Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Author Interview: Daniel M. Harrison author of The Millennial Reincarnations

Daniel M. Harrison, author of The Millennial Reincarnations, stopped by for an interview.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I love how Iza(bella Kaminska) put it recently in the FT. She described as a "journalist, author, publisher, editor-in-chief. FactoryBanking inventor, serial entrepreneur, Bitcoin 2.0 enthusiast, Blockchain evangelist, and… the oldest direct descendent of the The House of Harrison, the bloodline behind money-printing business Harrison & Sons." That pretty much sums it up I think!

What do you do when you're not writing?

You know, my entire life is work, and writing is one aspect of that. I have several businesses, I have a number of private investments that need constant administering here in Asia where I live, and this year I will have written and published 3 books! So there really isn't time for anything else. Although when I do have time, I love periods where I can breed tropical fish.

When did you first start writing?

When I was 6, maybe. I became aware of wanting to write at that age, at least. It was when I hit 16 I guess I started writing a lot of material, and attempting more ambitious works. I wrote my first novel about 16 or 17, actually. It was called "Calvin's Therapist."

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

Yes - The Information by Martin Amis. It was one of the most memorable first lines for me: "Cities at night, I feel, contain men who cry in their sleep and then say Nothing." Cocaine Nights, Lolita and by extension Nabakov - naturally - and Paul Auster all influenced me a lot.

What inspired you to write this particular book?

It actually came out of a sort of disjointed series of events. I began writing it all at different times. Some of those pieces went in my last book, Butterflies. But then when I began to write into those pieces - between the scenes - I realized at least three of the girls in the book were almost "sharing" space in the form of separate characters. Recently I met someone socially just like my character(s) - I was done after 2 weeks after that!

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

I think my favorite bits are the ones where the Chinese charaterisations really come out. I had a lot of fun writing the Chinese, because their whole culture is so fabulous in written form, and because I hold a certain affinity for many of their beliefs and ideas. The somewhat darker side of me also enjoyed writing the car accident scene at the end of the book a lot, though that's a nasty scene. I enjoy reading the Prologue and Epilogue best!

What is best writing advice you can give?

Do lots of different types of drugs, get drunk in cities across the world with members of whatever sex. Then quit everything except for sex and the occasional drink and/or line of cocaine at a party. It's at that point you start writing seriously - before that, play around and experiment. Seriously. You need emotional and intellectual ability to write well. You need journeys. But I know many writers who's completely disagree with me, that said.

Is there anything else you'd like your readers to know about the book?

Yes. Give me honest reviews - especially if you hate the book. If you think I suck as a writer and you hate how pretentious and conceited I come across, say so publicly on Amazon. I have found the most critical reviews the most helpful in my career, to be honest.

About the book:

International Number 1 bestselling author Daniel M. Harrison portrays the modern millennial psyche like no other author has ever before. In The Millennial Reincarnations, the young minds of today are not just infused by the fast-paced, always-on economy of things, but they themselves are parts of the fabric of our changing environment. Specifically, Harrison imagines today's young millennials as the reincarnated technology that drives our spiritual goals, needs, wants, aspirations and desires. The author expounds upon this theme in 70,000 words of fiction to explore the effect of technology upon the spiritual core of us all.

The Millennial Reincarnations is Daniel M. Harrison's latest masterpiece, construed as a novel in 3 parts: Body, Face and Soul. The narrative arc spans the years 1990-2014, taking in almost the entire Millennial era, during which the previously gradual adoption of artificially-orchestrated and influenced values and the associated technologically-infused processes of thinking has been rising at its steepest incline ever. Harrison considers in compelling and jaw-dropping prose some of the furthest-reaching effects on society as a whole of this trend.

The Millennial Reincarnations is the composition of what amount to an inter-related series of stories that take place from within this 14 year period in New York City and in Shanghai, China. When two young girls are killed in a violent car accident, they have no idea that, unbeknownst to them, the reaction of a child star in the car in front who dies on the operating table in the hospital will set in motion events that bring about the next twenty years of economic upheaval and prosperity and define their individual and collective destinies.

