CARLSBAD — After a long career in banking and investment, one Carlsbad man has taken up the pen.
Patrick A. Howell, 48, had his first book, “Dispatches from the Vanguard: The Global International African Arts Movement Versus Donald J. Trump,” published three weeks ago by Penguin Random House.
The book discusses the five estates of power, examining the people behind the scenes wielding incredible influence over policymakers and other aspects of life in America, Howell said.
He said for every person who rises to power, there is a “creative” who holds power rather than actual power (such as an elected official), dubbed the 5th estate.
Howell said creatives, such as Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Muhammad Ali, among thousands of others, have risen to give a voice to the voiceless. Howell’s book has little do with Trump, but rather focuses on those individuals in power, strawmen and metaphors for white privilege and capitalist despotism, according to the publisher.
“It was a series of interviews,” Howell said of the book’s origins. “I came up with an idea of stringing all the interviews I’d done with all the creatives.”
Creative individuals, he said, range from poets, philosophers, thinkers, artists and others, noting the country is amid a transformative period in American history.
Howell’s journey began 30 years ago when he started his career as a banker, eventually landing at Wachovia. But his creative itch grew to the point where he sold his company, San Diego Investment Conference, and launched his new storytelling company, Victory & Noble, with Tori Reid.
The duo is involved in writing and book publishing, podcasts and film and TV production, with a focus on Black and other disenfranchised populations. One goal for the company is to bring a fresh, new look to Black voices.
“We’ve helped bring a couple of other books to publication,” Howell said. “Just starter steps until we can get to tell the stories we really want to tell, the stories of the marginalized, and we think there is great opportunity out there. About 10% of our stories get told.”
Additionally, Howell said he aims to break down the “Hollywood industrial complex,” which Howell said recycles the same Black stories over and over.
Howell is also in the process of reinventing his sleep cycle to maximize his creative flow. For him, it means going to bed at 8 p.m. and waking up at 1 a.m. to start writing before a quick nap during the day (if he can find the time) and resuming his day.
“I’m beginning a new creative expression for myself,” he said. “That’s a great time to do work. The world is quiet, and the spirits find you. All you have to do is find a way to be still and focus on your work.”