The Truth Behind ‘Latte Sipping Prostitutes’: Reflections from a hard life lived

The question I get asked most often is, “when are you going to write another book.”  Virtually everyone who knows me personally understands how much I like to write and spend time facing a blank page.  I have written enough free material to last some people a lifetime.  I have written enough on my Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom blog to fill many books—and I’ve offered it for free because I like doing it.  But what people ask about is my work for profit, the books I have written in the past that obviously go several steps beyond my free work.  I don’t overtly promote them; I just put them out for people to enjoy as they run across them in their own way.  My focus is always in creating new content and out of all the things I do in my life—or have done, it will be these books that people most behold as time moves on.  As an example, there are many late comers to the public education debate, especially regarding the recent Lakota teacher protests and have been coming to this site to understand what all the fuss is about.  Specifically for those types of people I wrote the Cliffhanger story Latté Sipping Prostitutes to show from personal experience the typical types of people who are involved in virtually every school levy attempt from the Chamber of Commerce types, the union leaders, the elected school board personnel, and the charity driven socialites—to everyone in between.  That story is special because it comes from a unique perspective which adversely affects everyone in American culture in some way or another. I offer a behind the scenes look at the type of people and the psychological motivations behind them that drive school levies in a way that only I could do.  That uniqueness is largely because I have actually done many of the things I write about whereas typical writers live in the realm of theory living through their characters.  In my case, if I put something down on a page, there is an experience that I have had which drives it—which is why people who do read my books find they want more.

But writing books the way I like to do them takes time—it takes time to accumulate the experiences needed to form a proper scenario based on direct observation.  As is the case with Latté Sipping Prostitutes the information and opinions collected to make that story happen took about two decades of hard living with all the personality types that make up that story.  As a writer you have to see every side of a story and understand the viewpoint of all the characters and are able to live in their skin.  Then you have to take all that information and make a protagonist and an antagonist deciding what the value assessment is from all that you’ve learned.  As many know I was involved in a very public campaign as I did research on Latté Sipping Prostitutes and by the time I had my falling out with the Cincinnati Enquirer I had the story already written in my mind.  I needed to switch gears and bring that story to life so a new generation could read that story and learn something from it in the ways that myths instruct.  I had the inside scoop on life in the media seeing the point of view that drives them in the education debate, I knew the other characters actively then I stewed on the whole pot for about 18 months before putting the story on paper thinking of everything from all sides.  Because of Latté Sipping Prostitutes and stories like them, people are always asking me what’s next—because those types of stories aren’t written by anybody else.  I write them because as an avid reader, it’s what I want to read.  For me, that’s often good enough.  I could care less about the New York Times or any social acceptance of my work, because once I’ve published the book, I accomplished what I wanted.  I can make money a hundred different ways—I tend not to solicit my writing material because it is precious to me.  It would probably reach more people if I felt differently, but it’s not often important enough to me to do so.  People who read those stories discover treasures that are unique in the marketplace—because like them—they are the stories I am hungry for.  Latté Sipping Prostitutes will teach most of what average people need to know about the modern school levy debate in story form—and I am proud of it.

Yet in the grand scheme of things, Latté Sipping Prostitutes is only one small story in the overall story arc of The Curse of Fort Seven Mile.  If the research I put into the Prostitute story was the same—which it is—for the other installments of the overall second book in the Cliffhanger series, it then becomes clear why I don’t write like Stephen King and put out a new novel every week—which I could probably do by the rate that I write.  To make my cut, I must have lived some aspect of the story first hand so I can have an objective understanding of the subject matter and that is where things get complicated.

For those who have been following the Cliffhanger series of The Curse of Fort Seven Mile has so far explored the violent potential and motivations behind police unions.  Actually for that story my direct involvement with the very popular media star and local hinge pin of politics Sheriff Jones was my basis.  I actually got to know how people like him tick meeting him personally and studying all the nervous quirks of their speech, body language and social motivations.  I have publicly debated Jones in an audience setting and been on the opposite side of him on the collective bargaining debate in Ohio.  That debate sometimes took place on the very popular 700 WLW radio broadcasting to 38 American states so that the first chapter of the Cliffhanger series was carved out with lots of personal blood as well.  Just a few days ago I had an invitation to meet with the Sheriff which I declined because unbeknownst to him, I had already received everything from him that he could provide.  I wrote my story leaving nothing else to be explored.  I had dissected all his motivations and decided where he fit and I applied that to the fictional circumstances in Fort Seven Mile.  Jones is not a direct character, but he did show me how the politics of police work plays out in talks over budget concerns and police union motivations.  I learned a lot of things he never intended to teach me and once I figured out that he was a Wyatt Earp kind of lawman as opposed to John Wayne, I was done with him forever.  A lot of people think of Wyatt Earp as a hero gunman from the Old West.  I’m not one of them.  He was an opportunist who would do just about anything for money.  I don’t respect people like that.

The third chapter involved drug cartels.  Obviously, I have a lot of experience with that as well.  My fights against drugs go way back and encompass two decades of fights at all levels of the drug trade—from the political circles who like to make money off drugs, to the thugs who deliver them.  In my early years I was actually on a drug delivery run with real life hit men so I’ve seen both sides of the issue.  The hit man knew my feelings about drugs so they conspired to put me in a situation where I would play a part in delivering drugs hoping that once I was in a social circumstance under dangerous conditions, I would concede.  That’s not what happened.  I really lost my temper.  I mean what was the hit man going to do—report me to the police?  Then how would the police react—how could they admit that they were friends with the guy?  See the dilemma?  Needless to say, my experiences with those types of people found their way directly into The Curse of Fort Seven Mile.

The next couple of chapters deal with paranormal evils that are actually quite real.  Needless to say, I have a lot of experience with those types of things as well—and I can’t give away too much in a description because I want my readers to enjoy discovering those elements through the story.  But be assured that what I write is based on experience—real life effort.  If I didn’t live it in some way, I typically don’t write about it.  And that is what makes this Curse of Fort Seven Mile series so unique.  It’s also why it takes me extra time to write my commercial material.  The free stuff I can pop out while eating a Big Mac at McDonald’s.  People think I write all day long, but in actuality I write an average 1500 word article in about 15 minutes because all the leg work is done in my mind ahead of time.  I simply have to put it down on paper, which isn’t difficult for me to do.  But the leg work for the Cliffhanger stories are much harder and require exploration into the deep wells of the rabbit hole where most people just refuse to go.  I like to take my readers to those places from the safety of a story, but before I can consciously do so, I have to have lived through it in some way—and that takes time.

For me, that time has come.  I have a lot to tell from a very hard life lived.  That hard life was by choice, because ultimately I wanted to write these books since I was a very little kid.  But I couldn’t just put words on paper, I had to see, feel, taste, smell and understand the antagonists against goodness fully.  And that is what is happening in The Curse of Fort Seven Mile series.  I am very proud of what has been published to date, and what is coming.  The next two stories I am particularly proud of.  But any one of them such as Latté Sipping Prostitutes contains enough information to settle the debate in the mind of a reader by showing the entire scope of a given problem—in this case it’s public school funding and the type of corrupt minds that are behind it and why.  But as to the question of why it takes me so long—well, the answer is that I have been living these characters—and life takes time.  But what ends up on the written page is much better because of it.  Needless to say, for fans of my commercial work, the future looks very bright.  There will be a lot of material coming which should appease even the most robust appetite.

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

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