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Friday, October 27, 2006

Book Chat with Jerome Teel

With the current political cycle spinning madly around us, Jerome Teel's The Election is a timely choice for this week's CFBA Blog Tour.

What's the deal? Democratic nominee (and vice president) Ed Burke faces off against Republican senator Mac Foster in the political story line; attorney Jake Reed defends his wrongly-accused client Jed McClellan in the legal-thriller side. A mysterious trio of businessmen with an agenda to take over the world (in a plot that'd do a James Bond villain proud) span the two, pulling strings -- and triggers -- as necessary.

If you're a conservative (should that have a capital C?) Christian, you'll probably enjoy the book. If you have a more liberal/progressive view of how the country should operate, the Democrats-as-bad-guys storyline may hamper your getting into the story. Please Note: Teel doesn't portray Burke and his group as evil, vile, mean, and nasty, but they're not the one's the story is rooting for. (There were a few eye-rolling moments, but, then again, the book never sets out to change anyone's politics.) The trio of power brokers are both-sides-of-the-bread butterers, having also picked a Republican candidate who didn't make through the Primaries, so while they're apolitical (and one is quite evil, vile, mean, and nasty) the taint rubs off on Burke & Co.

The legal side of things is Grisham-esque, though with a happier ending than The Big Grish usually musters. This one kept me guessing, and for that reason I enjoyed it more than the political side.

In many ways the book reminds me of old-school (late 80s-mid 90s) Christian Fiction. It even has a conversion scene, which I haven't seen for a while. I'm not knocking the genre, and Teel handles it well.

Teel also handled my Five Questions well. Behold:
  1. Which "darling" (character/scene/plot element) was most painful to kill?

    Two things I hated. First, I hated for the bad guy thugs to attack Jake's daughter in her bedroom. That was a tough one to write. Second, I hated killing off the deputy sheriff toward the end of the book. He had a wife and kids.

  2. Which did you find more enjoyable to write: the political scenes (Burke v. Foster) or the legal ones (the organization v. Jake)?

    I enjoyed the political scenes much more than the legal scenes.

  3. Presidential nominee Mac Foster came off as a pretty perfect guy. But nobody's perfect, so which of these flaws does he have? Eats crackers in bed. Clips his toenails while watching TV with the wife. Puts his elbows on the dinner table. Can't spell potato.

    Mac's biggest imperfection would be putting his elbows on the dinner table.

  4. Your good-guy politician is named Mac, and there's a tradition of the good guys in movies and TV using Macintosh computers: what computer make/model do you happen to use?

    I've changed computers since The Election was written. I'm currently using a knock-off. It's a Multipro.

  5. Your bio at the end of the book mentions you're at work on another novel and your website lists The Divine Appointment coming out in the middle of next year. Sequel, stand-alone or hybrid (taking place during the Foster administration but not involving any of the principals of The Election)?

    The Divine Appointment is a stand alone. I debated with making it be a sequel but ultimately decided against it. Both The Election and The Divine Appointment lend themselves to sequels/hybrids in the future.
Thanks for playing along, Jerome. I'm looking forward to your next book.

And if The Election seems like it's driving up your political street, be sure to pick up a copy.

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1 Snarky Remarks:

Chris, good post. I enjoyed answering the interview questions and appreciate your review and comments.
Blogger Jerome, at 1:20 PM  

Get snarky