Hello everyone, it's that time for the JMOR Tech Talk show. Where we answer questions about technology, explain the way they should work and why they don't sometimes. And now here's your host, John C. Morley.
John C. Morley: Hey everybody, it's John C. Morley with the JMOR Tech Talk Show. Great to be here Marcus on another Friday. How are you doing today?
Marcus: I'm doing excellent John. It is very great to be with you once again on another sweet hot Friday.
John C. Morley: Yeah, Got a great show here tonight. First, we have an amazing author coming just a little bit later in the program, I think you're really going to enjoy John Hart, who is an amazing author. I won't take too much Thunder away from him right now, but we're going to have an interview with him just a little bit later in the show, not too long later. And you know, a lot of things have been happening, you know, with technology, in our world. You remember Fry's Electronics? You remember them?
Marcus: Yeah, they got the funny logo. One stop shop.
John C. Morley: Yeah, they got the funny logo. Yeah, they're the kind of place you can go for all kinds of electronic stuff that you really don't need. And they're closing.
Marcus: After nearly 30 years in business, this is terrible John. You said it, you know, you call this, you know, we should call you prophet, John, sometimes. You said more and more of these stores were going to go away.
John C. Morley: Unfortunately, yes. And I’ve been to Fry's a few times. I've purchased them online as well. And this is the go to chain for the tech tinkerers they call it, looking for obscure things that nobody ever wants. And they charge a lot of money for them. They remind me a lot Marcus of Radio Shack. You remember Radio Shack?
Marcus: Yeah, and that's what all we can say about radio shock is dead, do you remember radio shack.
John C. Morley: That's the thing. Now Radio Shack wasn't as high on the food chain as fry electronics. But Radio Shack I still remember to this day. Being an engineer while I was an engineer back then. But I will be getting these breadboards and you could go to a store. And you could build all kinds of stuff from what they had. It was pretty amazing. And not only could you know, get batteries and all kinds of circuit boards and all kinds of resistors and piezo buzzers, and you name it, they had it, relays. And then something just sort of happened Marcus in the last I don't know how many years. But they stopped carrying things like 50 in 1, 101 electronic projects. And then the breadboard wall just sort of vanished, and the whole department just sort of went away. And then the store just got more junk in it with electronics that most people don't want. And they sold a lot of overpriced things that really weren't made in the United States unfortunately, I still remember they had an intercom. It was a radio shack intercom. And they charged a lot of money for it. And it wasn't so great. But you know, this just goes to show you Marcus people don't buy, they actually buy on a name. They don't really take a look at the technology and how good or how bad it is.
Marcus: No, not at all. And that is absolutely the truth. The Gospel if we want to put it that way. And far as I'm concerned, the way that the world is shaped right now, people flight to have more control of when they want to go get an item, electronic item that is going to involve like repairing their you know, repairing their system, from you know, from the comfort of their home that they're not going to necessarily need to go walk to the store and go do that they're going to need to take your time and not want to pay over the price for it.
John C. Morley: I will give you a perfect example Marcus, I'm not going to mention the people who are going to be incriminated here, but you're going to guess who I'm talking about. They have a letter, that fourth letter of the alphabet, and there's three letters in their name, but I'm not going to say their name.
And they have a computer that's been out for many years, there was a lot of computer companies. So I haven't said the name yet. But this particular company doesn't mean factory computers. They're a marketing company. They're very good at marketing, but they really don't manufacture. I mean, they throw some things together. Don't get me wrong, but they're a marketing engine. That's what they are. This particular company decided, and this is probably no shock to you or anybody else, that they're going to start to make things proprietary. One of the items they had was a power supply. But a couple years back and they said, oh gee, we're going to make a high density power supply. Now a typical power supply has a connection, and you plug it onto the motherboard. However, they decided in their infinite wisdom, that they're going to create a high density connector, so they can take up less room. And they believed that it was going to be the be all end all and then every manufacturer was going to just fall to the knees and start making power supplies like this. Well, a couple did. And then they stopped. And I recently had a client that brought a computer in for repair. And I said to him, you know, this is a special power supply. Oh, it's pretty standard. Well, besides having the little clip on the side, and the plugs also different. He said well I could just go online and buy one I said, that's fine. Go ahead and buy one. He went online and ordered it, had it shipped to us. And guess what we got the power supply.
Marcus: So what happened?
John C. Morley: Well, we got it, it looked great. Size was perfectly, fitting the case perfect. But the end wasn't a high density connector. It was the regular low density connectors that were still been using for years to plug into motherboards. He then was a little frustrated, went back to the place again, he ordered again from another place. They sent us the power supply, the same thing, just a different color, but still had the low density connector. So finally, I said to him, you know, this is getting crazy. I found him a low density to high density adapter. I mean, you can't make this stuff up Marcus. A low density to a high density connector. So what it did is it took the typical plugs that are on your power supply that would plug into the motherboard, sometimes referred to as the PAP9. And now they're combined is one plug. And that would just plug right into your motherboard. Well, this would plug into a wire, and the other end of that would then plug into the high density connector on your motherboard. That little cable $14.
John C. Morley: The reason I bring this up is that they don't always do what's best for the consumers or business owners. They try to do something to get them in trap, Marcus. And now that same power supply, okay, that normally would have been $34. Well, the version of it that had this special connector on it was close to $200 if you could get it. And it was being made by this company, I don't want to say the name over in China, because they don't make their own power supplies. They just put their name on it for them. And then very tiny, small print they have the name of the power supply company. When you call the power supply company because we did this, they said oh sorry, we can't sell you just one. We only manufacture that for the name of the company. So I’ll buy two he says no, you need to buy 100 of them. Is there anywhere I could buy this? We don't make it anymore. What do mean we don't make it anymore. You just told me it's the latest thing. Well, it was but then it kind of went nowhere. I mean, does that make any sense? Marcus.
