Mystery Monday: A former CIA agent speaks

Goooooood Monday morning to you all! I know, nobody likes Monday mornings, especially when there’s some jackass yelling, “Goooooood Monday morning!” to you. That’s almost as bad as someone telling you, “It looks like someone’s got a case of the Mondays.” You want to smack them with a shovel, the kind with the round point, not that panzy-assed flat head shovel. And why do they make the flat ones so short? Are they promoting child labor with those things, or what?

But, today is not about shovel conspiracies, it’s Mystery Monday, and there’s a lot bigger conspiracies out there. Back in 2010, I set up my Google alerts to include the phrases “currency wars” and “financial crisis.” I did this because my latest book, The Brink, deals with those topics, so I wanted to keep abreast of all current events about said issues so I could tie them into any press releases/blogs about the book.

Over time, many posts came from the “The Economy Collapse” blog.  Now while there’s a lot of the “Buy Gold! It’s soon to be the only currency worth anything!” articles from goldbugs hyping the shiny stuff, there are also interesting articles about the finer, and messier, points that keep the good ol’ international financial system a’running.

Case in point, here’s a youtube video (really an audio because there’s only a static screen shot on display) from a “former CIA agent” about how “war is a racket”, and how “spying doesn’t work.” Now I know this isn’t anything earth-shattering, former government workers are just like private sector workers, many feel they got shafted by their employer and they say bad things about them after they’re gone. But the interesting thing here is that this audio reminds us that there’s a whole lot of mystery that still surrounds the CIA, and agents that serve in the international arena. And while what this guys says isn’t so new, his words could trigger a thought or story arc in our own minds that could flesh out into a good book idea. It’s a reminder that there are possible story ideas all around us, from the newspaper, to blogs, to everyday life. All we’ve got to do is listen.

So, when you’ve got 10 minutes free, please give it a listen for yourself. Maybe have a pen and paper hand or a clear Word doc screen open and write/type some ideas down as you listen and, as always…

thoughts? Comments? To the keyboards!


Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and award-winning author of Five Days in Dallas and The Brink. Check out his novels at

QE, Currency Wars and the Barnes and Noble Event Blog

Tonight two topics – one on books and the other on the state of our international financial system (which is the foundation of my latest thriller, The Brink ). Since this blog is about writing and getting your book noticed in the ever-expanding marketing universe, I’ll hit the book topic first.

I had a great weekend with back to back signings in two local Barnes & Noble stores. Since one was a group event where they had several authors appear at the same time and they did their own publicity for it, I did a news release on my second signing at the Lewisville Barnes & Noble (please see yesterday’s blog to read the news release) . One of the tags I used was “Barnes and Noble events” and it got picked up by WordPress’s “Blogs about” service. Our blogs on “Blogs about” won’t stay up there long, it does get some attention, and that’s a good thing.   


Now, I’ll show you the money, or what’s happening with the money around the world.

It’s been called “QE” which stands for quantitative easing. Basically, it’s a fancy term that the Federal Reserve and the rest of the world’s reserve banks are using when they print more money. Interest rates are already at rock bottom almost everywhere, so there’s nothing else the bankers can do on that end to pump more money into the international financial system.  So they said, “Hey, wait a second. Let’s just pump more money into the system by making more money and come up with some clever euphamism for it!” Viola, qualitative easing. However, as with anything in politics, some play fair and some don’t. Some countries are printing money, and some aren’t. And this is leading to these “currency wars” or fighting in the international financial system among the players. The ones that aren’t printing money say that the ones that are aren’t playing fair and it affects currency values all over the world. These inflated or deflated currency values affect export and imports, which affect deficits, and everyone is mad at China because they’ve kept the yuan so low for years, and these current wars are just reminding everyone that they should be mad as heck and not take it anymore. Problem is, China is one of the few countries that is actually in the black. And they are making investments all over the world.

I continue to be flabbergasted at the fact that what the bankers are doing across the globe is EXACTLY what the fictional bankers in my latest thriller, The Brink, did to lead up to one very important event that is about to take place when a scrappy, brilliant woman discovers what’s about to happen and decides to do something about it. Her decision leads to her run for her life through Northern Mexico, where she’s discovered by a fugitive cop who decides to help her, thus getting himself sucked into this plot for financial Armageddon.

But there’s one thing here that fiction allows me to do. It allows me to put an evil group behind what’s going on in the international financial system. The Group, as they are called in the book, work behind the scenes to manipulate the system. They are the ones controlling these decisions made by the bankers, which is not to say they are controlling the bankers directly. Rather, they control the system and the bankers have no other options but to do what The Group wants them to do.

But is that what’s going on in the real world? Is there one group that is, for the lack of a better word, gaming the system? In his excellent book, The Big Short, Michael Lewis cast a lens on a few Wall Street outsiders that seemed to read the cards of the financial world better than the rest of the world, and got rich doing so by betting against the market in the run-up to the 2008 financial meltdown. What if the same is going on here again? For a second time? On a much, much bigger, global scale? That’s what The Brink is about. Could what is essentially a small group of people actually control the future of the world economy?

To the keyboards!

Blog pic by Francesco Marino

Money ball pic by Salvatore Vuono


The next economic crash subject of local author’s latest thriller

The Borders book store in Mesquite, Texas was the latest stop on local author Mark Fadden’s book tour. Fadden’s new novel, The Brink, uses the current financial crisis as the foundation of a lightening-fast thriller in which a fugitive Texas Ranger helps a woman running for her life, only to get sucked into a global financial conspiracy.

