An Interview with Hal Ross; Author of the “The Deadliest Game”

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The-Deadliest-Game
Hal Ross is, to my knowledge, the only toy industry executive who is also an author of suspense novels.  Headquartered in Canada, Hal is the President of RP Toys and the author of "The Fleur De Lys Affair"; "The Doll Brokers" and now "The Deadliest Game", his newest novel.

I asked Hal to sit for an interview and give us some behind the scenes access on his newest novel.  Here is our interview:

Richard:

Your new novel, The Deadliest Game, uses the toy industry as a backdrop for a story about terrorism.  In fact, toys are the delivery system for destruction.   Can you give us a short synopsis of your book without giving anything away?

Hal:

The Deadliest Game weaves a horrifying and unthinkable tale of a terrorist plot against U.S. consumers using a toy company and the owner as the key to the plot’s success. Blair Mulligan – divorced and still obsessing about it – is a thirty-five-year-old executive in the toy industry who wants nothing more than to achieve success with a brand new electronic gaming system that has the potential to revolutionize his business. However, a sinister force is at play, a force that threatens to wreak havoc across the United States. Blair’s six-year-old daughter is used as a pawn, and Blair must make the one decision no father should ever have to make – to save his daughter or the lives of several thousand other children.

Richard:

This is your second novel and both involve the toy industry.  What drives you to write and what do you think there is about the toy industry that lends itself to suspense and terror?


Hal: 

I have been writing since my very early teens. The toy industry is more or less what I know best. Fortunately, the suspense and terror in my books is based on fictional circumstances. But there is an underhanded element that is difficult to overlook. Like many other industries, greed comes into play. And when it comes to the almighty dollar, people – especially men – will do some very underhanded things.

Richard:

I noticed that the hero of the story is a Canadian toy manufacturer.  How much of the protagonist is autobiographical and should we be looking for other familiar toy industry members in the novel?

Hal:

The hero of the book is a Canadian-born entrepreneur running an American toy company. A portion of his biography is based on my personal experience. Meanwhile, I have taken the liberty of naming some of my characters after family and friends, both in and out of the toy industry. These are people I respect. I am using their real names as my personal tribute to them.

Richard:

In both your novels we see the seamy side of the toy industry.  What should we make of an industry that provides play but in doing so sometimes creates heartbreak for those who supply it?

Hal:

There is probably more heartbreak in the toy industry than I have shown but not from terror as much as the way some people act towards one another. Perhaps one day it will make for a very interesting true story.

Richard:

Do you have plans for more writing?

Hal:

The Deadliest Game is actually my third book. The first – The Fleurs-de-Lys Affair – was published many years ago by Doubleday and is no longer in print. The second – released a few years ago, but now off the market and to be re-released next year, is The Doll Brokers. I am currently at work on my fourth. It will see the toy industry taking a back seat and involve more than one murder in a gated community in Florida.

 

 

One thought

  1. How would one get in touch with Hal? He signed my band to a record contract with London Records in the mid-sixties. I’m currently writing a book and one of the chapters is about the day that happened. I would like to share it with him.

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