Frequently Asked Questions about
Rigged answered by its author, Ross M. Miller
Q. How long is Rigged?
A. Rigged has 24 chapters and the final chapter will be posted Monday,
August 30. In print form, Rigged would run about 300 pages.
Q. How long did it take you to write Rigged?
A. Roughly a year. The first draft took about six months to write and then it
took several more drafts to get all the pieces to fit together just right.
Q. How much of Rigged is real and
how much is made up?
A. Rigged is an account of a fictional world that draws heavily on the
reality that I have experienced in the corporate world. I try to make it so that
everything that happens in Rigged could plausibly occur in the real
Q. For example?
A. A sufficiently desperate large corporation really might send their research
personnel out to solve mysteries for them. A few investment management firms
really do have unwritten discriminatory hiring policies as well as CEOs who are
serial sexual harassers. The head of a large corporation really might hire his
subordinates based largely on their golfing prowess.
Q. What about your characters? You can't tell
me that Mike Quinn isn't Jack Welch.
A. Yes, I can. I see Mike Quinn as how Jack Welch might idealize himself. Mike
Quinn grew up Boston's toughest Irish neighbor in Boston while Jack Welch
was out in the middle-class suburbs. And Mike Quinn is tall, handsome,
articulate, and brilliant.
Q. What about the other characters?
A. The only character taken from real-life without alteration is Sally Santorini.
She is my fictional version of CNBC's most famous female correspondent. Some
characters do have a single individual as a point of departure while others,
like Roland and Tara, are very much composites. The protagonist
and narrator, Doc, certainly started with me but quickly evolved into his own
persona. If anything, as I wrote Rigged, I became more like Doc than the
other way around.
Q. How real are the places described in Rigged?
A. They are as close to reality as I could get them. Because GFF and the The
Lowell Group are not real companies, they must be co-located with reality. For
example, the headquarters of The Lowell Group is on Rowes Wharf and their
investment management offices are at One International Place. I did take a few
minor liberties with certain locations. My fictional hotel is on the site of the Boston
Seaport Hotel, but mine is fancier and it is not owned by
Fidelity. The convenience store in the Financial District is also somewhat upgraded from reality.
Nitpickers are free to search for the few other liberties that I have taken. The
vast majority of details, however, are spot on. The Post Office Square drugstore
(a CVS) is exactly as described—it even had (at the time Rigged was
written) a quiet corner where female and oral hygiene meet. Ditto for the New
England Aquarium, Westchester County Airport, the water taxis, etc. I spent most
of the first week of October 2003, the time the story is supposed to take place,
in Boston just to make all the details as
accurate as I could. All the Red Sox details were true to life as the team would
not win the World Series until the following year.
Q. And Alaska?
A. It is a fantasy research center that builds on elements of IBM's Watson
Research center and MIT's Media Lab. The story of how it came into being is
based on something that happens on a smaller scale all the time. While some
defense work is done in a "black world" and never sees the light of
day, "white world" research is frequently commercialized when the
defense establishment loses interest in it and cuts it off from funding.