Marcus: No, it doesn't make any sense at all. It makes no sense.
John C. Morley: And this is why this company with the four letter name with the fourth letter of the alphabet starting just seems to have these pretty cases. They're very attractive. But when they break, they have a proprietary fan, proprietary cable, proprietary power supply. And their solution is not to replace the item but to replace the whole computer because they usually can't get the part that they had from 5 or 10 years ago. Isn't that sad?
Marcus: That is very sad. It seemed like is by design.
John C. Morley: I think so too. Because we gave them the part number that he ordered. And he verified again. He gave them the same part number again and they skip the same stupid power supply with a different color on it. He even went back to the manufacturer that he bought the computer from this four letter name, a letter word. And they said, Sorry, we don't have any more. They're discontinued. The computer is only four years old. But they got a beautiful pretty name and a nice logo. And if you pay a little extra money, I think they give US support now. I don't know if they still do that. But I know they were giving you support in another country. And then if you pay a little more, I think they might have stopped doing that because people were getting really pissed off about that. You had to pay $10 more a year to get US support. Something is wrong with that picture.
Marcus: No, I can't agree with you more. You know, anything to kind of stretch the dollars of those who supposed to be, you know, customers you care about.
John C. Morley: They don't care about anybody. All they do is care about us making money, I think. And that's probably very obvious.
Marcus: Very obvious, especially if you can get something as simple as a part replace, you know, very easily.
John C. Morley: So when you buy a computer, and it's very inexpensive, and you think you're getting such a steal. You're probably going to pay two to three or four times more to be able to get that part if you can even get it to fix what goes wrong on your computer. I don't know. But yet they keep making money. This is what really boggles my mind. Why do people still keep going back to companies like this Marcus?
Marcus: It is total mind boggling. And sometimes we like to say, well, must be good marketing.
John C. Morley: That's what they are. They're a marketing company. And people just like to hear the sound and then, you know, you call the 800 number, and you talk to somebody. I know one time I was helping a client and they had this goal, such, and such support. We called them up. They sent somebody out to fix this computer. That didn't even work for the company. They were an outsourced company. Guy came out and he started to proceed to fix this laptop because it was all covered under this warranty. And the first question I asked him, Marcus is where's your ESD belt? He says, Well, I said your ESD belt? Where's that as you're on carpet here? He says, Oh, I have it in the car. Oh, can you get it? He went and got it put it on. He's like, you know, it's like, I don't have the wire to connect it. You don't have the wire. He said, but don't worry about it, man. It's okay. I see you are on carpet for crying out loud. He said I have it on my wrist. I see, but what good is it going to do if it's not connected to something to ground you? Yeah, don't worry about it, you worry too much. So I took him. And I brought him to a room in the data center, which had tile floors. And he was fine. But my point is that the quality and the level of service mark is it's just not there anymore.
Marcus: Let alone the, you know, if we're going to add in.
John C. Morley: I mean, he was just going to open up that laptop, which had how many 1000s of parts in it. Okay, and here's the best one I forgot to tell you. So the laptop was obviously freezing something was wrong with it. So it could have been a bad hard drive lots of things. Now, common sense would have been to just replace the laptop since it's like brand new, right? Maybe a couple weeks. They send somebody out. They change the motherboard. But they don't change the connector for the Wi Fi. Because that wasn't covered under that ticket. What about the hard drive? Oh, that's not covered under this ticket either. Are you kidding me? Well, we can come back again. But we have to open up another ticket for that. The guy wound up coming back three times. At the end of the third visit. I said to the technician, I said Look, I said I’ve been here several times. And every time I come out here, I'm here because the client has asked me to come out to make sure you're doing what you're supposed to be doing. He said you don't have to do that. Obviously, I do because the first guy didn't even know about electrostatic discharge and how it could damage the product. I see. Okay, well, don't worry about that one, I take care of it for you. He finishes what he's doing in a few hours, he puts the hard drive, puts everything in. And guess what? It doesn't work, it freezes again. He goes, it's your software, just imaged a brand new hard drive. Oh, comes back. He says, you're going to have to call support. Well, what are you? Well, we're just a hardware support, we don't handle the software. It's a brand new hard drive that you gave me. And I just imaged with a copy that works on other machines. I don't know what to tell you about that.
Marcus: Oh, man.
John C. Morley: Now, did we ever get the laptop fixed? Well, I got on the phone with their wonderful gold support people. And they assured me everything would be fixed. Don't worry about it. I said well you what we're going to do, I don't want any more people coming out to my client site, I want you to take this laptop back. And overnight, my client a brand new one. Oh, we can't do that, sir. Well, why not? Well, because it's actually two days in so many hours. And the warranty is only covered for seven days and some nonsense. And I was like, this is crazy. He said we can't get you that model. It's not in stock. Can I speak with a supervisor, after I talk to a supervisor, which is 10 to 15 minutes more, I said, it's really simple. I said this guy has lots of your laptops here. I'm going to make sure he never buys another one of your laptops again. And I can assure you that if you don't take care of this, that we don't have that model in stock, we'll get him a better model. Well, that we could do. He had the laptop the next day. All that aggravation we had to go through. And we helped the client through that, the client wouldn't have known what to do with that whole situation.
Marcus: Not at all. It would have been an instant.