For the rapid reincarnation of their young souls is the direct result of the high-tech advancements society is making at the time they die, which, in speeding up cognitive function, in theory will allow less rested minds to adapt to their new bodies much more quickly. However, when formed inside bodies the young girls' souls appear at times partial and fragmented, as if hardly able to remain complete in the one body they inhabit. Although materially rich and socially popular, their minds suffer from chemical addictions and emotional dependencies as a result of their spiritual afflictions, which had no time to rest before returning to relive under the weight of the earth.

Ultimately, the author uses this premise to set in motion a series of catalytic events that chime with the real world in which we live as well as to explore in greater depth the psychological ramifications of a whole generation raised on excess material wealth, social agendas, individualistic points of view commingled with greater societal ideals and views on money as an object to be mastered and used - not needed - which permeates so many juvenile Millennial societies today.

In The Millennial Reincarnations, Harrison returns to the big picture issues of wealth and poverty, life and death, money and war, with more powerful prose and stylistic twists than ever before. The author packs every one of the 12 chapters in the book with a moving and thrilling series of events and a twist right at the very end that you won't see coming.

This is an incredible, eye-opening, and moving read - cinematic in the execution Harrison delivers in capturing the whole world within 300 pages. Already being muttered about in the elite literary circles of London and New York as a potential candidate for the Great Millennial Novel, The Millennial Reincarnations will stay with you long after you have turned the last page. A tremendous work of fiction by a masterful author who has been described as "brilliant" by Jeffrey Robinson and "easily the best" by the Huffington Post's Azeem Khan.

About the author:

Daniel Mark Harrison (Wikipedia) is an Asia-based entrepreneur, thinker, technology evangelist and writer and professional negotiator. Currently, he is Managing Partner of a South East Asia-based investor consortium which is actively investing in deep value and high-growth deals specifically within the region. He is also a media proprietor, having successfully started up two widely-read publications online in the past 2 years.

Before coming to Asia, Harrison acted as the sole outside support solicited to manage a significant restructuring and fundraising for a prominent global tech SME in 2010 during the aftermath of the subprime crisis (the company is today growing at over 30% a year and hiring aggressively along with laying out additional expansion plans). During the same period, Harrison also became well-known among aviation executives for assembling and arranging a series of aviation deals, including the lease-purchase of two A320s belonging to Air India to a small Thai airline as well as the purchase/sale and simultaneous refinancing of a scheduled South East Asia-based airline with over 50 cabin crew on staff.

Harrison has worked with a who’s who of Asia-based entrepreneurs and government families and counts as extremely close personal friends many of the region’s elite.

In Asia, Harrison has established himself as one of the region’s leading up-and-coming power brokers, mostly as a result of his deep relationships with government officials, senior executives and fund managers. In the first half of 2015, Harrison single-handedly arranged the appointment of the new chief executive for Asia’s largest e-commerce platform solutions provider after being asked by the firm’s largest shareholder to help out. During the past 4-5 years, Harrison has also facilitated introductions for corporations around Asia to Chairmen and Presidents of Chinese State Owned Enterprises in Beijing, has introduced Managing Partners of hedge funds and private equity funds based in Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok to foreign deal partners and investors, and has sourced local joint venture partners for both European and American government-owned and private corporations.

In 2014, Harrison came up with the first value configuration for an Internet of Things economy when he published findings that led to the formulation of Factory Banking. Factory Banking is the creation of value via a series of transactions and services that happen simultaneously via an integrated value chain-shop-network configured platform. This value creation process is both cost-reductive and value-additive due to its integrated, immediate (or very fast) process and the potential that a supplier has to thus build in profit margin.

The theory is founded upon research conducted by Charles B. Stabell and Øystein D. Fjeldstad who used Michael Porter’s conception of the Value Chain to configure different models of value for a virtual economy in a 1998 paper they authored.

