Click to view this week’s installment, and join the conversation!
INTERNATIONAL BEST-SELLING AUTHOR TOM GRACE TO SPEAK AT
OAKLAND COUNTY GOP 400 CLUB BREAKFAST
Grace’s latest political thriller – The Liberty Intrigue – defying the odds
and becoming election-year Conservative juggernaut
Author Tom Grace will be speaking and answering questions at the April 10th Oakland County GOP 400 Club Breakfast at the Skyline Club in Southfield, Michigan. Check in begins at 7AM.
Skyline Club – Southfield
2000 Town Center
Southfield, MI 48075
To become a member of the 400 Club and for more information on the Oakland County GOP, please visit http://www.oaklandgop.net.
Grace’s sixth novel, “The Liberty Intrigue,” a conservative political thriller, is quickly turning into a rallying point for conservatives across the country.
In the last few weeks, the novel has broken into the top 50 (43) in Books on Amazon.com. It also landed both the paperback version and the Kindle version in the site’s top 5 political fiction novels at 2 and 5, respectively. In iTunes, the book landed as the number 3 most downloaded book, while it hit Top 30 on Barnes and Noble’s website.
The book was launched at Hillsdale College, Heritage Foundation, and CPAC. In addition, Tom has been featured in the National Review and on the Rush Limbaugh show.
From the Heritage Foundation’s book review:
“…But Grace’s achievement is not just in capturing the zeitgeist of the day, though his novel certainly succeeds as a relevant and timely political commentary. Much more than that, he has crafted a compelling, fast-paced, wide-ranging political thriller with gripping twists and turns, high-tech schemes, dastardly corruption, and murder.
The delight of reading The Liberty Intrigue is that woven through this political thriller is an intelligent articulation of the conservative philosophy and that holding the pen is an author who understands that the real miracle of the American experiment is a love of liberty that can be found even in the farthest corners of our world…”
TRANSCRIPT: NRO—BETWEEN THE COVERS WITH JOHN J. MILLER
TRANSCRIPT OF TOM ON THE RUSH LIMBAUGH SHOW
VIDEO: TOM SPEAKS AT THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION
HERITAGE FOUNDATION BOOK REVIEW
But Grace’s achievement is not just in capturing the zeitgeist of the day, though his novel certainly succeeds as a relevant and timely political commentary. Much more than that, he has crafted a compelling, fast-paced, wide-ranging political thriller with gripping twists and turns, high-tech schemes, dastardly corruption, and murder.
The delight of reading The Liberty Intrigue is that woven through this political thriller is an intelligent articulation of the conservative philosophy and that holding the pen is an author who understands that the real miracle of the American experiment is a love of liberty that can be found even in the farthest corners of our world.
You can read the full review here: Review: ‘The Liberty Intrigue’ A Conservative Political Thriller
“The Liberty Intrigue” Storms into Top Online Book Sales Lists
Call to the Rush Limbaugh Show, Exchange with Host
Leads to On-Air Purchase and Outpouring of Sales
In the midst of “ad-gate,” conservative talk show pioneer Rush Limbaugh showed would-be advertisers that his legions of fans are loyal and responsive to him, despite recent public criticism in the mainstream media.
Author Tom Grace’s call to Limbaugh’s top-rated show to talk about the notion and pros and cons of a brokered GOP convention, a scenario in Grace’s sixth novel, The Liberty Intrigue, lead to a discussion of the book, the host purchasing an e-version live on air, and Limbaugh declaring Grace a one-time advertiser.
RUSH: I certainly will try. You’ve just become a new advertiser, by the way, here on the EIB Network.
CALLER: I am proud new advertiser, I guess.
RUSH: One-time advertiser, but good luck with the book…I’m sure it’ll do well now. Nobody who’s advertising on this program ever does anything but wildly succeed.
And do well it did. In a span of about 5 hours, the novel broke the top 50 in Books on Amazon.com, landing it at #2 on its Movers and Shakers with a 644,000% increase in sales. It also landed both the paperback version and the Kindle version in the site’s top 5 political fiction novels at 2 and 5, respectively. In iTunes, the book landed as the number 3 most downloaded book, while it cracked the top 30 at Barnes and Noble.
