Today I had the pleasure of talking to author Tom Abrahams about his book Sedition and his writing experiences.
Books & Writing: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself.
Tom Abrahams: Thanks very much for inviting me! I am a first time novelist, long time husband and dad. I have been married for 17 years. My wife and I have two children. And we live in the Houston, Texas suburbs. I've been a television reporter (specializing in politics) for the last 20 years. I've traveled around the world covering interesting people and places. And I've been fortunate enough to witness a lot of history firsthand.
Books & Writing: Do you remember the first story you wrote?
Tom Abrahams: I remember an assignment I had for a 5th grade paper. It was supposed to be a 1 or 2 page creative writing paper. Mine was more like 10 pages and focused on a fictional me winning a gold medal in the Olympics in world record time. That, of course, never happened. But I did get a A on the paper.
Books & Writing: Were you inspired by someone or something?
Tom Abrahams: I've always loved reading. I like the temporary escape, the ability to envision another reality. And so, I've always thought that if I could provide that for others, as an author, I'd be sharing the gift.
Books & Writing: What do you love about writing a story?
Tom Abrahams: I love the surprises. I wrote with a very crude outline. And so often, when I am writing, I am surprised by where the characters take me. I always manage to get from point A to point B in the manuscript. But how I get there is rarely how I plan.
Books & Writing: Can you tell us a bit about your book Sedition and the main characters?
Tom Abrahams: Sedition is a political thriller based on an 1820 British plot called the Cato Street Conspiracy. In it, a group of disaffected patriots scheme to kill the prime minister and his cabinet. Then, they believe, they'll be able to take over the government. I took that basic idea, modernized it, and set it in Washington DC.
Books & Writing: How did you come up with the story for the book?
Tom Abrahams: My wife and I were watching The Tudors on the Showtime network. We wondered how much of the storyline was historically accurate and so we got online and started researching it. In doing so, I noticed a footnote about the Cato Street Conspiracy. I Googled it, read about it, and thought it would make a great political thriller. The next day I began outlining ways to tell the story.
Books & Writing: How long did it take you to write the book?
Tom Abrahams: It took me 7 months to write it and then another 6-9 months of rewrites. I really wanted it to be tight, fast paced, and enjoyable from the beginning to the end. At first, I had to much "info dumping" in between the good parts. It made for a really well-researched novel, but one that moved too slow. So I condensed the information. The first draft was probably 105,000 words. The final product is right at 90,000.
Books & Writing: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Tom Abrahams: Don't ever give up. Keep writing. If one book doesn't work...the next one will.
Books & Writing: Which author inspires you?
Tom Abrahams: I love reading Michael Crichton. I really enjoy the seamless way in which he incorporates the real world into his fantasy. I try to do the same thing.
Books & Writing: Where can people go and read your work?
Tom Abrahams: The book's website is http://seditionbook.com You can also buy the book from Amazon, iBooks, and on the nook at Barnes & Noble.
Books & Writing: Where can people find you on internet?
Tom Abrahams: http://seditionbook.com my twitter account (and i follow back) is @seditionbook i also have a facebook page, which you can find linked at the book's website.
Books & Writing: Is there anything else you want to share with the readers?
Tom Abrahams: If you read the book, and I hope that you do, please review it. Good or bad. I also encourage readers to email me at email@example.com with any questions or comments they have about the novel. I love interacting with readers.
Below is an excerpt from his book Sedition!
Sir Spencer Thomas stirred the Chivas Regal Royal Salute with his left pinkie then sucked the rare liquid from his finger.
He’d saved the fifty year old scotch since 2003 when it was gifted to him at the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Now was as good a time as any to self-medicate with a $10,000 bottle of Strathisla malted scotch.
From his high back, brown leather chair in his suite at the Hay-Adams Hotel he could see The White House, The Washington Monument, and the 52 inch LCD television alit with coverage of President Foreman’s sudden death. The news was minutes old and already the spin doctors were talking succession.
“The body isn’t even cold yet,” he thought and crossed his legs.
He took a sip from the leaded glass and listened to the commentary on T.V.
“What complicates matters so much,” opined the pundit on the screen “is that the President’s death comes so soon after the prolonged illness and death of the former Vice President. It leaves us with a bit of a constitutional crisis. The replacement nominee is confirmed, but hasn’t taken the oath. Does this mean the Speaker of The House becomes President? Does she take the reins only until V.P. nominee Blackmon is sworn in? Who is in control right now?”
At the bottom of the screen flashed a crawl of announcements. Sir Spencer muted the television as he read the information moving from right to left across the screen.
Wall Street trading suspended after sharp 900 point drop. Mourners gather outside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Cabinet meets in emergency session in White House. Leadership vacuum not a concern, says Speaker Jackson. Doctors say Foreman’s last checkup revealed no health issues. Aneurysm suspected in President Foreman’s sudden death. Autopsy is scheduled for late tonight with results tomorrow.
Sir Spencer took another sip. The scotch was smooth and it finished with a creamy taste. He stood from the chair, using his left hand to balance his six foot five inch frame as he rose. It was a simple task that had become increasingly difficult with age and indulgence. Sighing slightly, he stepped to the window overlooking the People’s House and thought about the incredible opportunity that fate chose to bestow upon him.
The knight was a man for whom manifest destiny was a deep belief. It did not end with his adopted country’s purchase of Texas, as some historians suggested. It did not end with the Imperialism so many believe the U.S. employed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It was, for him, the idea that America’s place as the world’s foremost military, economic, and social power was ordained in perpetuity. Sir Spencer believed the death of a president and the ensuing uncertainty might be exactly what was needed to regain its authority and rightful place in the hierarchy of nations.
This is what we’ve waited for. This is our opportunity.
Sir Spencer reached into the inside breast pocket of his combed, blue cashmere Kiton jacket. He pulled out his Sigillu encrypted cell phone and punched a series of numbers with his thumb, pressed send, and slipped the phone back into the pocket. “A Deo et Rege,” he murmured as he again lifted the glass to his lips. From God and The King. He could smell the strength of the scotch.