WHY SKYWARD? – PART 1 - 08.11.2021
August 11, 2021
Good Wednesday morning. I'm author Richard V. Rupp, writing from Burbank, California. Welcome to Rupp's Notes/FBI Special Agent Hartman Series posts.
This morning, I couldn't believe Holiday Mathis's Gemini (my sign) Horoscope in the LA TIMES. It plays right into what I wrote for this post yesterday. Here it is – "You start with a vague idea. Your clever mind whirs to build a case for it. Emotions kick in with intensity. Suddenly, this vague idea seems like a do-or-die quest."
This is the first of three posts that explain why I have deviated from the FBI Special Agent Hartmann Series procedural crime fiction genre of Death novels and started writing a quasi-scifi SKYWARD manuscript. Some of the reasons have been addressed in previous posts, but there is more to the story.
There is now a tie in between the Death series novels, which I will get back to writing, and SKYWARD, which tells the story of Hartmann and Coleen's final FBI assignment. I had to write SKYWARD because I felt that I needed to address the changes occurring in our society today. I believe humanity is in a state of a major transformation that will impact the way we are governed, how we work, how people view each other, and on and on. And, this is changing the way law enforcement functions. You would be surprised how many negative comments I have received recently about the FBI. My hiatus from writing about law enforcement procedures in solving murders may prove to be good, as the public's view about policing is changing. You can see this reflected in the scripts of many of the new episodes of TV crime dramas.
Now onto some needed background information to explain where I'm going with this series.
I have often been asked, how did you come up with the plot for your first novel, DEATH & TAXES? My life is and always has been researching and writing. When I was going through an IRS audit, I wanted to know more about the IRS and the people who worked there. That's just the way I am. The guy who did my taxes in San Francisco used to work for the IRS, so he could fill me in somewhat. Then one day, I spoke with a young-sounding lady who was an IRS auditor. You are not supposed to do this, but we got chummy on the phone. I learned that she was located at the Fresno IRS Service Center and had recently graduated from Fresno State University. She indicated that a lot of the people at the Center were from Fresno State. I clicked on my computer for the school mascot. I say over the phone, "So you're a Bulldog." But I also noticed an article about the Bulldog Street Gang that controlled a large part of the City. Later, when I thought of writing the novel, I found an article about the architect who designed the building. Yes, it is decorated with murals of Disney characters, and I looked up the job descriptions for IRS employees. There was also an article in the Fresno Bee about what it was like to work at the Center. Finally, I actually toured the outside of the Center. I noted it was kind of out of place in the middle of a residential area. By putting the dots together and adding a murder, I came up with DEATH & TAXES.
My next novel, DEATH ON THE HIGH SEAS, was more in my 'wheelhouse' (I had to use that word). I was assigned to develop the first offshore captive insurance company program out of the Los Angeles Office of the largest international insurance broker in the world. It was to cover the medical malpractice for a major California-based hospital chain. I went on to apply the captive concept to several other clients during a 'hard' insurance market period. I left the brokerage and, with two others, started a captive formation and management firm in LA's Century City. Except for a Netherlands-based food machinery company, all of our clients were large California-based corporations. There was also one captive for a group of wealthy California's including a former U.S. President. Their captive reinsured auto warranty contracts/insurance policies. A very lucrative business. They had shrewd lawyers and accountants. Their captive was funded out of their IRA accounts, which delayed any tax obligations. During this period, I was active with the Risk & Insurance Management Society (RIMS), the Self-Insurance Institute of American (SIIA), and the Captive Insurance Companies Association (CICA). I frequently traveled to Bermuda, where I would go to our office on a moped in my Bermuda shorts with my briefcase in the front basket. And then there were the Cayman Islands, where you could set up captives not allowed by Bermuda. During discussions with the people I met when developing captives, often over cocktails, I learned about uses for captives other than risk funding. Yes, they were used to transfer money or assets between countries, and I heard some were used for money laundering. I was never involved with the latter.
Don't ask me about the periodic adjustment of insurance claims reserves. It's a unique science. Maybe science is not the right word. Actuaries do refer to it as actuarial science. But, just like expert witnesses in court, you can find one for both sides. While in Bermuda, I had several opportunities to board visiting cruise ships. A couple of risk managers with Bermuda captives loved to travel there with their families on a cruise ship. And offshore captive insurance company board meetings have been held aboard cruise ships or yachts on the high seas. Again, I put the dots together, added a murder, and came up with DEATH ON THE HIGH SEAS.
In my next post, I will explain how Hartmann and Coleen got involved with the establishment of a Moon colony. Why the colony has an FBI office. There really is some logic involved.
Richard V. Rupp, Author
Website – www.richardvrupp.com
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright©2021 by Richard V. Rupp