The Deadly Game We Play is the debut novel of
North Alabama's own Patrick W. Phillips. At its heart, it is a story of empathy, apathy, violent infatuation, and love. It tells the story of two young detectives over the course of a few short days. Nicholas Constantine is a handsome, dark and brooding sleuth of the kind not seen since the Prohibition Era. Grace Christianson is his unassuming side-kick, or so it seems to him; at the very least, she can throw a knock-out left hook or snipe a suspect with ease. Their affections for each other are evident, though strangely neither one can see it. It may have something to do with Nicholas's womanizing or - later - his blind quest for revenge. An already complicated situation spirals into darkness when the mad heiress Natalie Abrams falls for Nicholas and weaves a psychotic web of destruction and mayhem.
I recently sat down with Natalie H. Abrams. The CEO was inbetween confrence calls, but the “Executrix of Wall Street” took the time to answer a few questions.
Laurie: Good afternoon, Natalie.
Natalie: It’s Ms. Abrams.
Laurie: Okay, Ms. Abrams, how are you today?
Natalie: Not well. Some idiot in one of my holding companies invested in an arms firm that’s tanking right now. I’ve lost thirty mil since breakfast. Heads are going to roll…among other things.
Laurie: Umm, okay. Well, thank you for taking the time to talk with me. I know you’re busy, so we’ll get right into it. Tell me, what’s it like being 19 and running an internationally renowned, publicly traded company?
Natalie: Time, age if you will, is irrelevant. You either have the drive to accomplish something, or you don’t. Either you’re ordained by destiny or you’re not.
Laurie: That’s an interesting philosophy, mixing personal drive with the idea of destiny.
Natalie: Some things are destined to happen. Period. But, the people who contribute to those things happening must realize that they must act or the honor will go to someone else. Think of players in a game. A king is destined to fall, but one of two players must act properly in order to come out on top.
Laurie: But there can always be a stalemate.
Natalie: Bucking destiny is not something to mess with. Defying the will of destiny, or the will of a players who has realized her duty, can have…consequences.
[Ms. Abrams giggled loudly for several moments.]
Laurie: Alright then. One final question, and I’ll try not to get into any more philosophy. Who’s your favorite author?
Natalie: Orwell. Without a doubt it’s [George] Orwell. Sorry, but I’m afraid that I’m always philosophical these days. I absolutely adore his ideas on how reality is completely inside the skull. Control all the input into a person’s brain, control their perception of reality. The same is true if you manipulate their emotions. Orwell was always quick to use the idea that fear can make people realize that two plus two is five. Alas! He never gave much thought to other emotions: lust, greed, sorrow…. [She trailed off and went silent for several moments.]
Laurie: Okay then. Oh, one last question, for real this time. Any young man in your life right now.
Natalie: Oh, there’s a boy alright, and I think he has a little to do with everything we’ve just talked about….
Natalie Abrams had to end the interview at this point. She said something about having a secretary send me a bottle of ginger ale as a parting gift.
Patrick is a 2012 graduate of
. He splits his
time among Harvard
University Boston, London
- where he is a member of The Royal Society of Literature - and his hometown of
. He enjoys the study of heraldry and
collecting '80s luxury and sports cars. He is currently single. Guntersville, Alabama