Interview on The Eastern Shore Podcast

Brock Winstead interviewed me for The Eastern Shore, one of my favorite podcasts that focuses on creativity, new ways of thinking, and Oakland. As a fan of the show, it was really fun to come on as a guest.

Brock actually lives a few blocks away so I walked over to his place and we recorded in his living room. We talked about the creative process, research, and personal history behind my novels. If you haven't yet checked out The Eastern Shore, I highly recommend giving it a whirl.

In Brock's words:
"Eliot Peper is the author of the Uncommon Stock trilogy, a series of thrillers set in the world of tech startups and venture capital. They tell the story of Mara Winkle and her company Mozaik, which makes financial fraud detection software. Over the course of the trilogy, Mara and her team must handle not only the challenges of growing the business, but also a deadly conspiracy that wants to murder them because of what and whom their software threatens to expose. Eliot and I talked about how he came to writing, why the startup world seemed like a good setting for thrillers, and how he navigated the business of publishing and marketing books as a first-time, unknown author -- plus a lot more."
You can listen to the full episode here:

Book Review: The Water Knife

The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi is a Tarantino-worthy thrill ride through a near-future American Southwest ravaged by drought and climate change. It follows a journalist with a death wish, a desperate Texan refugee, and a professional assassin water-rights-hunter as they fight to survive and uncover the dark political machinations shaping their world. Bacigalupi won the Hugo and Nebula awards for The Windup Girl in 2008 and he comes back swinging in this disturbing tour-de-force.


Enjoy this tip? Then you’ll probably like my reading recommendations curating amazing books that explore the intersection of technology and culture.

Dr. Evil's Milk Run

I was thrilled when Brad Feld agreed to host this post about the lessons I learned over the course of writing my last three novels. The article focuses on cybersecurity and vulnerabilities in our public and financials institutions and is based on interviews with technologists, international money laundering investigators, and federal special agents. You can read it here:

Brad is a leading venture capital investor at Foundry Group, cofounder of Techstars, and author of the classic, Venture Deals. He was was also the first reader of the first book, published Version 1.0 and the Power Play through FG Press, and has been an enormous champion of The Uncommon Series along the way. Over the past few years he's become a true friend and his support and encouragement have been key motivators for my writing efforts.

That made working up this post particularly fun. I was shocked by what the research behind the books turned up. The organizations charged with protecting our most sensitive data are incredibly insecure. The regulators who are supposed to police them are often clueless. Flawed software architecture is often the core culprit and there doesn't appear to be enough political will to seriously address the issue.

I'm interested to hear what you think. It's an area in desperate need of creative problem solving.

7 Ways Growing Your Startup Is Like Writing A Novel

I was honored when Jon Nastor asked me to work on this story for Entrepreneur with him. He challenged me to dig deep into my experience with startups and creative writing in order to distill some lessons that founders might be able to learn from novelists.

The exercise was a lot of fun, particularly because my books are about a pair of startup founders (I know, meta). It turns out that artists and business leaders have more in common than we think.

You can find the full article here:

Jon and I met through his excellent Hack the Entrepreneur podcast. I've joined him as a guest on the show to talk about optimizing for discomfort and other life hacks, you can listen to the episode here.