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The Making of Steel City Confidential

Steel City Confidential is out…finally. The paperback is available now. The eBook releases late tomorrow night/early Friday morning on Amazon exclusively, for now. It will be free to read via Kindle Unlimited. I’ve posted about it before, here and here, so I wanted to talk a little here about the making of the story and more so about the setting, the City of Pittsburgh.

Growing up

Downtown Square New Castle PAI was born and raised in New Castle, Pennsylvania. It’s a town of about 23,000 people or so, these days, the self-proclaimed ‘Fireworks Capital of America’. It’s situated in Western PA about 50 miles north of Pittsburgh. I grew up out in Union Township, not far from the expressway entrance that connects New Castle to Pittsburgh. My parents still live in the house I grew up in and so does my youngest brother. My other brother, the middle child, still lives in town too. From there, it was about a 40-minute ride for us to get into the ‘big city’.

On Pittsburgh

I was in ‘the Burgh’ some growing up, but more so after I became an adult and went out on my own. It’s a working-class, ethnically diverse city along the lines of a city like Chicago, but smaller and more intimate. There’s so much down-home and old-world charm there; something I’ve had a hard time finding in some of the other cities I’ve lived in and visited.


There are lots of books set in the ‘Steel City’ as Pittsburgh is more widely known. Many of them are accountings of life and work centered on the steelmaking industry and on the sports teams of the city, with some great fiction in the mix too. There aren’t a lot of thrillers and no legal thrillers – that I could find – set there. I felt like it was city primed for thrilling stories set inside its confines.

In Steel City Confidential, you’ll read about real places (other than Eddie’s bar. I made that up). There wasn’t any reason to make most of the story up. The city and its neighborhoods, its educational institutions, its hangouts, its businesses…everything, all lend themselves well to story. Too, it’s people, from the Poles, Jews, Irishmen and Italians that settled the area, to their descendants today and all of the other ethnicities and nationalities that came later that made the city the giant melting pot of hot, molten steel that it is, provided me with so much flavor to create great and diverse characters.

Pittsburgh is a city I love and this book was a labor of love. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.