I began writing The Desire Card in 2012. At the time, I never imagined it would be the first in a series. The sequel Prey No More will be out later this year, and I’ve recently finished the third and fourth book as well.
Occupy Wall Street was a protest movement that began around the same time I started the book, which raised issues about economic inequality between the wealthiest 1% of the population and everyone else. I had also been speaking to a friend who was a medical resident and learned two things about the human liver. One, it can regenerate in a matter of weeks. And two, if you need a liver transplant, it can take a while to move up the donor list and no amount of money helps speed the process. The two ideas merged. An organization catering to the 1% that promised “Any wish fulfilled for the right price.” And a desperate man on Wall Street who needs a new liver and goes to extreme measures to get one.
The book was sent out by my agent to many big publishers but it was proving a tough sell. Too dark (one editor wanted it to be lighter), or they were hesitant about publishing a series. I had heard great things about Fahrenheit Press and on a whim sent both books to its publisher who was getting on a flight when he read my query. The Desire Card became his flight and when he landed, he wanted to schedule a call. Ultimately, he bought the first two books in the series.
Overall, I have an idea for the fifth book and would probably end the series there, but who knows? With the main character being the shadowy organization called the Card, there are a multitude of possibilities for future books.
About the Author
Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of SLOW DOWN and THE MENTOR (St. Martin’s Press), which was acquired by Macmillan Entertainment with the film in development. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The first two books in a thriller series, THE DESIRE CARD and PREY NO MORE, are forthcoming from Fahrenheit Press in winter 2019. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, Essays & Fictions, The New Plains Review, and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series (guerrillalit.wordpress.com). He lives in New York City. Follow him at leematthewgoldberg.com and @LeeMatthewG.
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Any wish fulfilled for the right price. That’s the promise the Desire Card gives to its elite clients. But if the Card doesn’t feel like they’ve been justly compensated, the “price” will be more menacing than the clients could ever imagine.
Harrison Stockton learns this lesson all too well. Harrison has lived an adult life of privilege and excess: a high-powered job on Wall Street along with a fondness for alcohol and pills, and a family he adores, yet has no time for. All of this comes crashing to a halt when he loses his executive job and discovers he has liver cirrhosis with mere months left to live.
After finding himself far down on the donor list, Harrison takes matters into his own hands. This decision sparks a gritty and gripping quest that takes him to the slums of Mumbai in search of a black market organ and forces him under the Desire Card’s thumb. When his moral descent threatens his wife and children, Harrison must decide whether to save himself at any cost, or do what’s right and put a stop to the Card.
THE DESIRE CARD is a taut international thriller that explores what a man will do to survive when money isn’t always enough to get everything he desires. It’s the first book in a series followed by PREY NO MORE that focuses on other people indebted to this sinister organization, where the actual price is the cost of one’s soul.
“Careful what you wish for, especially from a nefarious shadow organization, in this gripping start to Lee Matthew Goldberg’s fast-paced, highly compelling, buzz worthy new series. If you love characters morally compromised, richly drawn, and constantly surprising, you’ll love THE DESIRE CARD. I burned through the first book and can’t wait to get my hands on PREY NO MORE to see where this endlessly exciting story takes me next! Loved it!” – Daniel Palmer, critically acclaimed suspense author