Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Q&A with Owen Parr

Owen Parr has written a unique fictional novel. Utilizing his experiences of over a quater of a century working for Wall Street firms. Born in Havana, Cuba and later growing up in Miami through the 'drug war' years, he has woven a tale incorporating his first hand experiences and creativity into a fast paced riveting suspense-filled story.

Published author of articles in trade magazines. Hobby painter of acrylics on canvasses and middle of the road golfer, Owen spends his day still employed in the financial advice industry.

Newly married at the age of nineteen he pursued a career in electrical engineering until boredom set in. From there he went to own and operate his own multi-branch real estate firm and licensing school until the years of 21% prime interest rates circa 1980's.

Since 1986 he has been employed in the financial advice industry. During this time he has written articles for the local paper, political ramblings for his blog and screenplays that he is now converting into fictional novels.

Still married to his high-school sweetheart, he is often heard asking for a 'table for ten' to accomodate his two lovely daughters, four grandchildren and yes, the son-in-laws.

  1. What inspired you to write Due Diligence?

It started as a screenplay I wrote in the 1990’s.  My intent was to write a love story, but felt I needed a vehicle with multiple plots to create more of complex story.  Rumors have always swirled that Castro had bought business in Miami and around the world to hide his elicit gains.  Being in the investment banking business myself, I was told by one of my clients that another of my clients was a Castro owned business, which of course it was not.  However, the seed was planted for the main plot to develop the story.


  1. How would you describe the relationship between Alex and Julia?

We are supposed to have one true soul mate.  Alex and Julia have found each other.  However, both are married to other spouses and thus must either ignore the impulse or succumb to the temptation.  If theirs is true love and is wrong, then is their marriage to others right?


  1. In what way did you want to portray Cuba?

Cuba before the Castro revolution was known as the “Jewel of the Caribbean” with abundant natural resources and riches.  After the communist take over of the island, only the elite party members and those in the circle of power enjoy the riches.  The citizenry has become totally dependent of the government for its poop existence.  Cuba became an “outlaw country” exporting communist revolution to Latin America and involving itself in criminal activities.


  1. Were there any historical facts that you acquired for this book? If so, what?

In the book I cite historical accounts of the first elected president of Cuba after the Spanish-American War when Cuba became an independent country in the early 1900’s.  The same president who lower tariffs for American goods, so imports from the U.S. could benefit the island and its people.  In the news today we hear a lot about GITMO, or the U.S. military base in Guantanamo, Cuba.  Again, the first president of Cuba negotiated that agreement.  My main fictional character, Julia, is the great-great granddaughter of the first president of Cuba.


  1. What was the hardest part about writing this book?

Developing a discipline to write everyday.  I had the story well outlined as a result of having written the screenplay, although I made quite a few changes from the original screenplay to the actual published book.


  1. What do you hope readers will gain from your book?

I want readers to feel the love between Alex and Julia.  At the same time, I want them to follow the complex plots I developed and be entertained.  Most of my chapters end in a cliff-hanger making this a page-turner.  Readers will also gain an insight into what it takes for a private company to go public on Wall Street and at the same time enjoy the many Cuban culture references in the story.


  1. What do you like best and what do you like least about being a writer?

I read somewhere, that writing and publishing a book is similar to undressing in front of your closest 300 friends.  I have certainly felt and feel that way every time someone I know purchases a book.  However, the satisfaction of actually completing the book, your creation in print, is extremely gratifying.  When characters talk to authors, as mine do, and you are able to convert their story on paper and tie it all in plots and sub-plots is exhilarating.


  1. Who are some of your favorite authors? 

I like storytellers like Hemingway.  Historical biographers are one my favorites authors no matter whom.  In the fiction genre I read a lot Clancy, Thor, Dan Brown.



  1. Are you working on anything right now?

Working on a sequel to Due Diligence called “I’m Coming For You”.  Another fictional story involving corporate espionage and of course, a romantic tone.


  1. If your book would be turned into a movie, who would you imagine playing the part of Alex and Julia? (Actors can be ANYONE, living or dead.)

Easy question.  Since I originally wrote the screenplay, I found it convenient to write to a character.  Alex my main male protagonist is Andy Garcia.  Julia my main female protagonist is Michelle Pfeiffer.  My main male antagonist in the book is Rick Ramirez who when I wrote the screenplay I wrote for Armand Asante. 


  1. And, finally, what do you think is in store for the future of Latino literature?
I think as the Latino population of the U.S. begins grow, we should see more and more literature geared towards their interests.  Further, I see more and more Latino writers influencing the American audience with their own brand of literature.  A win-win for both.

To learn more about Owen Parr, visit http://www.owenparr.net/

Up next: A review of Due Diligence

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