front matter from the Unelected President novel
Copyright 2016 by John T. Reed
All rights reserved.
Published by John T. Reed
342 Bryan Drive
Alamo, CA 94507
Manufactured in the United States of America
Other material by John T. Reed
For more information, visit www.johntreed.com.
About the author
John T. Reed is a self-publisher and self-distributor of books and a national newsletter on real estate investment, and books on succeeding, self-publishing, football coaching, baseball coaching, and how to protect yourself from hyperinflation and depression. He has sold over 200,000 books and 3 million newsletters. He has been quoted regularly in the national news media since the 1970’s and has appeared on numerous radio and TV shows including 60 Minutes, Larry King Live, and Good Morning America. He was a real estate investor for 23 years. He also worked as a property manager, real estate salesman, banker, football coach, baseball coach, and volleyball coach. He has been married since 1975 and has three sons. He was an Army officer in the U.S. and Vietnam and graduated from Army Airborne (paratrooper) and Ranger schools. Mr. Reed holds a Bachelor of Science degree from West Point and a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School.
Mike Reed, Dick Steiner, Stephanie Kurkjian, Steve Reed, Jennifer Miner, and Marty Tunnell for proofreading and former Nixon and Reagan cabinet member George P. Schultz for discussing some of the issues in the book with me.
How I wrote this book the way I did and why
This is my first novel—after 34 non-fiction, how-to books. I expected it to be harder for me than writing non-fiction books. And I still underestimated how hard it would be.
To make it easier, I made the main characters me and my family. Bill Cosby did that with the Cosby Show about “Cliff Huxtable” and his wife and kids. “Cliff” had one son and four daughters. So did the real Bill Cosby.
I know Cosby has had scandal trouble recently, but the Cosby Show ran from 1984 through 1992 and was highly regarded. Of that show, Wikipedia says,
According to TV Guide, the show “was TV’s biggest hit in the 1980s, and almost single-handedly revived the sitcom genre and NBC’s ratings fortunes.” In May 1992, Entertainment Weekly stated that The Cosby Show helped to make possible a larger variety of shows with a predominantly African-American cast, from In Living Color to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
The protagonist of this book, “Mike Medlock,” is a clone of me and his life is my life with only a few changes like his living in Delaware rather than California. I needed his home state governor to be a Republican. Who would believe California had a Republican governor in 2013?
As I said above, this made it easier to write the book, and as a beginning novelist, I needed all the “easier” I could get. Also, the initial market for this book is my how-to-book readers. I thought it would be fun for them to see their how-to book writer become President and apply the principles in his various how-to books to the challenges of being President of the United State. Also, it’s my little “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” fantasy—524 pages of my saying, “Boy, if I were President, I sure would have done that differently.”
I say initial market. For all I know today, August 17, 2016, they may be the only market. If, to my surprise, this book becomes popular with readers beyond my quarter of a million or so how-to book readers, I will be embarrassed that I made the protagonist so identical to me and my non-fiction writing career. But today, I’m not going to worry about it. Before someone accuses me of putting my actual how-to book titles in this book to sell more of them, my how-to book readers already have those how-to books—by definition. If the book sells beyond that market, great. And if that causes sales of my how-to books to increase, also great. But I had no such intention when I wrote it.
The events in the book including words spoken by actual living people are generally true. For example, Obama and Biden are President and VP when the book starts. In the book, North Korea declares war on South Korea on March 30, 2013. That also actually happened on that date in the real world. Really.
Other events and people are made up in order to create the fictional story. For example, I reversed which houses of Congress were controlled by the two major parties because of the way I needed Constitutional duties to be distributed for the dramatic plot in the book.
The book is also partly inspired by Ayn Rand’s novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged in that my protagonist is a committed small “L” libertarian and a great believer in a movement I call “Democracy without politicians.” Randism, libertarianism, and “Democracy without politicians” are very tightly woven into the plot in the hopes that the book may engender wider support for those ideas.
I tried really hard to make a startlingly-different-from-reality story plausible.
I hope you enjoy it.
John T. Reed