Retirement did not mean a break from work for Buckhead resident Bob Finch. The former lawyer decided to use his newfound free time after retiring in 2007 to start a career as a novelist.
Finch’s first book, “Skin in the Game,” was published by Livingston Press in April under the name R.P. Finch. His 30-year law experience aided him in dreaming up the experiences of main character Eben Burnham, a young lawyer at a fictional Wall Street firm whose work gets him mixed up with mobsters, strippers, scientists and the CIA.
“Something happened toward the end of my [law] practice that turned out not at all like what’s in my book, but it served as a trigger for what happens in my book,” Finch said.
Like his novel’s main character, Finch became involved with trying to represent startup companies that dealt with nanotechnology. However, he said the book took on a life of its own with the fictional happenings far from what occurred in reality.
It took the new author five years to craft the book — three to write it and then two to whittle his 900-page manuscript down to about 300 pages, he said.
“What [I was] left with was a stronger story after doing that,” Finch said.
It took another two years to get his work published. He said it was difficult because his novel did not fit neatly into one specific genre.
“What I wanted to do was to put genres of fiction under pressure and push together genres that you wouldn’t normally find together, like science lit, legal lit, crime. … There’s a ghost,” Finch said. “But I wanted to make sure that I did all of that under the umbrella of something that would be funny.”
Finch was prophetic when mentioning in the book the existence of a “quantum computer,” one the U.S. National Security Agency could use to break encryption codes used to hide sensitive information by making multiple calculations at the same time.
Last week several media outlets reported the NSA is trying to develop such a computer, according to documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Finch said he considers himself successful as he has come across many positive reader reviews.
“I think my ultimate goal was to have a comedy that was both substantial and the reader could learn something but also overall would be a fun read,” Finch said.
Though he said he may one day continue the stories of characters from “Skin in the Game,” Finch is currently working on a second, “completely different” novel.
Information: “Skin in the Game” can be purchased at www.amazon.com or www.acappellabooks.com.