Bert Black brings a dose of reality to the unreal situation in the Middle East and those who many of us believe pushes America's agenda in the wrong direction. He creates a real-time thriller akin to the Sum of All Fears without the obsessive focus on hardware. We can only hope his characters find their way into another book without the long wait for his first book. Impeachment day should find its way onto the shelves of all those who love this genre - call it a thriller, action, or just plain old great.
- David Parker
I always wanted to write, but didn’t seriously attempt anything until I had litigated several cases that were almost too bizarre to be true. Like a water pollution case in which the opposing lawyer was intentionally pouring gasoline into wells and subsequently claiming an oil refinery had contaminated them. Or a product liability case in which a drug company published scientific articles that were false or so biased they had to be retracted, all to ensure that profitable but unsafe drugs remained on the market. I took a crack at creating fictionalized accounts of these cases, but quickly recognized I had a lot to learn about the craft of writing. Novel writing is vastly different from drafting legal briefs or authoring law review articles.
So I dug in and read books on how to write, including those of John Gardner (On Becoming a Novelist and The Art of Fiction) and James Woods (How Fiction Works). During this time I was working with a colleague who was convinced Ayn Rand was the greatest political philosopher ever, and that her most famous book (Atlas Shrugged) was akin to the Bible. There was no arguing with him, and when I eventually read several academic works that attempted to extract a coherent philosophy from Rand’s novels, I was appalled. She claimed her ideas were rationally derived from empirical facts, but she rejected many of the core ideas in modern science. Because everything had to be rationally certain in her world, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle had to wrong, as well as most of cognitive psychology and the theory of evolution — even though she was an atheist. So she was at odds with most of physics, psychology, and biology. Go figure.
How Tea Party types, who tend to be religiously conservative, can believe in Atlas Shrugged almost like a third testament of the Bible is beyond me, but they do, and I wanted to write about it. I also wanted to write about our current toxic political climate, of which the Tea Party is only one part. The result is Impeachment Day, the first book I’ve written that’s worth publishing. It aims to take on Ayn Rand, the Tea Party, and extreme right politics while telling a good thriller story. It’s got terrorist attacks, scheming politicians, and a quest for the truth that takes the hero from remotest Yemen to remotest Idaho. I know liberal readers will relate to the book’s philosophy, but I hope those of a conservative bent will, at the very least, be entertained by the story.