John C. Morley: Yeah, they claim to be helping these fortune 500, fortune 100 companies, and they can't even see their way through a paper bag. Let alone where an ESD bracelet that's supposed to protect you from electrostatic discharge.
Marcus: Oh, it's terrible.
John C. Morley: That is absolutely terrible. When speaking about technology, you know, hackers are attacking the Vietnamese dissidents. Now if you're wondering what that is, according to Webster, a dissonance is a person who actively challenges an established political or religious system, a doctrine, a belief, a policy, or institution. And Amnesty International says it has found that a hacking group known as ocean Lotus, has nothing to do with the ocean, don't worry, has been staging more spyware attacks on Vietnamese human rights activists in the latest blow to freedom of speech in the communist ruled country.
Marcus: You know what that sounds like John? You know, it really sounds like, you know, the government, you know, has hired their own hackers.
John C. Morley: Yes, it really does. And the humans rights groups have been urging Vietnam to cease its representative activities toward critics and the damages that's been going on for punishments of bloggers, and this is just absolutely crazy. I think it just comes down to a fear because the government's hiding stuff from people. And they figure if they do this, then they're just going to go away. But you know, I got to tell you, we haven't talked about different types of hackers, but there's one type of hacker out there and they have a lot of money. And they go after disrupting political systems, governments, political parties, they have a ton of money and a ton of resources. And if they want to bring down a nation, they can.
Marcus: Yeah, this is very dangerous. You know, these hackers are very dangerous, they, you know, they can target just about anyone they want to, to reveal them and make them. We see this in China a lot and people turn up missing after they're confronted by the government. And especially if they're bloggers or reporters, you know, or investigative journalists. And these communist countries, you know, you definitely, you can't say anything, you can't say anything. And I'm just not surprised at all that this type of activity is going on. And, you know, I wouldn't be surprised if is happening here in our very own country. And if it's not going to happen more with following the insurrection.
John C. Morley: Well, the human rights group said, a while back that the amnesty tech security lab found evidence of the hacking attempts in phishing emails sent to two dissidents, one of the Philippines and one in Germany.
Marcus: Wow. Yeah. And there's a lot of unrest right now in Germany, as well. So this is very disturbing.
John C. Morley: And I want to quote something from them. More recently, ocean Lotus was found to have created fake online media websites, based on content automatically gathered from legitimate news websites, end quote. Somebody is hiring them. But they're hiring them to confuse people. So they don't get the right information.
Marcus: That sounds very familiar.
John C. Morley: It's not like they're just trying to crash a system. They're trying to infiltrate it, and give people false information. It's definitely going to change things. And I know that we're going to see more of this, unfortunately. And I don't know if our government even has, I'm not going to say a plan, but maybe even an inkling to how to respond to this. And these kids, that were doing this, we're actually in a call them like these little mobile cafes. And they do this a lot in Europe, because you can go sit down in these cafes. And you don't have to pay very much. Some of them are free. And you can just get up and go to another one. And no one can track you.
I remember, many years ago, when I went to New York, and the internet was becoming popular, they were starting to charge people, by the minute to go online. You had to go buy one of these cards. And then once you loaded the card from your credit card or your cash, then you could go online for I think it was something like $3 for 10 minutes. I'm sure it's more now. But something very interesting happened there. When you finish doing what you're doing. And you log off.
The computer reboots, and it re images itself. So if anything was on there, it's totally destroyed. And back to the way it was originally set up. But these mobile cafes are becoming a problem. This is where a lot of people go when they're trying to do ransomware. They come from these places. They don't come from a home or a house. And there's really no rules or laws or any kind of monitoring at these facilities. They do all types of things that we wouldn't want to mention. And they first look like they're just playing video games, but all they're doing is just sitting at a computer and there's like hundreds of computers there. Every day, they might go there, but then when they get tracked, they might go somewhere else. That's why when these people ask for money, they set it to an account. And that account can never be traced. Because these people don't even have bank accounts. It's scary, Marcus.
Marcus: Yeah, it is. And this is the world we live in. And it's growing pretty widespread. It's been happening for a very long time.
John C. Morley: It's getting worse. And these internet cafes are literally just, I don't know, less than a mile or two outside of school dormitories. So they're not able to do this within their school, but they are able to leave their schools campus and just go to a breeding ground and just creating havoc. That blows my mind.
Marcus: Totally, I am right there with you.
John C. Morley: People can't do that in the United States. They can. This is why we have all these rules and laws when you open a credit card or a banking account. They want your social security number, they want to make sure through the Patriot Act that you're not doing anything illegal. It's something we're definitely going to have to keep our eyes on. But as I told you, privacy is going to become a concern. And then what people do with this information. And then if you know databases and things get hacked, and we're going to learn about some other stories later on the show that I think you're going to find pretty juicy. These big companies, Marcus, they're supposed to know what they're doing. And if they don't know what they're doing, they're supposed to be bringing companies in the do know what they're doing. And yet, they're getting in a lot of trouble, a lot of trouble. Well, speaking about crime and criminal activities. Our next guest, John Hart, is the author of six New York Times bestsellers, the king of lies, down river, the last child, iron house, redemption, road, and the hush and the unwilling, is the only author in history to win the Best Novel Edgar award for consecutive novels. John has also won the berry award, the southern independent booksellers Award for Fiction, and the iron Fleming steel dagger award, the southern Book Prize, and the North Carolina award for literature. His novels have been translated into 30 languages, and can be found in over 70 countries. He is a former defense attorney and stockbroker, john lives on a farm in Virginia, where he writes full time. Now, I got to tell you, before I meet with any of these people that I'm going to interview, I'm always very privileged and grateful that either they or their publicist, send me a copy of their books. And I have to tell you, I take the time to read their books cover to cover. I know not many people that, you know, interview today, take that time, I feel that if they're going to give me their time, to, you know, answer my questions, and share some things about their book or their life. I am more than honored to read their book and I have to tell you, I'm not a person that reads criminal novels. I'm really not. But this book, really was one that I could not put down. When I started to read, you know, the unwilling novel. It was so captivating Marcus, I mean, the way he defines the characters. It's like the imagination becomes reality. And this particular one took place in a prison and then how he wraps up the book. I'm not going to get into all the details. I want you to get the book obviously we have a link below this episode that you can click on. It's just the way he sets up the stage, the plot the people. And he just gets so detailed that everything that you're on the edge of your chair, I know I was, I thought the only time I put the book down was when I went to use the restroom, or when I took a quick break, but I came right back. The book had me from cover to cover. I cannot say that about any other person right now that writes a criminal novel, and his background, and his candor. And just the way he comes up with these stories. And how he puts his whole mind his whole heart, his whole soul. And he creates that drama, that suspense that literally has you waiting and yearning for more. Ladies and gentlemen, please help me welcome the author of many wonderful books, Mr. John Hart, to the JMOR tech talk show.
