Work is coming along nicely on my latest novel tentatively called, “Drugged.” One of the main characters, other than Jack English, is Brenda O’Rourke, a woman who built a billion dollar pharmaceuticals company. And, as with most stories, there are minor characters as well as major ones. Harcourt Fenton Mudd is one of those minor characters.
Harry Mudd is a swindler, a confidence man and rouge. The question is, how does he get people to give him money?
The answer is that everybody wants something for nothing. People are greedy. They are looking for the short cut, the quick score, the singular deal that will set them up for life. Harry plays on that greed.
Put yourself in the place of an art dealer asked to sell an eighty-year-old painting of dubious quality by an unknown artist. As you are reframing it, you find, tucked in the back, what appears to be a draft of the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson complete with letters documenting its provenance. What would you do?
Would it change your mind if Harry Mudd was the one that asked you to sell the painting?