Have you ever met someone whose life story sounds like it belongs on the pages of a fast-paced novel or perhaps on the big screen as a thriller?
I know someone this is true of, and when you add to his real life story that he is a talented author with an exciting first novel just out, you know you have a winning combination.
The son of our retired pastor Larry Wood, L. Todd Wood, is the author of the recently released book, “Currency.”
I will admit I was a little skeptical that a novel addressing the world’s monetary system and the current woes of our country’s economic instability would hold my interest. To me, an economic thriller sounded, well, less than thrilling.
Believe me when I say from the time I downloaded the book to my Kindle and started reading, I was hard pressed to put it down.
I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but the story unfolds by giving you a peek into different times in our country’s history, beginning with a look at some of our Founding Fathers and the earliest days when our country was forming.
There are exciting tales woven into the narrative about lies, betrayal and secrets. There is also a modern story that parallels the tales from long ago and the story has something for everyone. Drama, intrigue, romance and suspense all add up to keep you interested, while at the same time, educating you about how certain things in the monetary world work.
Todd has a way of taking complicated matters, such as the international monetary system, and explaining them without being too technical and boring, or perhaps worse, condescending. Is there anything better than learning while being entertained?
As I mentioned, Todd’s personal background sounds like a novel. Raised in Savannah, he entered the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1982. Todd studied aeronautical engineering and graduated in 1986 and then went to flight school.
As a helicopter pilot, he flew many dangerous missions, and saved many lives in the process.
While in Alaska, he managed to find time to get his master’s in engineer management. Before you get dizzy reading about his accomplishments, know that in 1990, he volunteered for special ops and went back to flight school.
Soon he was deployed to Kuwait, where he served three years active in classified missions in support of counter terrorism. In doing so, he supported Seal Team Six and Delta Force.
While one could assume Todd would have remained in the military and enjoyed that exciting career, he felt compelled to pursue his other passion — finance.
In 1994, Todd joined an investment banking firm and began his second career, emerging markets. This career allowed him to travel around the world to more than 40 countries. He spent much time in the Caribbean, and his familiarity with the islands is apparent in his novel. In 2011, Todd left the financial industry to write “Currency.” He’s well into his second novel.
I recently spoke with Todd and asked him about his new career as an author.
“I’ve always loved to write, and this book had been in the back of my mind for awhile,” he said. “I wanted to write about a subject that is timely, without sounding preachy. I was hoping to convey a subliminal message within a good story.”
“Currency” certainly achieved all of that and more.
Todd has received quite a bit of press for an author’s first novel, and he has been approached by several production companies for film rights to the book.
The interest in this subject doesn’t really surprise me due to our country’s economic malaise and the public’s frustration with how our government keeps ignoring the fiscal crisis. “Currency” tells a compelling story and is sure to make an exciting movie.
From 2-4 p.m. May 26, Todd will have a book signing at the Starbucks across from The Avenue-Forsyth on Peachtree Parkway.
Bring your book and camera. My prediction is this is an author we’re all going to hear much more from in the future.
Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at email@example.com.