John C. Morley: Well, Hey, everybody, it is John C. Morley with the JMOR tech talk show. And I am very pleased to have john Hart with me and established author. And actually the person that just came out with a book just a few weeks ago, actually, on the second it came out, and I had the privilege of getting to read that. And it is an amazing book. But we'll get into that in just a minute. But john, I have to ask you, where does your passion come for wanting to always be such a great writer because you are an amazing mystery writer?
John Hart: Well, hey, john, first of all, thanks for having me on the show. Secondly, for saying nice things. Like I'm a lover of books. I mean, I I’ll never forget when I first decided to try my hand at writing, is because I would read books and think I think I can do better than that. Now. That was a youthful conceit that proved to be incorrect. For a lot of time I wrote two failed novels before my first one was published in became a best seller. And the unwilling that you mentioned is number seven. So I’ve been doing this for a little while now. I just I love it. I mean, I love everything about a really well done book, I love deep characterization, I love really powerful propulsive books. And I love the language, I mean, I to go deep into language, I spend a lot of time on the words and for the simple reason. And I don't want to get too long on this point. But if I can generate an emotional response in a reader that goes beyond what's happening on the page, meaning if they feel something, and then maybe don't even understand why they're feeling it, and do that through word choice, and cadence, and, you know, the way that certain things fit together in the mind, it's really an amazing thing when it happens. I can't do that every page, it would be too much for everybody involved. But the really key moments in the book, I try to make the language pop, if that makes sense.
John C. Morley: I think it's amazing. You know how you're able to do that. Because, you know, you really do set the stage in a very unique way. This is not a novel that you can just read once, and basically, you know, put down you have to pay attention with it. And I think that's what's great. Now, I know you actually are the recipient of the Edgar award. Can you tell our audience what that is and the significance of and why that's so important to achieve that award?
John Hart: Yeah, look, it's one of my favorite accolades. The Edgar award is named after Edgar Allan Poe. And it's kind of the Oscar for Mystery Writers. It's, I think the award goes back something like 70 years now. You know, Raymond Chandler, back in the day, Agatha Christie, and then on up through modern grace, like Michael Connelly, and Patricia Cornwell and a number of others, it's a great list to be on. I had a really interesting run with my first three books, I was nominated for the Best first novel by an American author, and I was one of five and lost to a guy named Alex Berenson. But then my next two books were nominated for the Best Novel, which is a bigger award and it's actually international any book published or translated in English, kind of in the mystery thriller space. And I won it for my second and third books for downriver in the last child and the only author in history to win it for consecutive novels. And I think one of only, I think there are three others that have one at more than once. Dick Francis, if you know who he is, I loved him before he passed away. He wanted three times, he's a record, but I think there's at least one other person that wanted twice Jeff Parker did and there may be another but that was pretty cool.
John C. Morley: So where did your inspiration come to write the unwilling again, I don't want to tell people the entire plot here, they need to get the book, but where does your inspiration come for this particular novel?
