Duane Swierczynski, author of The Blonde as well as "other books about crime and vice and exploding heads" and the editor-in-chief of the Philadelphia City Paper, interviewed Jamie Malanowski, author of The Coup.
The opening exchange from the interview:
Secret Dead Blog: You are the master of the vice-presidential political satire. How did you fall into this particular sub-genre? What about the No. 2 guy fascinates you?Read the entire interview.
Jamie Malanowski: Master of the Vice Presidential Political Satire? I like it! It is a small patch, but it is my own.
There are a couple of reasons why I gravitate towards these stories. One, the VP is an inherently absurd position. It is usual held by ambitious alpha males who have all the drive and ego of those who end up in the top slot, but who are then kind of neutered. (Cheney is a different breed of cat, of course; I'll have to dream up something just for him -- the infallible power behind the throne who leads the president into disaster.)
The other reason that I'm attracted is that the rules of the line of succession make the dramatic stakes and the maneuvering very clear. When Tom DeLay and the Republicans impeached Clinton in 1998, a lot of people said they were attempting a coup, but what kind of coup would it have been if Al Gore succeeded Clinton? In my novel, when Godwin Pope launches his manueverings, he will be the beneficiary.
By the way, I do write other kinds of stories. Just not as well.