The Question: If You Could Have the Answer to Only One Question What Would You Ask?

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R. Breuer Stearns

About the author: R. Breuer Stearns is an investor and author. Mr. Stearns graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover (1970), Harvard University (AB, 1974), University of Chicago (MBA, 1977), and DePaul University College of Law (JD, 1979). He rapidly ascended on Wall Street in the 1980’s, serving as Managing Director, Mergers & Acquisitions at Lehman Brothers and Head of Investment Banking (North America) at UBS Securities.  While living in New York, he founded “Terrific Teachers, Inc.,” a foundation dedicated to identifying and rewarding the best of the best of the city’s public high school teachers. Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Mr. Stearns launched a private investment bank in the former Soviet Union.  He spent the early 1990’s seeking to marry emerging science, primarily emanating from Russia’s Defense sector, with Western capital.  During this period, Mr. Stearns made a small fortune, albeit from a larger one.  The venture provided a remarkable lesson in hubris, a tremendous reservoir of internal strength, and first-hand source material for Mr. Stearns’ first book, Winning Smart After Losing Big (Encounter Books, Beijing University Press). Subsequently, Mr. Stearns served as Chief Financial Officer of The Dial Corporation, Chief Financial Officer of Columbia/HCA Corporation, Chief Financial Officer of PacifiCare, Inc., President and Chief Operating Officer of Vascular Genetics, Inc., and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Quepasa Corporation (QPSA:Amex). Mr. Stearns is a Founder of VestaPoint Capital LLC, a family of investment funds focused on real estate development.  He lives in Arizona with his wife, two dogs, two cats, and a horse.  He travels extensively and is intensely curious.

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The Question

About the book: THE QUESTION invites readers to consider this premise: If you could have the answer to one question, and only one question, what would you ask… and who would try to stop you from asking it? To what extremes would they go? THE QUESTION is a thriller that explores a new way of thinking, a method powerful enough to answer very complex questions . . . perhaps powerful enough to solve the universe’s most fundamental mysteries . . . perhaps powerful enough to resolve religions’ most beguiling unknowns. THE QUESTION is an adventure story . . . fiction that you may wish, may believe, may know, is true. The narrative occurs in the present, with scenes in California, Washington, D.C., Paris, Shanghai, New York, and Afghanistan.  THE QUESTION is ideal reading for anyone who is curious . . . for those who gaze into the cosmos at night and wonder . . . for those who look into the mirror and imagine . . . for those whose hearts beat faster when confronting the unknown . . . for readers who enjoy a fast paced, contemporary thriller that inspires them to think.

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Book Review: There is something very intriguing about fictional group thinking explored in this book called Unity, in which people think at the same in silence about the same complex question and see the answer simultaneously in their minds. As a thriller, The Question only delivers part of its promise. The beginning is very slow; it felt like the first half was an obstacle course that readers had to sometimes get through while running in mud. The pace is bogged down by the sheer amount of information poured on the reader. This book has a lot of potential but most opportunities to delve into soul-stirring conversations. I feel a book that challenges readers to think deeply about the concept of unity as a means to answers life’s toughest questions could make an important contribution to the betterment of the world.

Guest post Life’s Journey as a Writer by R. Breuer Stearns

Whenever I am asked about life’s journey as a writer, I struggle to find a compelling reason to explain why I write at all. Writing is a long-shot business … certainly unlikely to reward monetarily but for a select few authors … and there are many, many talented writers trying to become one of those select few. Writing is also painfully difficult. Advice abounds regarding the importance of writing every day.  But, writing gibberish every day is not useful and is discouraging to boot. I prefer to write when I am stimulated to write, which explains why some of my concepts are drafted on scraps of paper or by using my iPhone.  Hmmm … writing is financially unrewarding … painful … difficult. Not very encouraging, I admit. But, how about this:  Writing allows you to create a Universe just the way you want to create it. And, writing permits you to transport your readers to that Universe to experience it as a real place, to expose their minds and emotions to your Universe. Write well and you earn your readers’ trust enough to engage with them one-on-one. It boils down to this intimacy, I think, which motivates me to write.

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