Eric Steeves '88

On the Starting Block

“I was that guy you met at the party who was always talking about that book I was working on,” says Eric Steeves, who started writing a novel in 1995. “One night I stopped and thought, ‘I’ve had this same conversation 50 times.’”

That was his turning point. “I was going to finish it and have it printed even if I just printed one personal copy.” With his newfound focus, Steeves completed his first novel, Paradise Made, published in 2003.

Readers enjoyed this thriller featuring John Thompson, an anti-hero engaged in worldwide criminal activity and described the book as a “fast-moving page turner.” Steeves’ goal in developing Thompson is “to create an expression of a man who has zero responsibility and tries to get through life with a good tan and not too much of a hangover.”

Motivated by his success, Steeves followed Paradise Made with last year’s Race the Rising Sun, which follows John Thompson’s international adventures.

Steeves has created a franchise character, though time will tell if Thompson becomes a household name like Tom Clancy’s fictional hero Jack Ryan. “If I am lucky enough to get a three-book deal from a large publisher, I could see myself writing full time,” says Steeves.

In the interim, Steeves, who holds master’s degrees from George Washington and Boston Universities, will not be quitting his day job as a senior marketing manager for Verizon.

When he is not juggling his professional interests, this former track team captain and physical education major helps support URI Athletics. He and fellow teammates attend the first indoor track meet annually and reach out to former track and field athletes to raise thousands of dollars to help defray team expenses.

Steeves is now busy finalizing an anthology of short crime stories due to be published this summer. “It’s rewarding to do something creative, and I hope to inspire others. I want someone to say, ‘I remember this guy. If he could do it…’”

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—Maria V. Caliri ’86, M.B.A. ’92