Although Fadden keeps a tight lip on the intricacies of the plot, he does shed light on the frightening, real-world numbers he uses in the story. “Over the many months I spent researching the international financial system, I discovered that it is a very fragile organism. Many experts predict that the next economic bubble waiting to burst is the federal government debt bubble. The US is $14 trillion in debt. We have a $1.5 trillion deficit. We need to borrow $2 billion each and every day from foreign countries like Japan and China just to keep the federal government running. For a writer, the basic question we ask ourselves is “What if?” So I asked, ‘What if China and Japan stopped their investments? The story just grew from there.”    

Borders Sales Manager Steve Schmidt was impressed with the turnout for the signing. “The event was a big success. Mr. Fadden was very engaging with our customers and talked with people the entire time he was here. It seemed people were very interested in the book’s timely topic.”

The Brink is Fadden’s third novel and is a continuation of his first novel, Five Days in Dallas. Published in 2003, Five Days in Dallas received critical acclaim and Fadden himself was even called a “masterful storyteller” by a Writer’s Digest reviewer. Fadden, who now lives in Colleyville, then began working on the follow-up in 2006, which eventually became The Brink.

The first 22 pages of The Brink can be read at  Fadden has also created a blog about writing novels and book marketing using social media entitled “The Nightstand Diaries,” which can be read at

The Nightstand Diaries – 1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to book marketing

July 1, 2010

 It’s named “The Nightstand Diaries” because in terms of publishing a book, it doesn’t mean squat that we’re published. It doesn’t mean squat that our book is on a bookstore shelf. It’s only when someone takes our book home and reads it – as a way to relax on a lounge chair, pass time on a subway, or as the last mental exercise before putting it on the nightstand and going to bed – that we become a part of our readers’ lives. With this notion in mind, I invite you to come along as I try to do that very thing. My goal is to sell 5,000 copies of my new novel The Brink over the next year using mostly social media with a limited marketing budget. And this is an interactive blog, so if you have good marketing ideas, or want to critique mine whenever I do something stupid, let’s hear it! So, without further ado, let the book marketing madness continue…

Day 18 of 365 

In this issue:

  • MFFA – My First Facebook Ad – Day #4 of 5
  • Creating a Facebook invite for the Lewisville Borders signing
  • The world’s China Bet and how it relates to The Brink  
  • Reminders – get the blog emailed to you and taking July 4th off

 MFFA – My First Facebook Ad – Day #4 of 5

I guess the “Conspiracy Theory” folks on Facebook weren’t digging a novel about “the most staggering conspiracy of our time.” I got shut out today on my ad that got sent out to them. Here’s the numbers for the week so far:

Daily stats for the week of:  Jun 27  

Date Imp. Clicks CTR (%) Avg. CPC ($) Avg. CPM ($) Spent ($)
07/01/2010 2,730 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
06/30/2010 94,052 25 0.03 0.80 0.21 20.00
06/29/2010 54,210 29 0.05 0.69 0.37 20.00
06/28/2010 7,555 4 0.05 1.08 0.57 4.32
Lifetime 158,547 58 0.04 0.76 0.28 44.32

 So, I’m going to try the “thrillers” crowd for the last day of my ad campaign. The ad will still give the title with my name and the cover shot. But I changed the rest of the text to read a snippet of the ForeWord Clarion Review, “Action and heroism keep readers turning pages. A nicely crafted thriller.” – ForeWord Clarion Review  There are 20,640 folks on Facebook who identify with the “thrillers” interest group. Let’s hope the waters are kind tomorrow and the fishing is good.

 Creating a Facebook invite for the Lewisville Borders signing

 I mentioned in a previous post that I’m flying blind as far as how well this Facebook campaign is working because beyond the number of folks who clicked on my ad to go to my website, there’s no way to know what they did from there. I installed the Google Analytics code into my website’s html programming, but I don’t think I did it right because all my numbers are at zero so far. I’ve got Go Daddy as my web host, so I’ll have to park my butt in my chair and do a little research with the Go Daddy peeps over this fourth of July weekend to see if I can track customers. I guess I’ll just light a sparkler next to my computer for my own private fireworks show. Sweet!

 One thing that I can track in real time is a Facebook invite ad that I created for my book signing next weekend at the Lewisville Borders store. I scheduled the ad to run all next week, same parameters (cost per click option at $.58, $20 a day is my budget) as my other ad. The interest group is everyone 18 and older in a 10-mile radius around Lewisville, Texas. That equates to 3,240 people. So, we’ll see what happens.

 The world’s China Bet and how it relates to The Brink 

 While my new novel, The Brink, is a political thriller that centers on an imagined (maybe or maybe not??) global conspiracy, a huge part of that conspiracy lies within our very fragile international financial system. Here’s tonight’s post from The Baseline Scenario, a great financial blog that serves as a lighthouse in the turbid sea that is the global economy. It highlights the real-world problem with America, and the world, betting on China, something that allows the conspirators to see their plan finally come to fruition in The Brink.  

 Reminders – get the blog emailed to you and taking July 4th off

Last night, I added an option if you want this blog emailed directly to you. If so, please look in the right hand column and submit your email.  

And speaking of the holiday (I know we didn’t but it makes for a good segue), let’s all take it off and enjoy it with the real flesh and blood people in our lives. My next post will be on Tuesday, July 6, 2010.  Happy and safe Fourth of July!