Nelson Caldwell

Nelson Caldwell


A Terrace on the Tower of Babel

Q:  How did you come up with your story?
The story itself; which is 98-some-odd percent reality based on what I observed during my hyper-fast-lane years as a Silicon Valley public company executive during the turn-of-the-century Tech Boom. That and modern California, global-life in general. Specifically influential, was a privy view into the inner workings and infighting factions of the Saudi Ulemic Council (which oversees the observance of Shariah law in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and beyond), as well as those within the royal House of Saud and the Saudi population in general. This view was afforded by working on a significant contract with Saudi Aramco which would bring the first major public internet access to the Kingdom. We had, in the Kingdom proper, eyes and ears that kept us abreast of the politics and intrigue involved. As this unfolded, it gave me pause to think of all the untold, un-reported human stories going on around me. The effects went beyond churning out the latest whiz-bang gadgets and services at hyper-speed: societies were being thrust into making culture-altering decisions. So while all the latest clinical dissections of, praises for, and rants against the Boom and the corresponding run-up of the stock market streamed out in all medium of picture and print, I kept thinking about the other stories transpiring: the intimate, personal narratives – the desires of the people involved at the epicenter of actually making it happen – the reasons, the “why” any of it was coming about. It was when I began looking deeply at the motives of the actual characters in our almost-spun-out-of-control techno world and thinking about how their story could, and should, be told, that the seeds for a book were sown.

Q: Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
Around the time I semi-retired (at the very young age of 45), I wrote a vignette for my sister, who is/was working on a large-scale novel-series about underground societies and their influence on the global political landscape, regarding my impressions of New York City as observed from Central Park. After reading it, she kept insisting that I had to write; it wasn’t an option. And overall, a love for the grand, sweeping novel that leaves one pondering, and recalling, and applying for years after turning the last page.

Q: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be? Why?
Gardener and cook, both of which I enjoy immensely – because I like to eat good fresh food and entertain friends and relatives.

Q: Favorite genres to read?
History/Historical Fiction, Humor, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Noir, Literary Fiction

Q: What are your pet peeves?
Lack of perception. Disinterest in discovering the “why” of anything. Looking only at the surface.

Q: What is something most people don’t know about you?
Personally, most people think I’m very social and I’m not. Even though I’ve spoken to crowds and worked around hundreds, I prefer small, intimate groups of people, or just one-on-one time with my wife. I think I could easily become a monk and that is so opposite of what I thought of myself for many years.

Q: Where else can we find you, other titles, or anything else you’d like to share?
I encourage readers to be brave and step out beyond the current sludge – the easily scooped flotsam and jetsam that is so prevalent. Allow yourselves the luxury of thinking. Leave aside the demanding burden of continually seeking escapist entertainment.

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