Latest Show--Jim Steffman. Here’s the link!
Tonight’s Guest on Author’s Corner: Jim Steffman, author of a novel based on a true story, “Shadow of Death.” and the screenplay based on the novel and called “For What It’s Worth”.”For What It’s Worth” is the recent winner of the Feature Screenplay category screenplay at the Moondance International Film Festival.
“For What it’s Worth” is a tough-luck, true-crime drama, with a motley cast of lethal illusion-busters: one of the FBI's ten most-wanted mob figures and a bunch of openly corrupt government agents “just doing their job”. And, caught in this evil crime web, is a man absolutely determined to fight for his civil rights – to protect his family, his health, his wealth, and, more importantly, his freedom, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, against all odds.
Jim Steffman was a highly successful and upwardly-mobile businessman who possessed a natural talent for turning anything mundane into something extraordinary. When the opportunity arises for Jim to begin his rapid ascension in the lucrative world of big business, he jumps at the opportunity for a special deal, a deal which would become an unintended and deadly steppingstone into the shadowy world of the nefarious East Coast Mafia, and put his life in mortal danger.
Jim’s new business venture is a resounding success and ultimately propels Jim and his family into the rarified world of millionaires. But, as the business continues to grow, fate deals a strange hand to this man who had always seemed destined for greatness. On an ordinary day, without fanfare or fireworks, Jim meets John Hurley. Hurley is a fellow business man who has a penchant for expensive and rare automobiles. Their initial meeting reveals common interests, leading to a seemingly genuine friendship.
But it would not be long before the unexpected occurs, in the guise of his new attorney and new business partner, J.R. DeChellis. Unbeknownst to Jim at that time, DeChellis is a shady member of a major crime family. Hurley brings in some “insurance” in the form of Bruno "Big Numbers" Conti, a colossus of a man and a soldier in the crime family.
One night, Jim receives a call from Hurley, asking to meet him, and during the meeting, Hurley reveals that he is a member of a crime family from Italy and is also one of the Top Ten Most Wanted in America, and has called to warn Jim that the Mafia, in three East Coast states, has their eyes on him. Hurley tells Jim that the Feds would soon be knocking at Jim's door, and that the DEA would try to force his testimony against the Mafia, even though it would be putting Jim and his family in dire danger.
The threats and their tactics of consistently operating above and beyond the scope of the law is now a reality. To this day, Jim has never been arrested, charged with or convicted of any crime, nor has he spent one single hour in federal prison, and has lost almost everything but his strength of character. He and his family have suffered well beyond anyone who actually committed the unsubstantiated crimes of which he is accused, but by telling his story now, he hopes for redemption, and that peace and freedom we all deserve.
So, net-net, Jim Steffman was persecuted, tortured and ruined by the DEA because he refused to sacrifice himself and his family by acting as bait. Meanwhile, John Hurley remains at large and is considered armed and extremely dangerous.
An interesting side note about my guest. This is not only fine work by an exciting writer….it is HIS true story. It is not often that a survivor of such an elongated period of trepidation would be able to come out the other side victorious. Tonight we celebrate a survivor, a winner, a man of deep character---Jim Steffman.
In a time where everyone is inventing ideas for the next great screenplay, Jim Steffman forced himself to sit down and recant the nightmare. Sometimes truth beats anything anyone can invent in their mind. You really could not make this up. I admire Jim’s character, his tenacity, his bravado even under fire. If good things happen to good people, this is one really good person that should be on the receiving end. In the scheme of things, life is short but our story is forever.
As a white man, a successful white man, the persecution of Jim Steffman is the kind of thing that rarely happens. Young, white, attractive, aggressive, ambitious white men are celebrated. Usually. But in reviewing this, it makes me think of the black story, the Jewish story, the Muslim story, the special needs story, woman story, the fat story, the pimpled story, the gay and lesbian story, the mentally ill story---all the stories of persecution that are not told, that are accepted as part of life. Until someone stands up. Steven Spielberg is taping all of the survivors of the Holocaust so that we will never forget. Maya Angelo and Oprah Winfrey and now Sheila Johnson are bringing black stories into our homes, helping everyone to understand, feel, and act. Harvey Weinstein is probably the biggest promoter of stories about social issues in his provocative films, their distribution, and maybe even more importantly, their promotion. Famous, talented, Amazing people are standing up. We can stand up with them by supporting them and their films.
I’d like to acknowledge the musicians responsible for my intro music titled, “Through the Night.” Arranged and produced by Ian Gallagher, music and lyrics by Grant Frazier, Vocals by Grant Frazier and the beautiful and talented Erin Taylor. Guitar by Ian Gallagher. My show closed with a song called “Drowning in Tears”—by a new artist Grant Frazier, guitar by Ian Gallagher. The music comes from Ian and Grant’s first album. If you would like to license their music, hear more about these exciting new artists, or if you are a label and want to sign them, contact Sherry Frazier at SherryFrazier@FrazierPublicRelations.com
I will be back with another great show next Sunday night at 8:30 PM Eastern time on Triangle Variety Radio. This is Sherry Frazier, and you have been listening to Author’s Corner. Good night!
To read more about Jim Steffman’s famous Dock Dog, Maggie, go to www.maggiesdock.com
If you are interested in optioning Jim Steffman’s screenplay, “For What It’s Worth,” adapted from the novel, “Shadow of Death” and based on a true story, please contact Sherry Frazier at SherryFrazier@FrazierPublicRelations.com or call 703-431-7895.