from Chicago with an MBA made him quite different than the local Corisicana folk, who for generations had perceived themselves as the last bastion of the Confederacy. Marcus was bound to disrupt things in Corsicana!
Juanita: Is “A Consequence of Greed” a mystery, or a thriller? Is there more action, or drama? How would you characterize your book?
Jack: GREED is a mystery at heart, but because of it’s structure and changing points-of-view, it becomes much more of an edge-of-your-seat thriller at times. The reader really gets involved with particular characters getting exposed as Marcus uncovers their roles in Post’s murder, and avenges them each in a unique way.
Juanita: Would you tell us about the theme of greed, and the corporate corruption we read about in “A Consequence of Greed” compared the real world?
Jack: The theme of GREED can be summarized simply: that even though the bad guys appear to win at times, they ultimately lose as the good guys earn a moral victory. It’s just up to the good guys to see those moral victories and not lose hope.
Juanita: How is it that you are so adept to the inner workings of corporate politics and corruption?
Jack: When I was in the corporation, I was really bad at the politics and didn’t have an affinity for them. As a result, I was really sensitive to them and developed a sixth sense for recognizing “bad stuff” when it was happening. That’s reflected in GREED; a certain cynicism pervades throughout.
Juanita: What an interesting twist to have a supernatural element in your story. What is the significance of having James Post’s spirit come back to avenge his death?
Jack: If you look at the book as a revenge genre, it makes sense that Post would somehow return to avenge his own death. Therein is the magic of the book. It makes so much sense that you find yourself routing for the spirit of Post as manifested in Ramsay. You really want it to find Post’s killers.
Juanita: You have an incredible talent for character development? Can you tell us a little about your process and how you came up with the interesting cast in “A Consequence of Greed”?
Jack: Most of the cast of GREED is based on real people, so my effort was to capture the essence of them, then translate them into likeable personages. I had to be careful not to make each too much of a caricature since they appeared that way to me initially; that’s how colorful they were! My magic for drawing the characters was to capture unusual descriptive details that were metaphorical to allow the reader to really absorb the natures of the characters, not just their appearances.
Juanita: Jack, how much do you reveal to readers about the inside hidden aspects of corporate politics, secrets, and manipulations of the business world? Are you exposing anything that the average person may not know about?
Jack: I think most of America is fairly naïve when it comes to the workings of corporations. They basically buy the line they are sold and never see the reality. I personally think they would be shocked at the reality if they knew it, but since ENRON they are somewhat more acclimated to believing anything—that travesty was amazing to most. One of my other books. THE ARMSTRONG SOLUTION, shows just how far upper management might be willing to go to deliver financial targets established by Wall Street and the boards of parent companies.
Juanita: Who would enjoy reading your “A Consequence of Greed”?
Jack: Anyone who likes a good mystery, but not a stereotypical genre-based title. GREED is complex, with many subplots, illusions, and metaphors, so it can be enjoyed on a variety of levels, including Shakespearean. The character development alone is rich and ironic.
Juanita: Jack, what do you want readers to ultimately understand by reading your book “A Consequence of Greed”?
Jack: I’m an idealist at heart, so I’d want them to see that even differences in cultures as diverse as Texan vs. Yankee can be transcended with a little honesty. Bigotry is at the source of misunderstanding, whether it be in regions of America or the world.
Juanita: “A Consequence of Greed” is in its third edition. When did you first publish it, and would you tell us about the success you’ve achieved so far?
Jack: GREED was started in 1983 but wasn’t published until 2003 and has already been through three editions. It’s been through over thirty drafts, four titles, and lots of critiques. It’s been sold all over the world and considered for a movie or mini-series. President and Mrs. Bush, die-hard Texans, have a copy in their library, as does Hillary Clinton. It’s been sold through Amazon, distributed by Baker & Taylor, sold through Borders book stores, via book signings, and at my main web site, http://www.eadonbooks.com One of these days it will be a genuine bestseller.
Juanita: I understand that you are a prolific author and have written many books. Tell us a little about your endeavors and how readers may find out more about you and your books?
Jack: I’ve written seven books and am working on two more at this time. My genre to-date has been contemporary drama based primarily on my rich, diverse life and multiple careers, but I am currently branching out to a fiction-based-on-fact War novel which I just did research for in London and Scotland, and even an autobiographical non-fiction title called “Head Trip” which recounts my infamous medical history with multiple brain surgeries. I have several web sites that can be reached by just Googling ‘Jack Eadon’. All pages come up.
Juanita: Thanks for talking with us today Jack. We certainly hope to see many more books from you in the future. Do you have any final thoughts for your readers today?
Jack: Just that they should remember that greediness can lead to great decline whereas giving can lead to great inner peace!