Author's Corner: A chat with Ken Kerr, author of 'The First Madam President (and the dirty bombs)'

eshaw@islandpacket.comJuly 12, 2014 

Name: Ken Kerr

Residence: Windmill Harbour on Hilton Head Island

Book: "The First Madam President (and the dirty bombs)"

Printed by: Createspace, Smashwords and Kindle Direct Publishing

Where to buy: E-book editions are available through amazon.com, smashwords.com, iTunes, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, and several other online bookstores. Paperbacks can be purchased by contacting the author at kkerr19963@yahoo.com

First sentence: "Ann Hunt, the young CIA analyst, was escorted into the Oval Office."

Plot summary: The story covers the first year in office for the first woman president. She must find a way to work with the Republican-controlled Congress or face continuing gridlock. Her administration is rocked by a scandal when two prominent officials in Washington die of apparent heart attacks. An al-Qaida terrorist attack using dirty bombs on Washington may be her ultimate test.

Story behind the book: With the real potential of having our first woman president of the United States (in 2016), I decided to write a fictional story using that premise. Three stories are woven together: a Democrat president working with a Republican Congress, a scandal of possible murders linked to someone in the administration and dealing with a terrorist threat on Washington D.C.

Your last book was about a secret agent. Why switch to writing about politics? This book is about politics, murder and the CIA's activities to prevent terrorism. One of the main supporting characters in the book, Ann Hunt, is a CIA analyst and the daughter of Jim Hunt, the lead character in my first book, "Life of a Double Agent."

What makes your main character, Carolyn Holliday, capable of running a country? Carolyn Holliday shows that she has the leadership skills, judgment and courage to be president of the United States. It turns out to be less important which gender the president is and more important if he or she has the leadership, judgment and courage needed to be president.

Does she face any extra challenges by being a woman? Some of the leaders in Congress are not happy that the president is a woman, but she manages to forge an alliance with the Republicans, and with compromises, begins to move the country forward.

Previous writing experience: "Life of a Double Agent" was published in early 2013. "The First Madam President (and the dirty bombs)" is my second novel. During the last two years, I have learned a lot about writing through reviews of my writing and some coaching from a professional writer.

Earliest writing memory: I never tried to write anything seriously until about two years ago.

Favorite books: I prefer to mention three authors instead of specific books. Tom Clancy, Vince Flynn and John Grisham.

What's next? If "The First Madam President (and the dirty bombs)" shows some commercial success, I may write a couple more books with many of the same characters, making "The First Madam President" into a series.

Follow reporter Erin Shaw at twitter.com/IPBG_ErinShaw.

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