Said Grace, “I think the spike shows two things. One: publishers who shun conservative works of fiction do so at their own financial detriment, because there is a large, loyal, mobile audience for the genre out there. And, two: no matter how many advertisers pull
out of Limbaugh’s show, the man is simply a force who can move product, especially when motivated.”
Tom Grace’s “The Liberty Intrigue”
March 14, 2012
RUSH: This is Tom. Thank you for waiting, sir, and welcome to the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Always a pleasure to wait for you, Rush. Conservative thriller-writer dittos from Dexter.
RUSH: Thank you very much.
CALLER: Yeah, when we last spoke last June I’m the guy whose book was nationalized by Hugo Chavez, if you remember that.
RUSH: You were the guy whose book was nationalized by Hugo Chavez. I do vaguely remember that.
CALLER: Well, I’ve got a new book out. It’s an election thriller, and it uses a brokered convention as a plot device. It’s a strategy that’s employed by both sides. And I’m wondering if there’s any real world advantage to the president in prolonging the GOP nomination, and might we actually be looking at some kind of a strategery?
RUSH: Well, you know, this is an open question. There are people on both sides of this, as to whether or not this prolonged Republican campaign hurts or helps Obama. In one way, I don’t know you can say this hurts him, but it prevents him from targeting his focused opposition research and intense advertising campaign against the nominee because we don’t have one yet. And the longer we can delay — or the longer we do delay — having a nominee, then the less time Obama’s gonna have, along with George Soros and all the other players here, to demonize our nominee and to run all these caustic ads.
On the other hand, the protracted — and this has always been my theory. The protracted campaign allows for the continued articulation of conservatism. And as long as Santorum and Gingrich are there, that’s going to happen. And it also provides an opportunity for criticism of Obama and Obama’s economic policies. Now, sometimes that ends up playing second fiddle in the primary ’cause these guys go after each other tooth and nail. But it always does eventually surface that the problem is Obama and that all four — well, three — are actually running against Obama. And I think those are the two things. Whatever benefit accrues to Obama on this? He’s running ads against Sarah Palin right now, for crying out loud, because he doesn’t have a Republican nominee to focus his evil on.
Tom, what is the name of your new book?
CALLER: My new novel is called The Liberty Intrigue. And the interesting thing about it is there’s actually one nationally published review that latched onto my take on conservatism ’cause it’s a conservative election thriller. It’s told from our point of view, but there’s a character in this book that bears an uncanny resemblance to you, and this reviewer thought that you actually wrote portions of the book.
RUSH: (laughing) Really?
CALLER: So I don’t know if I owe you any royalties or not because, you know, I’m a 24/7 member and that’s where I did my research. You know, clearly I caught your style and substance so perfectly that I caught your ear for how you handle your show and they thought you wrote those portions of the book.
RUSH: Really? Did that hurt you in the review?
CALLER: Not at all. The reviewer loved my book because they thought it was a brilliant articulation of conservatism. And here’s a fun thriller as opposed a polemic or a treatise. You know, somebody’s actually done something in the popular culture. I was having a nice chat with Andrew Breitbart a few days before he died and, you know, the idea that we need to engage the popular culture. Well, I’ve done it.
RUSH: Well, that’s what he was into. What’s the name of it again?
CALLER: The name of the book is The Liberty Intrigue.
RUSH: The Liberty Intrigue.
CALLER: It’s on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It’s an e-book and a physical book.
RUSH: Wait a second. Hang on just a second.
CALLER: It’s an election book for conservatives to read this year ’cause they’re not find anything else like it.
RUSH: Okay, let me see here. Hang on just a second. I’m gonna go to the iBook store and I’m going to see if it’s there. Hang on just a second. This won’t take long because I have the fastest Internet connection known to exist in the Free World. Okay, here’s the store and let’s just see.
CALLER: Actually, I have a very nice blurb on the back from your brother.
