Interview with Michael Harrington, author of In God We Trust

Publisher: RSBS Productions

Publication Date: November 1, 2013

Synopsis: Dante Jefferson Washington is a smart, young, black conservative Southern Baptist seeking to make his mark on the Washington D.C. political stage. He has lofty ambitions for all the right, high-minded reasons, but his single desire is to gain power in order to reverse what he sees as the moral and cultural collapse of modern American society. As Deputy Chief of Staff to South Carolina Senator Winston J. Sinclair, he moves through a world of corruption, power hungry PACs, and undercover conspiracies.

Dante, a social misfit because of his race and political ideals, seeks the love of a former college classmate, a beautiful Eurasian Muslim girl who works as a medical ER intern in New York. Their lives and those of their two closest friends are torn apart by the disaster of 9/11 and the war that follows.

Interview: Q. Please tell us about the inspiration for your current release.

I am captivated by history and the universal themes that connect eras over time. In particular, I find the tensions between religion and politics, the heavenly and the earthly, fascinating, especially when I am able to see parallels across societies. I wrote my first book on this theme with a true story drawn from the High Renaissance in Florence during the last few years of the 15th century (book title: The City of Man).

While researching that story, I was intrigued by the parallels I saw to modern cases of American religious politics and the Islamic secular conflicts in the Middle East, especially Iran. So, I conceived of a modern version set in the present time in Washington D.C. during the first few turbulent years of the 21st century. This new book is titled In God We Trust.

Q. How did writing this book affect you?

Writing books based on history, constructing the interweaving characters and stories, opens one’s eyes to even more intricate connections in life and our society. I find such explorations feed both my curiosity and my imagination.

Q. What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Editing the first drafts. As an author, one often is too close and intimate with the story to read it objectively and to see where it works and where it doesn’t. One solution is to put the story away for a period of time and come back to it in six or nine months, but few of us have that luxury. The other solution is to hire a competent story editor, but that is costly as well.

Q. Do you plan any subsequent books?

Yes, a historical novel on the mural competition between Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo and a futuristic novella dealing with the same timeless themes outlined above.

Q. What are you currently reading?

I am a political economist, so I read a lot of non-fiction and history. I am currently reading Debt: The First 5,000 Years, by David Graeber, an anthropologist. Debt is a very interesting phenomenon to contemplate in all its religious, social, financial, and commercial aspects.

Q. Please tell us your latest news (book-related or not!).

My wife and I are having our first child in six weeks, a girl. My latest book is dedicated to both of them.

Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I was trained as an academic and in my fiction and non-fiction writing I strive to stimulate my readers’ imaginations and intellectual curiosities about the world we live in and share. With In God We Trust I hope readers can relate to different characters with their individual stories set within current events drawn from the news headlines of the recent past, with a few plot twists and intrigues to whet their appetite.

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