John Hart: Okay, so if you don't mind, I'm going to go a little bit long on this because there are a couple places. So it's set in 1972, in the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, I wanted to set a book in that era, because that was the time of my childhood for one thing, and it was a very, you know, simple time as a child. I mean, we played in creeks and playgrounds, we didn't have smartphones and pads and all these things. So it's in my mind, it's a much simpler time. But I’ve been around long enough to know that there was actually a very tumultuous time for the nation. I mean, we had, you know, racial strife and riots and Kent State shootings weren't that far behind this. We were at war in Vietnam, you know, Cold War with Russia, Watergate, you know, communists, threats. I mean, it was a difficult time in this country. And it felt like, it'd be nice to write a novel set in another tough time for America. And just to remind people that we've been in strife, internal strife before and we've gotten through it. But I remember childhood, I was seven when the book took place, 1972. So far too young to worry about Vietnam. But I remember some of the older kids that were terrified of the draft or in in some that were really eager to graduate and go fight. So I wanted to write a book that sort of encapsulated the simplicity of what I remembered from that childhood. And so one of my main characters is 18, soon to graduate from high school and desperate to discover what sort of man he's going to become. He represents the simplistic stuff that I remember. And then his older brother, five years older, who's done three tours in Vietnam, and a stint in prison, comes home at the beginning of the book. And you know, he's harder and jaded and world weary and savvy, all these things. I mean, he's dealt heroin, he's run with motorcycle gangs and illegal gun trade and all these things, and he maybe represents the more complicated time. So that's in my head. That's what I wanted to create was this type of book. And it was prompted two specific things sort of prompted the idea for the book itself. And I’ll try to be brief, but one was the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam 1968. You know, a poorly led group of American soldiers began to massacre, a village of innocent civilians that killed over 500 people. But a very brave man named Hugh Thompson, Jr. Helicopter pilot put himself and his crew between those kind of war crazed soldiers in these instances, billions and saved lives. It's called the My Lai Massacre. There was a cover up. The good guys were vilified. Eventually, Seymour Hersh broke the story in and it led to all kinds of national outrage. But I love this idea of courage regardless of cost, which is what Hugh Thompson and his crew exhibited, even though they were vilified for it, by the military in the media, and then kind of, I write crime fiction. So it's all about what the crime that launches the story might be. So the setup is Jason, the older brother comes home from war, comes home from prison, wants to reconnect with his younger brother. And they find themselves in a convertible with a couple of attractive young women one afternoon, on an empty stretch of road when they pass a prison transfer bus. And this idea is something that I’ve had my mind for 30 years because there was a time that I was on an empty road, next to a prison transfer bus and a convertible with my girlfriend at the time. And all the prisoners were pressed against the glass to look at the pretty girl and pretty car. And I thought to myself, what do you know, what if she did something foolish? What if she, you know, flash this bus full of convicts and what might happen? And so that's what starts the crime element of the story. This girl Tyra, who's venal and prideful and cruel and sadistic and quite drunk, decides to torment the prisoners on this bus with a very sexual display. And two days later ends up killed in a pretty vicious manner. And that's what launches the crime element of the story because all eyes turned to Jason. And then to the younger brother, when the second girl goes missing.
John C. Morley: That just what you did was just very amazing how, you know, you set the stage, but then also how you did a thing with the courtroom. I thought that was great.
John Hart: You mean, when Jason makes his first appearance in court?
John C. Morley: Yes, I really liked that it was very surreal. And just the way, you know, I get I'm not trying to tell everything about the book. But how when you went into the courtroom and how the one person was acknowledged, you know, you're always welcome to my courtroom and the other person, the prosecutor. Well, you know, it's not that you're not welcome in my courtroom. But why are you here? Well, I have my reasons.
John Hart: Right, right. Well, what you'll find out in this book is that everybody has reasons that aren't revealed until much later in the novel. There's a character in the prison that Jason was just released from a very dangerous man. In fact, considered the most dangerous man alive, who wants Jason back in prison for his own reasons, and we won't get into that, but he has long long strings that reach through the prison into the community beyond and, you know, pretty powerful levers to pull. But the courtroom saying that you talk about
That's what I did for a number of years. I mean, I was a criminal defense attorney. So I know that spot pretty well.
John C. Morley: That was something because you know, I think that's a big testament to the way you write. It's not just the fact that you're very creative. But that was going to be a question and you actually answered it for me is that, how did you get so detailed in the court? If you're not always there all the time, because you have to know how a court works. And so I thought that was really very surreal. And it was not something that was made up I mean, the book, even though it has its stage where you're trying to, let's say, set a pretend point, and have people imagine these things, it's almost hard to believe that it's not true. I mean, even the way it's all written, it's very believable, which I think is amazing.
John Hart: Well, I mean, that is the name of the game, right? It's, you know, normally I write, I try to create very credible people that you understand in powerful way so that you really care about the journey, you take it with them, whatever the stakes are, life or death, freedom, or prison. And even in books like this, where I rarely write a criminal mastermind, that was never my experience as a defense attorney, most are not masterminds. But I had this idea for this character, who's in prison and wants Jason back for his own reasons. And he is something of a larger than life character. So it's very important to imbue the book with as much of the real as possible, if I'm going to ask readers to accept this character who might be slightly larger than life. But I think in a really super compelling way.
John C. Morley: I definitely agree with you. And the thing I want to point out, again, I don't want to give too much about the book, I want people to get the book from you is that when people are, you know, thinking about something like this, whether it's ever happened to them, or maybe they know somebody unfortunate that went through it, they have an idea of how to imagine it. But if no one's ever had any exposure to the court, or to a criminal existence, or someone that had a criminal background, whether it was planned or whether it was accidental, whatever it was, it's different. For that kind of recollection, you know, for them to paint the scene. But I guess what I want to ask you, john, before I get to the next question is that at the end of the book, I really love first of all the way, and I'm going to give one little nugget out at the end of the book, there is an envelope that shows up, I'm not going to say what it says. But it's given to someone, and the person that it's given to, he doesn't admit that it's him. And the lady that presented to him basically says, in other words, that she knows it's him, because she knows the cars he drives, she knows the description. And he's still not admitting that it's him. He's shaking his head. But when he finds out, it's from somebody pretty important. He accepts it very, you know, picturesque envelope. And it's just interesting that the last page of the book actually depicts what's in that. So I think that was just a nice sum up, did the book go exactly as you had planned? Or did it take some detours?
