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'The CleanSweep Conspiracy' by Chuck Waldron

A Review

The CleanSweep Conspiracy by Chuck Waldron is a novel on a blogger, Matt Tremain, who blogs about the truth and scams. Matt Tremain's life changes when he learns of CleanSweep, a mysterious project in Canada from a whistleblower. Matt get drawn into the fight to expose the conspiracy when his source is killed. As he races against the clock to stop countless deaths he find allies in a Toronto police detective and a local TV reporter.

I personally am not big on conspiracies, but my feeling is that something is only a conspiracy theory if it is untrue. In this case the conspiracy is very very real. I liked how the author created such a vast conspiracy and how he created a team of "good guys" capable of stopping it. The book moves at a fast pace from the moment the source is killed until the last page of the book. I truly enjoyed the intrigue and suspense elements of this book. The author truly did a remarkable job in creating such an involved plot line without any plot holes.

My Interview with the Author

What made you chose to write about a conspiracy?

It’s a hot topic. A Google search of the word conspiracy turns up 89,600,000 results. Imagine, over eighty-nine million results from that single word.

Throughout history, there are examples of conspiracies, real and imagined. Conspiracy is defined as two or more people to secretly planning something harmful or illegal. What is it about seeing two people in whispered conversation that makes me wonder if they’re talking about me? If so, what are they saying, some type of a conspiracy?

For every conspiracy, there’s a theory, ranging from the wacky to the intriguing. For many people today, it’s a popular notion that governments and corporations are engaged in cover-ups or secret planning, deliberately trying to deceive us. I decided to tap into that idea to write The CleanSweep Conspiracy.

Did you have difficulty coming up with a conspiracy?

I didn’t have to come up with one. It came to me. Okay, from my imagination, an imagination creating some people who thought they had the best way the world should be. Unfortunately, their way of going about it meant getting rid of what they called the undesirable elements. They didn’t want to bother with the niceties of change through a democratic or legal process. Out of that came a small group of men with access to money and power. They only needed to conspire, to create a conspiracy.

The seed for the story was planted as I read about the planning, riots, and deception surrounding an actual event.

An emergency police force of over 10,000 uniformed officers from surrounding police.

Add 1,000 security guards and several military units.

Drawing lines on a map to outline an area with checkpoints to monitor who enters and leaves. People would be issued identity cards to determine who belonged.

More than a billion dollars would be spent to head off rioting and trouble makers

Police wearing black tape over their shields to prevent identification.

That couldn’t happen, you say, only to learn that the news story above-described actual events that occurred in a major North American city? The G-20 Economic Conference place in a Canadian city in 2010 but might it happen in any metropolis?

Where did you get your information on the conspiracy your book focuses on?

I said that in the answer above. Where does information about an imaginary event come from? I focused on wondering what would happen if someone took the rioting at that conference and developed it into something more developed, more sinister.

What made decide to become an author?

I have often said I have imaginary friends, and I’m not afraid to use them. My mother once told me I wrote my first short story when I was 11 years old. I don’t remember it, but she wasn’t one to stretch the truth. Deciding to become an author took a few more years, 41 years to be exact. I took a class at a local college on writing short stories. I honor the memory of that first teacher, Henrietta Blake, who told me I didn’t need a license to be a writer, but it would take patience and sweat. I also had to pledge to honor the writing craft. It took a couple of years until I could let the outside world know I’m an author.

Do you have a career outside of being an author if so what is it and which do you enjoy more?

This is what I often call my happy time. After a fulfilling professional career, I’m now free to write full time. That doesn’t rule out walking, riding a bicycle, travel. After that, watching out for alligators, tracking hurricanes and keeping a sharp eye out for Burmese Pythons.

Are any of the characters based off of people you know?

There are a few similarities between some characters in the story and characters from my life. But I don’t take that too far. I have far too much fun creating my own.

Did you base the setting off of place you have been?

I had the good fortune to live and work in Toronto, the primary setting. The beautiful Bruce Peninsula, etched by the Niagara Escarpment, has always been a draw for me. It’s not that far north and a bit west of Toronto, but it’s the world apart from the city. That was the secondary setting.

What was your favorite part to write?

I think it’s the part where the Protagonist Matt is led through the darkness to meet two characters in the rubble of the conservatory that was destroyed in the rioting. In many ways, it was the heart of the story for me. The storyline and words came easily to me throughout, also creating the most angst.

Who is your favorite character?

Matt was someone I lived with for a long time before beginning the story. It would seem he should be my favorite. Actually, it’s Mattie. She was the dancing lady who gave a name for the nameless.

Thank you for having me. It was fun answering your questions.

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