RUSH: You got my brother to write a blurb?
CALLER: David read an early copy of the book and wrote a very kind blurb for the back of it. He and Steve Berry.
RUSH: The Liberty Intrigue. Tom Grace is who we’re talking to here.
RUSH: Okay, Tom, your book is only $9.99!
CALLER: That’s the e-book.
RUSH: Yeah, I’m gonna buy it here right now. See, a lot of people think powerful, influential members of the media like me are given free stuff. But no, I buy it, and it’s $9.99. I’ll click on it.
CALLER: I appreciate that. Every one of those helps.
RUSH: “Buy a book,” and there it’s downloading.
CALLER: I think you’re gonna find this very entertaining particularly your literary doppelganger.
RUSH: Wait a minute.
CALLER: You’re now a fictional character.
RUSH: Did you say that you gave my brother a copy of the book?
CALLER: Your brother and I have been trading books, basically. So I’m looking forward to reading his next one.
CALLER: I know he’s finishing his up.
RUSH: Oh. Oh, I see.
CALLER: He helped me get my editor because I had two editors —
RUSH: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay.
CALLER: — who declined to work on the book because they were liberals.
RUSH: Okay. Ah, let’s see. I’ll open it. Great cover here, Tom. This is a great, great cover.
CALLER: Thank you.
RUSH: I’m surprised you didn’t put Obama’s picture on the bunting there.
CALLER: Well, that would scare people away.
RUSH: Nooo. Okay, The Liberty Intrigue. Let’s see here. “Also by Tom Grace…” The Liberty Intrigue. Okay. I got it here. That means it will automatically download. “For Kathy always.” Who’s Kathy?
CALLER: Kathy is my wife. Kathleen.
RUSH: Good, okay.
CALLER: As opposed to your wife, Kathryn.
RUSH: That’s right. Okay. So it starts January 18th. Okay, cool. It’s on my iPads now, too, and everything. So I have got it.
CALLER: Fantastic! You’re gonna enjoy it.
RUSH: I certainly will try. You’ve just become new advertiser, by the way, here on the EIB Network.
CALLER: I am proud new advertiser, I guess.
RUSH: One-time advertiser, but good luck with the book. Look, you asked me this question about the potential assistance or harm to come to Obama. Do you think this long Republican campaign helps him, and if so, how?
CALLER: I don’t think it helps him very much because he can’t focus his attention on anyone. I think it would be more productive on our side if we were focusing our attention solely on him and let the voters figure it out in the end.
RUSH: Interesting. Okay, cool. Well, I’m glad you called, and good luck with the book.
CALLER: Thank you so much.
RUSH: I’m sure it’ll do well now. Nobody who’s advertising on this program ever does anything but wildly succeed.
CALLER: Well, thank you for the shameless advertising.
RUSH: (laughing) You’re more than welcome.
Click here to find out more!
An Interview with Tom Grace, author of The Liberty Intrigue [Audio]
JOHN J. MILLER: This is John J. Miller of National Review Online. Thank you for listening. Our guest is Tom Grace, author of The Liberty Intrigue. Tom, what is this novel about?
TOM GRACE: The Liberty Intrigue is a political thriller set in an election, a presidential election.
JOHN J. MILLER: What happens in the story?
TOM GRACE: In the story I have a brilliant engineer from fly-over country, the northern area of Michigan, and he’s been away in Africa since basically the end of the Reagan administration, and he comes back to the United States a fairly well-acclaimed, renowned figure, and he’s drafted into running for President against a very divisive, leftist President who is very charismatic, a great campaigner, who has a lot of money and all the media backing him up.
JOHN J. MILLER: How is this a thriller? What makes that story thrill?
TOM GRACE: I think it’s all of the things that happen, it’s sort of a chess match. It’s a fairly intellectual thriller in that regard. You have the two opposing political systems, parties fighting against each other in order to try and win an election.
JOHN J. MILLER: Now tell us, you call it a political thriller. Is it a partisan thriller?