John Hart: Well, I never have a plan. Okay, that's the first thing you should know. I have this debate with authors all the time, you know, there really is a line down the middle of us. And on one side are people that outline extensively, and I'm on the other side, I call it grope and hope, you know, I just, I make this stuff up as I go. So there's, here's what it means I think in reality, the people that outline, I don't know how they do it. I mean, the idea of starting a book and knowing every possible twist and character arc in a way that you can sit down and then just build your widget, you know, which is what it would feel like to me, they must be smarter than I or their brain works differently. But I think that would be a less exciting way to work. The tradeoff for me is that, you know, because I make it up as I go, there's always a risk that I'm going to get stuck and have to backtrack and throw away work. I've done that before I gave away a year's worth of work once because it didn't shape up the way I thought it might. Somebody and I think it he described it this way. You know, he has a general idea of where he's going when he starts a book and I generally have that same thing. But after that, it's like driving down a country road in the fog at night. And he can see as far as the beams reach of his headlights, but not beyond that. So he doesn't know if the road is going to turn, drop. Get wide. Go to gravel. Where it's going to end necessarily, even though he knows he's maybe heading west or Northwest. For me, those headlights that's usually about two or three chapters ahead, like I know what I'm going to write for the next 30 or 40 pages. And as I write those pages, my mind spinning along the axle trying to figure out how to make the story better, and take it further. And often that, most often that works really, really well for me because I get to live with the story live with the characters, and it makes for a richer story, in my opinion. But it does bite me sometimes.
John C. Morley: How long john does it typically take to write something this book was about 384, 385 pages roughly. How long did that take you to write this book?
John Hart: So the shortest I’ve ever done was about 11 months. The longest I’ve ever done was three years. That was after I had to throw away years’ work. This one took about 16 months. You know, kind of pretty good solid 16 months.
John C. Morley: What was the shortest book you ever wrote? And how long did that take you?
John Hart: So that would have been downriver my second novel, and you know, page counts kind of irrelevant, because publishers can rig that any way they want. I mean, they can take a 60,000 word book and make it really thick. With a lot of spacing and wide margins. Word count is kind of the way to tell. Downriver was about 104,000 words. Redemption road was about 140,000. The hush was about 135,000. This one's about 120,000 which is kind of the sweet spot for me.
John C. Morley: That's roughly around 384. So the other book was around 330, 320, something like that.
John Hart: Yeah, but keep in mind, I mean, they can make it 384 no matter what the word count is they just the spacing and everything else. So you know, Robert Parker, Spencer novels, I love those books. But they were always sold as really big, you know, big, thick books. But it was, they're really short word count. So if you pick it up, it looks like it's a 400 page novel. But, you know, you could easily make it 230 pages, it is just how you do the typeset.
John C. Morley: I have to say the book is very easy to read, you don't want to put it down. But what I will say is that you have to put your attention into the book, this is not a book. And I think this is a very good positive thing, that when you're reading the book, you need to focus on the book, you need to give yourself to the book, and just let the characters develop and see how things are going to manifest the first chapter, you're not going to see where things are going right away, it took me a couple chapters, till I actually start to understand who X was, and till the other people, kind of had a rough idea. But I think that's what happens is that as you start to learn their motives and how they play, and then throughout the book, their motives change is one thing that I love about is that what you expect in the beginning is different from the end. And the last thing I really want to comment as far as the book goes, per se, is your talk about diving. And this is something that just stuck in my head, I'm very much into swimming and being a Pisces. Where did the diving come from? Like, what was the inspiration for that? I was trying to see where did he come up with that reason and why.
John Hart: So the diving that you're talking about these kids, these high school kids, they're sort of given the last three Fridays before graduation is senior skip day. And so they all like to go out to the quarry. And this is all very, you know, small city South kind of thing. And there's a tall cliff and a long fall. And the kid Gibby who's about to graduate, he's we know when we first see him, he's trying to find the courage to make this dive right. And it's something we later learned that his two older brothers both fought in Vietnam one Robert made the dive right before he shipped out. The only person who have ever made the dive, nobody else has the courage. And we find out that Robert did it because he wanted to prove that he couldn't die, that he wanted to go to Vietnam thinking he couldn't die. And so literally when he makes the dive his first words after let the Vietcong touch that, which I love. And then we meet Gibby, the 18 year old brother, who is at the top of this cliff, and there are all these kids down there watching him, there's his love interest in his rivals and his enemies. And they're all egging him on. He's been trying for two years to find the courage to make this dive. And it's about, you know, what he thinks he needs to do to become a man. And then his other brother, Jason, we eventually see him make the dive, not to prove that he couldn't die like his twin brother did, but rather to prove to himself that he was still alive because of what happened in the war, in prison. You know, he had very different motivations. So the cliff is kind of a testing ground for these brothers. Is it necessary to make the dive or not? Do you have the courage to make the dive or not, and the wisdom to make the determination so there's that element, but because this was set in 1972, I also wanted to make it feel like 1972. And you may remember Wide World of Sports, I certainly did. Well, you know, high diving was a big deal in 1972. I mean, it was, you know, it was competitive, which country had the world record who was the guy. And in 1972, the world record for high diving was 15 feet higher than this cliff. So I wanted to kind of tie into that 1972 wide world of sports. Give these kids a challenge that is not quite the world record, but pretty freakin terrifying. I mean, you know, four seconds to fall 70 miles an hour when you hit, it's for real. And I start the book on the cliff, and I pretty much in the book on the cliff. And it's that what happens up there is very relevant to the growth of these young men.
John C. Morley: So if you're looking for a book, ladies, and gentlemen, and we'll have the link, you know, underneath our videos, so you'll be able to get the book easily from Johns' publishers. You know, the book, like I said, did release a couple weeks ago on February 2, it's definitely a different book, I think you're going to really enjoy it. If you enjoy this type of literature. It is very amazing. It's very captivating. And he's very creative with his characters. But I just have one more question, because we're just about out of time. And that is, what are your plans next, john? Is there another book in you? Or what's the next plan If I ask?
