Ed's Note: I am currently editing a series of books for a gentleman named Charles Speer. His first book of a trilogy he's writing is called "An American Fable". It's a very engrossing historical novel that I think many Broo readers might enjoy. Here's his story:
In this upscale neighborhood of San Francisco, Charlie Speer, a 73-year-old retired CPA, spends his days writing his fictional philosophy, and maintaining his blog, www.fablesbycharlesfairfaxspeer.blogspot.com. His much-anticipated new Web site, www.charliespeer.com, will soon be up and running.
The “rebel” author started writing at age 70, and loves the challenge of his fourth career. “It keeps me active and out of trouble,” Speer stated candidly.
“I’ve always had a passion for writing, which then retirement was limited to corporate reports. So, I wondered what it would be like to attempt ‘A Great American Novel’,” Speer explained. “I started an outline and began writing three years ago, but I quickly found that one book would not suffice to explain my life to my 3 kids and 8 grandkids (2 in college), before I take my final bow; my ‘Last Hurrah’, if you’re a Spencer Tracy fan.”
Speer’s first novel, published last month, is titled An American Fable. It takes place before, during and after the 2008 Presidential race between his winning fictional conservative Democrat Matt Ramsey and real-life Republican John McCain. The story tells of the social and economic effects of a new “10% on everything/replacement of everything” tax system; a new T-bond pension system; a new “trickle-up” 25 grand minimum wage economic system; a return to States’ rights; and the adoption of an audacious Pax Americana as foreign policy.
His second novel, An Italian Fable, is due to hit online book-selling Web sites next month, and takes place before, during and after World War II, when Speer’s fictional hero Mark O’Brien, a volunteer OSS spy, meets with real-life figures Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Pope Pius XII before switching places with his look-alike cousin, the Vatican’s Irish Monsignor Tom Shaw, just before the war. After the war, FDR makes O’Brien Commander-in-Chief, Allied Forces, Italy, where he begins a 5-year fictional partnership with real-life post-war Italian Prime Minister, Alcide DeGasperi.
Speer is currently working on his third novel, CIA Fables, to be published late this year, via traditional distribution channels, thus completing his Fables Trilogy.
Charlie Speer was born in Manhattan in 1936, graduated from M.I.T. in 1957 (Business and Engineering), and completed his Naval service in Naples, Italy in 1961. He then lived in Milan for the next decade while completing his family and working as a management consultant (and part-time CIA spy?) during the industrial ‘Italian Miracle’ of the 1960s.
He returned to Southern California with his family in 1971, bought a small electronics company; got torpedoed by predatory Japanese “price dumping”; obtained his CPA certificate in 1978, and operated as a sole practitioner and part-time CFO for hi-tech start-up companies until his retirement in 2006.
Speer left San Francisco in 2006 for a year his beloved Italy to begin writing An Italian Fable in the small town of Greve in Chianti, deep in the heart of Tuscany. “I rented this six-bedroom hill top villa and invited all my Italian friends and close family,” Speer said. “That’s when I started a book that has ended up being my second book after An American Fable.”
When he returned to San Francisco after five months in Chianti, Speer began An American Fable. “I decided to tackle the tough job of transposing my post-war Italian theme to modern-day America,” he explained, citing his ‘lady guardian angel’ for the switch idea.
What does the future hold for this white-haired, jaw-line bearded, first-time author? Speer was quick to respond. “Right now, I ‘m getting ready for book signings; completing my CIA Fables; and then write short stories about my Rebel/Yankee schizophrenic heritage for my great grandkids just around the corner,” Speer said, then giving his wrap on life. “My days are dwindling down to a precious few, the leaves have long since turned to flame—and I haven’t got time for the waiting game.”