TOM GRACE: I don’t know if it’s a partisan thriller as such In an election thriller, you have to pick a good guy and a bad guy, and in my case I have chosen the conservative side to be the protagonist and the more leftist side to be the antagonist.
JOHN J. MILLER: A lot of political thrillers are studiously nonpartisan, as you know, presumably because they don’t want to offend potential readers. Your book though takes a different approach. Why did you choose that?
TOM GRACE: I chose that because I certainly believe in the conservative system and a conservative method of thought, the idea of the original intent of the Constitution. And I wanted to have a candidate who firmly believes that and presents a very Reaganesque point of view. Reagan was undoubtedly highly successful at what he did and a lot of that came from his belief system. So rather than be agnostic about it, I decided to have [protagonist Ross Egan] project fairly strongly what he felt, and that his belief system was not just in his head but in his heart. And conversely, the President feels the same way about his belief system. I wanted them both to be strongly partisan in what they were doing rather than having both of them sort of meet in the middle of the road and have the adventure be something that was agnostic.
JOHN J. MILLER: What makes fiction a good medium for discussing ideas? Why not just write op eds?
TOM GRACE: Op eds tend to speak to the head. They tend to be fairly intellectual. If you look at books that are aimed conservatives today, they are basically that, pieces that are written by former politicians, or they are pieces that are written by media people who are on the conservative side. But there is no fiction. Fiction draws you in to the story, creates that human connection. When you look at the Constitution, the people who wrote it felt every word that’s in it. Today we’re two hundred years from the tyranny that caused those words to come into existence, so we don’t have the same feeling for them. We know that intellectually, but we don’t have it in our hearts why these words are important, the way they were put together. A story will allow you to do that. One of the great classic cases was Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin. She wrote a book about slavery, a novel that got people into the feeling of it. It was so poignant that when she met with President Lincoln, it is said that he walked up to her and said, “So you’re the little lady who wrote the book the book that started this great war.” And that was the impact of that novel at the time. It wasn’t a treatise on slavery—it drew the reader right into it and made you feel like you were a slave. The importance of fiction is that good storytelling that draws the reader into the story, makes them empathize with the hero and understand the plight of what’s going on.
JOHN J. MILLER: Are there enough conservative writers of fiction?
TOM GRACE: I think the issue is whether there are enough conservative publishers of fiction. I think there are writers who would write to a more conservative audience if they thought they could sell it. One of the issues is a lot of the media—the ownership of the publishing houses, the television studios, that kind of thing—is 90 percent liberal and they donate to liberal causes. This doesn’t reflect the population of the country. According to most polling right now, 40 percent of the people identify themselves as conservative and 60 percent of the people in this country have conservative leanings. The conservative point of view is definitely held by a majority of the country; it’s just that the media that creates the stories and writes the narratives has the opposite view. So they don’t prepare anything that has a positive impact on conservatism.
JOHN J. MILLER: There are of course conservatives who have very successful careers as novelists. I’m thinking of Dean Koontz and Brad Thor and Vince Flynn. These guys are right of center.
TOM GRACE: But they keep their political views in their own heads, they don’t really show up that much in their books. Their books are just great thrillers—these are phenomenal writers. If you can tell a good story, you’re going to be able to sell a book. I have sold a lot of books, just telling my story through my characters. Certainly my worldview is framed through a conservative lens, but for the stories that I’ve told, it really wasn’t important to bring that out. I mean, there may be hints at it, but it wasn’t a central element of the story. In writing an election thriller, and politics is a central element of the story, it had to come out. It’s almost a character, it’s that important.
JOHN J. MILLER: Is this book, The Liberty Intrigue, is it written for Republicans or for Tea Party members?
TOM GRACE: I think they will enjoy it. I think it’s for every American citizen. It’s an interesting take on the political process and the concept to go behind the scenes in both campaigns. You see the campaigns waging this war against each other. I think everyone can learn something from it.