John Hart: Yeah, well, I have kids in college, so they better be another book in me. I'm currently writing a sequel to my fifth novel redemption road. Redemption road is the one that I spent a year trying to write and then threw it out, crawled into a three month pit of despair, pulled myself out and wrote redemption road over the next two years. And it's a pretty meaningful book to me and one of my favorite characters, I have to really love a character to come back and revisit them, I don't do it often. So I'm working on that right now. And having a really good time with it.
John C. Morley: Are the same characters in these other books that I’ve learned from the unwilling or they're different characters are some of the same.
John Hart: No, I’ve only written one follow up, it was to the last child, and it was nine years after the last job came out. So that book was called the Hush, it was my last novel, and you can read it as a standalone, I wrote it that way. But it's the same characters, 9 or 10 years older. But that's the only time I’ve done it, except for the book I'm working on now, which is the sequel to redemption.
John C. Morley: Well, john, I really want to thank you very much for taking time out of your day to spend with us. After the launch of your brand new book, congratulations on the unwilling. And I know our viewers are definitely going to become more than, let's say, involved and excited with the content that will play with your brain to create some very amazing situations. When we use our brain and we use our mind, it's amazing the kind of vacation we can go on. So again, I just want to thank you very much for taking your time. And I wish you all and much success with your book launch.
John Hart: John, thank you, really for having me on your show. It's been fun.
John C. Morley: It is my pleasure. And we hope you'll come back again, when you have another book, and we can talk about that as well.
John Hart: Be delighted.
John C. Morley: Be well.
John C. Morley: What did you think of John Hart, Marcus? Wasn't he amazing?
Marcus: I'm about ready to read some of those books. You know, quite the interesting fellow he is. And information in value is what he brought here tonight to the audience, I'm just dope.
John C. Morley: His book really captivates you when you read it. And when you have a chance to interview him. It's amazing because, you know, the way he gets his inspiration for those books, it's just really, it was so amazing to me, and how he is, you know, obviously working on other ones, but just the way he takes that time and he just really almost like, you know, a sculptor or a person making clay. He like molds those stories so well.
Marcus: That's truly incredible. And it's quite a bit of the talent to have. So yeah, we definitely want to pile into those. I could probably binge books like that, you know for the rest of my life.
John C. Morley: And the thing about his books is that, you know, they're really, you know, down to earth and the way he describes everything like you could be blind, and actually see everything in his book. And I think that really takes a lot of talent to be able to make a book and the words jump off the page like he did it is something that I don't see from a lot of authors in this type of style.
Marcus: Quite unique and very quiet different. I love work like that. So I'm just dying to get my hands on it.
John C. Morley: It actually came out, February 2, and I got a chance to read it when it came out, and getting the privilege to interview him tonight, you know, was amazing, and to meet the man behind the book, and the wonderful talent he has and to learn that he was actually an attorney. And some of those other disciplines was pretty amazing. So in other news, Marcus, Facebook, we're talking about Facebook before, weren't we?
Marcus: Yeah, we were.
John C. Morley: Facebook's been causing lots of little problems, lots of little problems. Facebook is saying that it will lift its Australian news ban that shares news after reaching a deal with the Australian Government on legislation that would make digital giants pay for journalism. How about that, Marcus? That's a little bit interesting.
Marcus: Pay for play. Yeah, sounds like pay for play.
John C. Morley: Pay for play. This is where they're going. A tech firm say, another thing is that there is little doubt that Russia is behind the attack or the hack, which happened to us not so long ago. I am talking about the political debate now. So they are really starting to combat with this. And say that, you know, if we look at the numbers from our perspective of being logical, forget politics for a moment, let's just look at logic. And I don't care whether you're Republican or Democrat, you're independent. Let's just look at the numbers. This was a landslide, based on those numbers. And that person that got into office didn't have that much. I'm going to call it market share. He didn't. But you're going to get people that are going to dispute this. I know it.
Marcus: Yeah. When you look at who was going to benefit the most, it really, the evidence really kind of makes kind of sense, you know, especially if more evidence comes out. You know, it's, you know, like, it's like, and then you follow the money. You know, I think this where you want to start there is when you start following the money. And if we start following the money,.
John C. Morley: You just follow that trail. According to The Washington Associated Press leading technology company said that a month long breach of corporate and government networks was hacked, and it was so sophisticated and focused, and very labor intensive, that a nation behind that had to point to Russia. Another quote, we haven't seen this kind of sophistication matched with this kind of scale, according to Microsoft president Brad Smith, telling the Senate Intelligence Committee. So the writing is on the wall here. Why are the political people like making this a political debate when we actually have facts to support this? It's not like a he said, she said, we have facts that really can't be contested. Why are they still making it like it's a political thing? It's not.
Marcus: No, it's not. This is now it's turned to, you know, issue of national security. And when we talk to, you know, issue of national security, we talk about everybody, you know, it is everybody in at this point.
John C. Morley: It's affecting so many different people and I think eventually We're going to get some answers because I know just watching TV, they want to get some answers about this. I mean, that entire impeachment, that second impeachment, the first one was removed. And the second one was just removed. Now, they had enough votes to impeach him. But the senate didn't want to pull the trigger. This just really blows my mind, Marcus. We're going to have to see what happens. But you know, with all this stuff going on, I think everything is going to become affected in some way, shape, or form. And here's a perfect example. You know that guy on TV, who always talks about his pillow, we call him the my pillow guy, and you buy one, he'll send you a second one. And if you're not happy with your pillow, well, he'll refund you the price, including the shipping. He's so confident that you'll have a better night's sleep on his pillow, because his pillows are made so much better. And all this other nonsense. The Dominion voting systems are suing my pillow guy for 1.3 billion, in a defamation lawsuit against the founder of the Minnesota based my pillow company.
