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Save The Phoenix Foundation!

AnEx Publications recently interviewed Newton, Massachusetts based author Richard Saunders about some of his recent activities and veiled references to potentially taking even more dramatic measures in the near future.

AnEx: What is behind this recent uptick in your public activities?

RS: I turned 60 years old recently and realized that time was running out to achieve a few goals that are important to me and for which I have worked tirelessly to achieve.

For several decades now, some of my Phoenix Foundation covert agents and I have self-funded our efforts. My long term plan is to leave the publishing and derivative rights to my serialized novel, SecretAgentMan to the Foundation. I hope to establish an endowment before my death that will help ensure the long-term-viability of the organization after I am gone and to make it into a legal 501(c)(3) or similar corporation that has the potential to operate in perpetuity.

For this plan to work, my books will need to gain attention from the mainstream media on a national and international scale. I am certain that if they ever reach the attention of the national media and my claims are investigated, that the series will become profitable enough to finance The Phoenix Foundation and provide the endowment it needs to survive.

With 3,000 new titles published each day, getting attention for a new author is an extremely daunting task. Standing out in this crowd takes connections, luck, or audacity. Lots of excellent books go unnoticed by the media and never develop much of a readership because of that.

I no longer have the luxury of time to hope and wait for luck or that elusive "big-break"; so today, I choose audacity!

  1. 1.
    the willingness to take bold risks.

I have spent the better part of my lifetime secretly building my novel and engaging in the "method-writing" escapades that make my work unique and allows the novel to stand-apart from the vast majority of literary attempts. I am fairly certain that if the media ever pays serious attention and closely examines my body of work, my claims, and my accomplishments, this will lead to the commercial success of my books and supply at least a modest endowment and ongoing income stream for The Foundation.

As the inventor and foremost practitioner of "method-writing", I have many accomplishments of note, among them are the following:

In 1994, I ran a successfully amusing sting operation against then Massachusetts Governor William Weld.

In 2007, I engaged in and won a protracted legal battle against Donald Trump.

In the Trump affair, it was a win-win situation because Mr. Trump could have lost very badly had I decided to press the issue further than I did. Trump, Mark Burnett and I were all happy with the outcome and the settlement. I also earned their respect in the process.

In what can only be described as either an incredible coincidence or a magnificent twist of fate, two of my high-profile method-writing targets ran for the top two political offices in the United States in 2016.

Even more remarkable, this unlikely scenario played out in front of an enormous international audience, soon after the long anticipated (by me) release of Volume I of my novel.

My battles against Mr. Weld and Mr. Trump unfold in my book in thinly disguised fictional form, where only the names have been changed.

This unique publicity hook for SecretAgentMan was further enhanced with the surprising, (some may say unfortunate) election of President Trump.

Without a high-priced publicity or PR team behind me, I am feeling pressure to find a way to shine the media spotlight on this situation and on my life's work right now, before time runs out and death calls my number.

As a first time author with a small start-up publisher, it looks like I may need to employ some unusual methods to ensure that my work gets noticed. That is all I can do. After that, if the book still fails to gain a following, then I can die knowing I did my best and that my best just wasn't good enough. I can live with that. Disclosure: I hope to live a long life and have no reason to believe it will be cut short, but like most everyone else, I don't know when my time will come.

Polite emails to media outlets go unanswered and I have not yet been able to gain the critical-mass of attention my work needs to accomplish the lofty goals I have set.

Another motivation is that I have spent most of my adult life self-funding The Phoenix Foundation and our covert charitable activities, to the detriment of my own welfare.

At 60 years old, I need to finally start saving for my retirement years so that I do not become a burden to my family or to society. With this new focus, I have recently stopped financing The Foundation from my personal funds. My agents and I can scrape up some intermittent funding here and there, but the only realistic hope for The Foundation to survive my death is for Journey / SecretAgentMan to become a profitable series and eventually a franchise.

AnEx: We have done some looking into this and The Phoenix Foundation doesn't seem to really exist. Can you comment on that?

RS: Yes. Officially, it doesn't exist. Unofficially, it operates as a small, clandestine international organization with the mission to try and "Make the world a better place". We attempt to do this in ways both small and large, but mostly small. All told we have fewer than 135 agent volunteers in over 20 countries. Most of us work full-time jobs and engage in Phoenix Foundation missions in our spare time. No one takes a salary and we rarely receive (or ask for) reimbursement for expenses. All of our funds are spent furthering our goals and missions.

In Volume I of SecretAgentMan, we give the readers a tiny glimpse into how we operate. In 2004, we were contacted by Mr. Robert Easton, then Chairman of The Columbine Memorial Committee in Littleton, Colorado. They were in the process of setting up a website and found that every Internet Domain name that was suitable for their purpose was being held by cybersquatters who were asking unreasonably high prices for the rights to use these various web addresses. The committee found an obscure online reference that we were a reliable organization and one of the few who were openly fighting the cybersquatting problem at that time.

Mr. Easton, on behalf of the committee, contacted me and asked if we were able to help them solve their problem. That story is told in detail in my book. We also voluntarily performed the same function for the Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Committee and the future Pulse Memorial / Orlando Memorial.

Other anecdotal stories detailing some of our adventures will appear in future volumes of SecretAgentMan, but the vast majority of what we do is covert and will not be made public.

This would have to change once we openly operate as a 501(c)(3) or similar legal entity. I would be very happy to die knowing that a legally chartered and transparent organization was in place with an endowment and an ongoing income stream that was sufficient enough to guarantee its existence long after I was gone.

The Weld & Trump stories are just the tip of the iceberg; many highly interesting stories inspired by my real-life method-writing adventures and my Phoenix Foundation activities await those who decide to follow my work. These true-life stories are told within the context of an even larger, over-the-top fiction that is designed to maximize the entertainment potential.

Many of the claims I make about the truths behind my fiction are hard to believe. I maintain that if the media takes notice and investigative journalists or others dig deep into my claims, they will hold up to that level of scrutiny. This is the catalyst that may get my work the attention it seeks, which in turn will spur sales of my books and ultimately save and fund an endowment for The Phoenix Foundation - which is my end game.

You dear reader hold the key to making this Quixotic dream come true. Please join me on this Journey and bring your friends and loved ones along for the ride!


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