Reman writes books by listening to the characters he has created

— Photo from Ron Lloyd Reman

Lloyd Reman poses in a jail cell.

WESTERLO — Lloyd Reman says he has traveled the globe during his career in finance, working with people in 50 different countries.

So many people in the United States, he says, don’t know this world of ours.

“It’s not black and white,” Reman says in this week’s Enterprise podcast. “It’s thousands and thousands shades of gray.”

Reman has used his travels to create characters for his books. His third book, “Oceans for a Thief,” a thriller, comes out on March 2.

“I don’t think I could write if I didn’t have that international work and travel experience,” he says.

His books, Reman says, are driven by their characters.

“I’ve got to develop the characters, and then let them fill out the plot,” he says.

“I want them to act naturally. They’ll tell me as I’m writing,” he says. Reman lives with his characters — “they have to speak to me,” he says.

His current book features three very powerful women of color — from the United States, Brazil, and Ghana, all places Reman has been.

Ana is an “incredibly talented” Brazilian woman. Tamara, born in Ghana, “is sort of a modern-day Robin Hood … She’s the head of a very successful and very creative Somali pirates group,” says Reman.

And then there’s Matt Baker, an investment banker, raised in Brooklyn. “He’s a character that I think is trying to find himself,” says Reman. When the book starts, Matt has never met his biological father, a mob underboss who promised Matt’s mother when she was pregnant that he’d stay away from their child.

“And he did ….,” says Reman. “He’s one of the old-time mobsters that, while on one hand, can kill somebody; on the other hand, they have this code of honor that they follow.”

Reman knows the places where his characters live. “I need to have been there … I don’t think there’s any substitute for seeing the buildings or knowing what that location smells like,” he says.

Reman himself grew up in Brooklyn, the son of an elementary-school teacher and a civil engineer. His father, the engineer, never graduated from high school, Reman said, but was one of World War II’s Greatest Generation.

In 2004, Reman decided he wanted to buy land in upstate New York and a Realtor showed him a 67-acre parcel with a home in Westerlo.

“I knew immediately … I had to have it,” he said. When he is in the Hilltowns, Reman said, he feels he must have been there in a past life.

“I absolutely love it …. I’m fed by the land ….,” he says. “I just love the peace and tranquility.”

He uses that tranquility to create books he hopes will entertain others.

“I’m an undiscovered author,” says Reman. “I think I’m good enough to be discovered.”

He learned about writing by doing it, he says. “As I learned about writing, I learned more about my voice.”

His books, he says, are not literary but are visual and face-paced. He has been influenced by movies like “The Godfather” and often sees what he is writing in terms of movie scenes.

He’s adopted thrillers with strong characters as his genre, and he’s adamant that his books are original.

Reman says that he’s been told, “through the industry,” to take a successful book and model his own on the one that sold. “I refused to do that …,” said Reman. “I want to come up with something fresh.”

Eight years ago, when he started writing, he had the “long-term goal of becoming realistically a bestselling author,” Reman says.

He created a website,, which pictures him in jail, behind bars.

“If I can’t entertain someone with a website, why should they expect me to entertain with a book?” he asks.

His website poses a series of thought-provoking questions. This is one of them:

“Are you a criminal? No? Can you become one? Again no? What if you uncovered a foolproof way to wire $50 million from a large corporation’s coffers to an offshore account in your name? Would you do it?”

Reman explains that, if someone had a chance to steal $10, they probably wouldn’t do it. “It’s not worth it,” he says. 

But, with $50 million, he said, “What are you thinking? ‘It’s wrong; you’re not going to do it?’ Or are you thinking, ‘Well, will I get caught?’”

Reman goes on, “In certain situations, can you become a criminal? Yes. Does that make you look at an actual criminal a little different?”

Reman concludes, “People are different shades of gray and, in different situations, we’re capable of doing different things.”


Oceans for a Thief” is available through Amazon for $12.99 in paperback, $23.99 in hardcover; and $3.99 through Kindle.

More Hilltowns News

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.