Marcus: You got to be careful, you know how you open your mouth. You know, nowadays, especially if you got a big platform, you know, it might come back to bite you.
John C. Morley: Exactly. And you know, this my pillow CEO, which is Mike Lindell. He spoke in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. And the Dominion voting system filed this $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit on February
22, they filed it of this year against Lindell, the founder and CEO of a Minnesota based my pillow saying that Lindell falsely accused the company of rigging the 2020 presidential election. Those are some pretty hefty and strong words, you got to be careful what you say, don't you?
Marcus: Yeah, you do. You know, and this is an influential character. So it would only make sense that they will come after him to get him to like pay for, you know, trying to destroy their reputation.
John C. Morley: They know he's got a few dollars, okay. And he has a little bit of an attitude. All right. So they know he's worth some money because his name is synonymous with pillows, whether you have one of his pillows or not. It reminds me of something you know, you get on an airplane. And you know, there's one word you never say on the airplane, it starts with an F and ends with an E. And you just don't say that. Or you also don't say the word with starts with a B and ends with an M, you don't say that either. I think people have to understand that everything you do in life has a consequence. So we have a responsibility to act in a manner that is expected. Now that doesn't mean that you have to be something you're not. But it does mean you have to act within the norms of what will consider a normal acting person in society. I guess that's what they'll call sane. But this is just amazing because, you know, Lindell, known as the my pillow guy from his TV commercials, told The Associated Press that he welcomed the lawsuit and said the discovery process will prove him right. In another quote, it's a very good day. I've been looking forward to them finally suing said Lindell, who went to the White House to promote his theories in the final days of the Trump administration. I mean, what is going through his head? He's welcoming a low suit Marcus.
Marcus: He just put himself in a race with a three legged dog, you know, he's betting on a three legged dog in a race. And, you know, if my guess is correct, he's not going to come out victorious in his lawsuit.
John C. Morley: And here's another interesting point, which we've just learned. This is the third, not the first, not the second, the third defamation lawsuit that domain has filed against its accusers.
Marcus: Well, they are just going after everyone.
John C. Morley: And it is by no means the last they said.
Marcus: Wow, I can imagine what is going to look like for those on the receiving end of the wrath that's coming from Dominion.
John C. Morley: But something interesting, I also want to quote Lindell said, my pillow did get a brief surge in sales. Wasn't that nice? But he also said, more than 20 retailers have now dropped his products, including Bed Bath and Beyond, Kohl's and noted that Twitter permanently banned him and my pillow. Wow!
Marcus: Yeah, that was coming. Yeah. And there's no one safe in culture.
John C. Morley: No, I always say to somebody, you know, when you're on the way up, always be nice to people, because you never know if you're going to meet them on the way down. The tables can turn any moment. And I think you have to realize that your actions and your consequences predicate what you do or what you don't do. And I think what he should have done is kept his mouth shut. But he did get an upsurge in sales. But then he lost some major retail places. I mean, what was he thinking?
Marcus: Yeah, you know, for use in abuse of power and influence. And just another example of a guy, you know, that was standing at the top. And now, as you put it John, you know, he is going to be tumbling down and has to meet everyone that, you know, he went above, you know, back down again.
John C. Morley: Yeah, I mean, a lot of people could deal with, you know, his attitude. And, you know, he was successful, and that was fine. But I always said this, Marcus, you know, everyone in our world has the right to be successful. That is the American way. What you don't have the right to do is to become successful when you harm another person, or you degrade or defame the other person. I'm not talking about being competitive. Because there's a lot of people let's take me, for example, that I go to do something and they're like, john, you know, when you're going to give up? And my answer is never. So it's okay Marcus to have some haters. I'm not saying everyone has to love you. But what I am saying is that there's a difference between, you know, people being jealous or not wanting you to succeed, and those that hate you, because you did something to hurt or inflict pain or defame them. There's a complete demarcation between the two of them, I'm sure you would agree.
Marcus: Yeah, definitely. Definitely agree.
John C. Morley: So it's going to be very, very interesting what's going to happen, but speaking about more criminal activity,
And people becoming victims, our good old friends Kroger, we don't hear much about that usually mind their own business is the latest victim Marcus of a third party software data breach. Ouch. Ouch.
Marcus: Yeah, this is terrible.
John C. Morley: They were among multiple victims of a data breach involving a third party vendor file transfer service and notifying potentially impacted customers offering them free credit monitoring. So Kroger's is actually based out of Cincinnati. And their pharmacy chain said in a statement I quote just a few days ago on the 19th of this year, that it believes that less than 1% of its customers were affected, specifically, some using its health and money services, as well as some current and former employees. Because a number of personal records were apparently viewed. Are they kidding me? So it's okay because they believe less than 1%.
Were affected? I don't see the logic in that Marcus.
Marcus: No, I don't see that either. You know, it just tells you. I mean, this is a tale tell that like, you know, their system wasn't locked up, you know, correctly, you know, they didn't have it, they didn't have it all together.
John C. Morley: And it was because of a third party vendor, so I get that. But then now who becomes the one at fault? If it's the third party vendor, and it's technically not Kroger's fault, then somebody needs to start owning up on responsibility. And my question is, did the third party vendor tell them that they needed to make changes? Because that's not coming out in this article? Because if it did, then I'd say Kroger's name is mud. But if, you know, they didn't tell them, then I can understand that they presumed they were doing everything to the best letter of protection. What do you think?
Marcus: Yeah, I can't agree with you more. But I guess I'm just curious, John, you know, for this for them to, you k