About Empty Time
Jim Lang’s life sputtered into a workaholic rut on a middle rung of the corporate ladder while his colleagues, using his business plan, became the international business titans he once aspired to be.
Bad memories of busted marriages and broken promises are all that keep him company in his personal hours so he is more than willing to sacrifice that empty time to his job to make the corporation grow. His bosses have one more sacrifice in mind for him. To die for them.
Deceived, betrayed and framed for murder and massive stock fraud, his bosses plan for him to die and disappear. Disappear, he does; die, he doesn’t.
Lang must face and conquer his old fears and guilt, and live up to the potential within. To save the people he loves he must put his life on the line to turn the tables on his former colleagues in an inter-continental, multi-billion dollar, fast paced and lethal game of corporate intrigue and treachery with bloody traps and deadly counter traps.
Five Things You Didn’t Know About Empty Time
- How did I get the idea for Empty Time?
I have watched the evolution of the modern day multi-national corporations for my entire professional legal and business career which now spans 40 years. I have also studied the history of corporations and business organizations from early times through the Robber Barons of the late 19th century to today’s corporate behemoths. It is a fascinating subject. I see many dangers in today’s concentration of power, both financial and political, in the hands of corporate bosses who are unelected and feel they are not accountable to anyone anywhere. I felt the subject would be a good one to be a backdrop for one of my Decade Mystery Series books even before the economic meltdown that happened recently. From that came the genesis of EMPTY TIME. All I needed was the right story and character to bring it to life.
- A writer is almost like a god in that they can create the people in their stories. How did I go about the creation of Jim Lang?
I have worked as a contracts manager in several large corporations over my career so I know that field very well. There are variations from company to company how that job functions, and I chose the one that I wanted for this story. I spent more time thinking about what type of corporation I wanted to portray in the novel than I did thinking about the main character. Although I am a contracts manager and have worked in large corporations, Jim Lang is not me. There are bits and pieces that have come from many different people I have known over the years that show up in him but he is in no way modeled after me or any individual I have ever known. I needed someone unique for the role. He would have to start out as a typical salaryman, loyal to the company to a fault, but with enough intelligence, common sense and conscience to know life should be more than what he has. The story takes over from there.
- How did I come up with the title?
I had a variety of tentative titles for the book as I was writing it. EMPTY TIME came directly out of the story. The primary theme I was trying to incorporate is that too many people are stuck in daily drudgery and have a false loyalty to a company that is paying them a salary. They have sold their souls to the corporation just as Jim Lang did and are willing to let the company make their ethical choices for them in order to protect their jobs without thinking about the cost that may entail for themselves or others. Jim Lang learned from the sacrifice of another that in order for life to have meaning you have to be willing to give it up for something you value. You have to escape from EMPTY TIME.
- How long did it take to complete the book?
EMPTY TIME was fun to write. Once I had the first chapter written it only took me about three months to complete the first draft. The first chapter is always the most difficult to write. The first few sentences and paragraphs have to be very good and hook the reader into continuing so they need extra work and attention. Some writers save working on that till the end. I need to get it done first. In a way I need the hook completed before I feel good about writing. Once past the first chapter the book flowed out of me with relative ease. I don’t work from an outline. At most, I will have notes on the characters, some special scenes blocked out, and a general idea of the ending. With that and the beginning in place I sit down and let the story and characters come alive in my head and see where they will take me. I have often been surprised.
- Will there be another Jim Lang novel?
I don’t think Jim Lang will be in another novel. I can’t say that for absolute certain because a story may come along that calls for him but for now I have so many other books in planning with other characters in mind that I don’t expect him to come in as a main character again as I have with Mike Johnson in DEAD MAN’S GAMBIT and GRAVEDIGGER’S OPEN HOUSE. I enjoyed Lang as a character. His growth during the story was fun to write. But I enjoy creating new characters that fit new stories. In my Decade Mystery Series, I am writing at least one book for each decade from the beginning of the 20th century to current time. Jim Lang and EMPTY TIME are part of the first decade of the 21st century. RESURRECTION GARDEN takes place in 1904, DEAD MAN’S GAMBIT and GRAVEDIGGER’S OPEN HOUSE are mid 1990s, BLOOD SINS happens in 1958 and VACATION MAN is another in the first decade of the 21st century. I am currently developing an idea for a story set in 1947. I have a lot of other decades to go.
About Frank Scully
Frank Scully was born and raised in a small town in North Dakota and received a Bachelor’s degree in History with Phi Beta Kappa Honors and a Juris Doctor degree in Law from the University of North Dakota. He then served more than five years as a Judge Advocate General Corps Officer in the U.S. Army in the U.S., Vietnam, and Thailand. After that he attended the prestigious Thunderbird School and received a Masters in Business Administration with honors. In his professional career he has worked as an executive with large aerospace and defense manufacturers and also owned his own small business.
Depending on the vagaries of the universe he has been well off at times and broke, but never broken at other times. Blessed with an understanding wife who gave him twin sons, he has remained through it all a dreamer whose passion is writing stories that will entertain readers.
You can visit Frank’s website at: www.frankjscully.com