JOHN J. MILLER: Let me read a passage from the book. This is, you’re describing a presidential debate, and there’s a lot of dialogue. You’re quoting speeches essentially, big chunks of speeches. Here’s something the Republican candidate says, “Abraham Lincoln put it best when he said: We all declare for liberty, but in using the name — but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself and the product of his labor, while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two not only different but incompatible things, called by the same name, liberty. And it follows that each of these things is by the respective party called by two different and incompatible names, liberty and tyranny.” How do you take speeches like that or paragraphs like that and insert them into a thriller and make it compelling?
TOM GRACE: It’s in the nature of defining the character. You watch the back and forth in a debate—and my debates are a little more compelling, I think, than the ones that you see on television—it’s just the back and forth of ideas and philosophy. It’s a small part of the book.
JOHN J. MILLER: You put out several previous novels with big mainstream publishers. With this title you have chosen to go with a brand new publishing outfit called Dunlap Goddard. What is Dunlap Goddard and why did you choose them for this book?
TOM GRACE: Dunlap Goddard is a brand new publisher—this [The Liberty Intrigue] is their first title fiction coming out. And part of it was because they believed in the story enough that they wanted to do it, and they could react quickly enough to bring The Liberty Intrigue out during an election year. That’s one of the problems with writing books, particularly novels, is the publisher usually has a year to handle it after the book is written, to generate the book, to get the sales force out there, to get it in the catalogue, prime the pump and do all the things they need to do in order to have a marketing plan in place so the book actually gets in stores. But a year from now, I think a book about an election would be worth about ten percent of what it is worth during an election. There’s a ten-month news story that’s tied to my novel. So it’s best to bring The Liberty Intrigue out during an election year.
JOHN J. MILLER: When did you finish the manuscript? When was it ready to go?
TOM GRACE: I sent it off to my agent about this time last year, and that’s when she started shopping it. And in order to keep things moving I actually hired a freelance editor, to work on it, to polish the book up, to have it ready to go to press as soon as we had a publisher who was ready to pull the trigger.
JOHN J. MILLER: Were mainstream publishers reluctant to do it because of the politics?
TOM GRACE: I talked to my agent about this book and the next few books that I have in my series. My previous five novels are all part of a series, and they feature recurring characters. And they [the publishers] like those books. They were ready to talk about the next two in that series, but this one they were very reluctant on. The reaction I got, even from some freelance editors, was sort of the same way. One of them thought the writing was just as good and the characters were as good as my previous novels, but he couldn’t suspend his disbelief to accept the premise of a conservative good guy and conservatism as a force for good. His own personal political beliefs prevented him from accepting that, even in a fictional world, as a possibility. Another editor said he was just too liberal to do it, and that he would like to point me to a conservative editor but he didn’t know any. So there is just a certain bias in publishing world against presenting conservatives in a positive light.
JOHN J. MILLER: One last question. The cover of The Liberty Intrigue says that you’re an internationally best selling author. One of your books had a pretty interesting experience in Venezuela. Could you describe that?
TOM GRACE: Yes. A little over a year after my fifth novel, The Secret Cardinal, was published, I received an e-mail from a gentleman from Panama who picked up a copy in North America of the book and loved it so much that he wanted to give it to his family in Panama but wondered if it was available in Spanish. And it was—the Spanish version of the book came out first. I did a quick Google search on it as I knew there were a few bookstores actually carrying it in the States. And to my surprise, I got a thousand hits back that turned out to be Associated Press’s Best Seller list for every country in the Western hemisphere. And I was listed there at Number One in Venezuela and Number Eight in Uruguay. As I tracked it through, I had been on Venezuela’s list for over a year at Number One. I ended up doing a hundred weeks on AP’s Best Seller list in Latin America, and the book had been pirated. My Spanish publisher was completely unaware that this was going on in Latin America. They had sent books out the first week it came out in 2007 and never got another order.
JOHN J. MILLER: So you were a victim of international intellectual property rights theft.
TOM GRACE: Exactly. I think Rush Limbaugh put it best when he said, “Hugo Chavez nationalized my book.”
JOHN J. MILLER: The author is Tom Grace, the book is The Liberty Intrigue. Thanks for listening.