Ad man Steven C. Eisner has just released his debut novel, the Mad Men-inspired The Minefields.

Who is your favourite literary character?

I have two and they’re about tied: Bob Slocum from Joseph Heller’s book Something Happened. And Swede Levov out of Roth’s American Pastoral. They both keep commiserating with me in my head.

What inspires you when you’re writing?

I think most of all it’s the voices in my head. (Beginning to think I’m getting crazier by the day.) There is never a dull moment behind my forehead. Someone’s always pecking at my ear.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An ad exec. An author. A film director. And there’s still plenty time left for  the third.

Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published authors?

Take the long view. And never, I mean never, take your eyes off the fries. They’ll cook if you want them to cook. They’ll be left in cold storage if you manage them that way. But don’t. It’s worth all the fuss and hard work.


About The Minefields by Steven C. Eisner:

Sam Spiegel has it all: A promising career at a top Madison Avenue advertising agency, an apartment in New York City, and a beautiful wife. He also has strong family ties, so when his ailing father, Harry, recruits him to turn the family’s sleepy Philadelphia ad shop into a regional powerhouse, Sam cannot refuse.

Once entrenched in reviving Spiegel Communications, Sam begins a delicate dance of power with Harry. While Sam enjoys increasing success, Harry Spiegel remains mired in old traditions and weighed down by financial worries. Sam’s wife, Amy, also joins the agency, but she deeply resents Sam’s decision to leave New York. The two struggle in their marriage, which appears to centre too much on business and not enough on intimacy. It isn’t long before emotions come to a head, putting everything Sam has worked for at risk.

Despite these challenges, he’s able to build an impressive ad agency, winning many prestigious national accounts. Then it all changes. In the aftermath of 9/11, an international airline account – Spiegel’s largest – finds itself in a vulnerable position. Now caught in a stunning professional reversal as his life starts a downward spiral, Sam must find his way through the minefields around him – and survive.


I understood this pattern. My dad was on the blood thinner Coumadin. With such patients, simple needle pricks could erupt into small geysers. So there he was, my poor, sweet Old Faithful.Despite the respirator tube delivering oxygen, Dad’s face remained a sickly, asphyxiated shade of yellowish gray.

Head to for the next piece of the chapter puzzle.


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