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A President in Waiting

Author Interview
Julian Mann Author Interview

I enjoyed how Victoria Pierce’s character evolved throughout the story. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

Vera/Victoria’s character development were important in many respects primarily to make her believable so as to deliver to the reader the theme below (described below) so the reader would ask, “So this could actually happen?”

The USA is primed for the election of a woman president who will no doubt be a strong woman.  What I envisioned years ago with Victoria has now actually happened with Kamala Harris who does not have a clandestine past but could very well succeed to either the president or acting president under the 25th amendment.  I had many strong women in my family that informed Victoria’s character.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The themes that were important to me (besides the 25th Amendment) are the role the press plays in politics under the 2nd amendment. Under the constitutional provision regarding the Electoral College, originally the Vice President was the one who finished second on the balloting. Now the vice president is selected by the party’s candidate. There is considerably more vetting that goes on today than before so the likelihood of selecting a VP that has a clandestine past is now more remote. But, nevertheless, remains a concern as we know that the vice president is really a president in waiting.

My concern about the 25th amendment is the ambiguity surrounding how to proceed against an acting president that needs to be removed from office for wrongdoing or becomes incompetent. There is not a high probability this may occur but the book explores that possibility. There are other themes that will be explored in the sequel such as utilizing the president’s war powers, utilizing prior restraint of the press when subject to impeachment, the role of the press and potential military intervention.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Besides the sequel to MVP (at this point only in outline), I am working on a manuscript concerning the Gospel of John….to be entitled, Reading Between the Lines of the Gospel of Saint John. I am not a theologian so the concentration is dealing with what Christ faced in the real world as fully human, and his human response to those events. But the work is anchored in the actual verbatim scriptural passages that describe the events according to John’s Gospel. I am over half way through the first draft.

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Victoria Pierce is not the person she claims to be. As a beautiful farm girl, living in desolation on the Oklahoma range, she escapes her draconian “parents,” hitchhikes to San Francisco, and enlists in the United States Marine Corps. After surviving the rigors of basic training, Victoria is promoted through the ranks from Private to Brigadier General. Throughout her evolution, General Pierce and United States Senator Sam Eagan carry on a torrid love affair. Victoria joins Sam’s campaign for president, first as his military consultant and later as his vice presidential candidate. No one, not even Sam Eagan, is aware of Victoria’s clandestine past, except for one anonymous and demented caller. During the presidential campaign, Victoria befriends reporter Grace Brandon, but Grace becomes increasingly suspicious of Victoria’s urban sophistication which belies an agrarian past. This leads Grace into investigative reporting that eventually unravels the truth about Victoria’s past. However, before Grace can get to the bottom of the story, Sam and Victoria win the presidential election. Not long afterwards, Victoria ascends to the office of acting president under the 25th amendment. Grace finally completes her investigation and convinces her editor to release a bombshell of a story. America is shocked. Victoria reacts. Will the story require Victoria to resign or can she survive the revelation?

Madam Vice President

Madam Vice President by [Julian Mann]

Madam Vice President by Julian Mann is an exciting story about Victoria Pierce, a very ambitious girl who flees her home in Oklahoma, escaping her strict parents, and moves to San Francisco where she enlists in the United States Marine Corps. She is very patient and determined, persevering and works her way up the ranks till she becomes the Brigadier General.

She gets into a dreaded love affair with the United States Senator Sam Eagan throughout her career development phase and they manage to keep it a rendezvous from everyone except one anonymous stalker. She goes ahead and joins politics where she befriends Grace Brandon who gets suspicious of Victoria’s past and poses a threat that could change Victoria’s future in politics when she is elected president.

Author Julian Mann bases this riveting story on real-life situations that are based on a real 25th amendment law that raised his concern. He uses his writing to connect with a larger audience and the vivid way the story is written makes it more relatable to readers. The flow of events creates suspense at the end of each chapter; this made it very hard for me to pick a place to set the book down. The story is filled with rich, believable, dialogue that feels engaging throughout this novel; which is important because this is a character focused drama.

The fact that the author has managed to write the book in an agrarian setting and still bring out women empowerment throughout the growth of Victoria’s career increases the book’s appeal (at least to me it does) and is a role model for strong female protagonists.

The friendship between Victoria and Grace would have been a good one if not for Grace’s envy which sparks curiosity, raising eyebrows that make her poke into Victoria’s past. Despite the bad decisions she made, the young Vera Ochman still fights against all odds to become successful.

Madam Vice President by Julian Mann has a seemingly endless flow of intriguing events that ratchets up the suspense in this dramatic political fiction novel. I think this novel will appeal to anyone looking for an engrossing political thriller that knows how to build compelling characters.

Pages: 297 | ASIN: B08TK9GM3H

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