Factory Banking is the first value configuration to utilize a Blockchain technology, and is hypothesised to be the necessary method of understanding and interpreting value in an economy that runs on the Internet of Things. Harrison said in a June 2015 presentation where he unveiled the model for the second time, “The Internet of Things will be the Internet of Nothing without the Blockchain.”

Considered one of the first major mainstream millennial authors to have widespread success in publishing, Harrison has been described as “one to watch” by bestselling author Jeffrey Robinson.

His most recent publishing venture was founding the news site MarxRand, which has broken numerous stories mainstream media outlets have refused to cover. Before that in publishing Harrison helped build CoinSpeaker from an audience of just 10,000 readers per month when he started in 2014 to around 1 million readers per month today and a Google News headline site, making Coinspeaker the second largest bitcoin news source in the world.

Harrison has been widely quoted in mainstream media and journalism texts throughout the 2000s on many issues, including online media, finance and cross-cultural issues, and was highlighted in 2006 as one of the first professional champions of internet journalism in Dr. David Berry’s seminal classic “Journalism, Ethics and Society.”

In journalism, Harrison has written hundreds of articles for big name global news publications, including Forbes, Washington Post, Portfolio Magazine as well as newer online journals such as the Daily Dot. During 2007-2009 Harrison was the sole Asia correspondent for TheStreet, working between Hong Kong and New York. As Editor-in-Chief of Coinspeaker, he made the publication an overnight success story and he has consistently broken a number of major stories in the Bitcoin space, most notably the hazards with the Coindesk Bitcoin Price Index. A series of articles Harrison wrote that highlighted the vulnerability of the index to mis-pricing error prompted CoinDesk to readjust their index calibrations and reorganise the way they compile and present price data.

In 2015, Harrison published his first book BUTTERFLIES: The Strange Metamorphosis of Fact & Fiction In Today’s World, a combined tale of fiction interlaced with real journalism that explores the effects of millennial attitudes to a broad range of subjects, including spiritual belief and practice, financial spending, social interactions as well as other psychological and sexual habits of the generation. Dubbed by popular media as the first of the great millennial works of literature, the book received enormous praise from the mainstream press and readers alike.

Jeffrey Robinson, the popular financial crime journalist and bestselling author of New York Times bestselling books such as The Laundrymen, Criminal Intent and There’s A Sucker Born Every Minute, described Butterflies as “a brilliant book … required reading.” Writing in the prestigious Midwest Book Review, Diane Donovan, a heavyweight reviewer with more than 35 years experience and over 50,000 reviews to her credit, labelled the book “vivid” and “imaginative” and wrote “Butterflies is a book that every thinking American should consider”. Writing in The Huffington Post, leading millennial culture critic and former start-up CEO Azeem Khan called the book “reality TV for the novel” and wrote “I applaud the effort Harrison is making to try and make literature a place that is ultimately more connected and innovative as a place where ideas can be exchanged and discussed in a way that no else has done before. In that respect at least, this was easily the best book I have read this year.”

Readers on Amazon were equally full of enthusiasm for the upstart publishing debut, with a broad range of praise ranging from “one of the most thought provoking books that I think I’ve ever read” to “a rollicking good ride through all that’s right and wrong with today’s world … This book will open a lot of eyes” and “all in all this was an excellent read: a bleak, dismal, yet intricate portrayal of the financial times we live in.”

Due to the widespread press attention and high-octane, original and controversial nature of the book’s premise, Butterflies sold over 5000 copies in paperback and Kindle format in the first few months of publication.

Harrison has lived and grown up all over the world, including Scandinavia, Europe, Asia and the United States. He attended more than 8 separate schools before he begun his University education at St. Peter’s College, Oxford in the late 1990’s, where he studied Theology for one year before dropping out to start a hedge fund. The story of Harrison’s early days is narrated in the first chapter of How I Caused The Credit Crunch, a bestselling account of the financial world during the 2000s that has been described as “a vivid and personal account of 21st century banking excess”, written by a classmate of Harrison’s at Oxford who later went on to work for Goldman Sachs. Harrison holds an MBA from BI in Oslo, Norway.


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