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Interview with Jerry Beller, author of Madam President

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Tell us about Madam President
Madam President is part of the American Myth Series. It covers the first female president of the United States, who also happens to be black. She takes on the establishment, not only calling out the Right Wing for their shortcomings, but also taking on Democratic leaders in Congress when they refuse sometimes to do what is best for the country. She faces a tough reelection, with every racist and chauvinist in the United States attacking her in every way possible.

While running for reelection, she also must deal with a nuclear crisis in Iran, direct continued investigations into corporate crime, as well as deal with traitors in high levels of the government, CIA and FBI.

This is a story about a great president who refuses to play the partisan game of Washington. She puts the people first and refuses to play party politics. When Democratic leaders will not accept her progressive agenda, she breaks from the two-party process to run as an independent. This predictably turns American politics on its head, forcing a more legitimate debate. Constantly attacked, she refuses to get down in the mud or to say anything that she does not believe.

To some extent, she saves the United States and the world, and still finds time to pursue a worthy romance. She is the type of leader that good people everywhere deserve, but the type that rarely ever exists in the real world.

What genre is it?
It is both a thriller and a historical fiction.

What kind of readers will it appeal to?
Females, cool guys, progressives, liberals, independents and those who like a good thriller or historical fiction.

We get the impression that you didn’t write this as just throwaway fiction, did you?
I felt a great call to duty to write the first female president. I am a white man (with some proud Cherokee mixed in) and it is a great responsibility to write important female and minority characters. Madam President is a tribute to Abigail Adams, Eleanor Roosevelt and
Michelle Obama, three First Ladies who would have made great
presidents.

But the book is still fun, right?
I want the reader to be thrilled that they read this book, to know they were entertained, while also learning a few things about the American political system. I want them to view this book as unique and worthy. I want females around the world, including the United States, to be inspired to become the greatest leaders their countries have ever known.

You obviously feel for this character.
I befriend and fall in love with the characters that I write. They become part of me. They become people that I root for. I want them to be embraced and loved by their readers.

But why such political fiction?
While I am proud to be an American, I believe it is crucial to challenge what is wrong with it. I do so regularly. While some would like to gloss over America’s wrongs, I cannot do that. I do not do it with my wife, children, parents, brothers and friends, so I cannot wave a flag and pretend this country is perfect. I believe we become better by learning from history and our mistakes, so I call the United States, present and past, out for what is wrong with it. If that makes me somewhat controversial, I can live with that easier than to live in the bubble where so many Americans dwell in avoidance of facts, science, history, reality, art, logic, fairness or relevance. I have spent my entire life challenging bigots, chauvinists, distortions, wrongs and horrors without becoming bitter. This all is reflected in my writing. I have been called “deep” a few times in my life.

Have you written any other books that we should read next?
I have several books already written that are set for release in 2013 & 2014:

Hey Joe is part of the Jamaica Series. 4/1/13 release.

Alfred Wellers is part of the American Myth Series. 6/27/13 release.

1993 also part of the American Myth Series. 9/1/13 release.

Nuh Joe, the sequel to Hey Joe, is the second book in the Jamaica Series. 12/1/13.

Seems you write as much about Jamaica as you do America.
I write about Jamaica because I loved living there, spend as much time as I can there, have a Jamaican wife and soul mate, two grown Jamaican kids and am a Jamerican; a proud Jamaican and still a proud American.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in Texas and raised in Oklahoma. I was a progressive surrounded by right wingers, blue if you will in a very red state. I graduated from the University of Oklahoma, then attended graduate school. I moved to Washington D.C. to pursue a career in the politics, but soon became disenchanted with the partisan nature of the process. I became so fed up in late 1988 that I moved to Jamaica as a young man to write a book. I have been writing books and screenplays ever since.

I am a huge fan of David McCullough and Ken Follett, so it is not surprising that I write about history. I created the American Myth series so that I can use fictional characters to challenge the bigotry and wrongs of each era of America, and even preceding its existence.

I love to read or try to write good books, or to catch a great movie
or try to write a great screeenplay.

How can we follow you online?
http://www.jerrybeller.com
Twitter = @jerrybeller1
Facebook Fan page = https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jerry-Beller-author/143250149164827?ref=hl
Personal FB page = https://www.facebook.com/jerrybeller.author  (will become friends with any author, avid reader, progressive or lover of Jamaica)

What’s next?
Have a busy schedule the next few years with several books to be released. My next writing project, besides polishing several for release, will be to write a screenplay for Madam President. I will shop it around to Hollywood, but also would not mind shooting it as an independent movie. Have learned a great deal about the business by writing, directing and producing six independent movies already. Still trying to decide whether to release these previous movies. I am proud of them and there is some pressure to release them, but they were low budget projects that allowed several of us in production and actors to gain some invaluable experience. Not sure if they are high enough quality to release. If the latest editors can work through a couple of technical issues, these movies will be released on Amazon if no distributor picks them up. I hope for a bigger budget and a full production team for Madam President, as it is important to do justice to the concept of the first female president.

After writing the screenplay, I will return to the American Myth Series. Next up is actually the book that I wrote when I moved to Jamaica back in 1988 and 1989. It is called Jericho Wellers and follows the turbulent American Sixties. I spent a decade writing it, and now intend to do a major rewrite, hoping to turn a few thousand pages of manuscript into two or three books with a few hundred pages each. The most difficult thing about writing my first book was to stop writing. Having spent an important part of my life working on Jericho Wellers, I am thrilled to soon be returning to condense it down to a final version for release as a series. I spent years writing and making movies without ever releasing anything, so it feels great to now release one project after another every few months for the foreseeable future.

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2 Comments

  1. Excellent interview. I met Jerry Beller, first on Twitter and then on Facebook, but the social media environment doesn’t allow you to learn as much about an author as an in-depth interview like this. I had no idea Jerry wrote screenplays, for example.
    I read Madam President and it was very clear Jerry has an in-depth knowledge of American history and the workings of Washington. His inclusion of real events and people in the story made it a very interesting read. I admit he and I are on the same page when it comes to politics, so I found Madam President enjoyable in more ways than one. I’m very much looking forward to reading his next book.

  2. Terry Tyler

    Fascinating interview – yet again, I wish I had time to read everything. I’m very interested in American history, so have put MP on my to-reads :)

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