Author Steven Clark Bradley has been to or lived in 34 countries, including Pakistan, Iraq and Turkey. He has a master’s degree in liberal studies from Indiana University. He speaks French and Turkish. He has been an assistant to a prosecutor, a university instructor and a freelance journalist. He recently sat down to talk with Book Hookup for this interview:
The political undertones in Patriot Acts reveal a working knowledge of history, government and the military. How did this play a role in your plot development?
It is true that I have had a very diverse career, politics, journalism and world travel. All of those activities in my life have given me a real understanding of what is out there and the dangers we face. I want to write stories that are only scary because they are so very plausible. I can say that the scenario of Patriot Acts and Patriot Acts Two, which is now completed and in editing, are both very real and related to the things and issues and dangers we now face in a world gone mad and gone weak. We have a president who thinks talk is enough and a government that is spending us into oblivion. That is why I have striven so hard to make what I write so real and something that serves as a warning of the future that we face without realizing that freedom is not free.
What idea first ignited you imagination that led you to write this story?
I believe we are losing our freedom, freedoms that were never granted by any government, but by god. There are forces at work today that place all of us in the crosshairs of totalitarian treatment. One of the biggest mistakes we are making today in our seeming delight in playing the part of the Ostrich. We have our heads in the sand and think our enemies cannot see our hinder parts. Patriot Acts goes a long way in showing that going softly and politically with nations like
The dialog and Middle Eastern scenery in your book are authentically vivid. Have you visited the
I have lived in the
The threat of an apocalyptic terrorist threat combined with the unlikely alliance between the Islamic
I have heard from some who felt it was not realistic to think that Americans would gang up with terrorists. All I had to do was to refresh their memories and mention names like Terry Nichols, Timothy McVeigh or the Uni-bomber. All of these are part of a huge underground network that is even now looking for a way to change the world we have built into an anarchist’s paradise.
After I published Patriot Acts, I found so free pictures to use for marketing and one man called me and told me he was one of the people in one of the pictures I had used. He was a really interesting man, but very despising of the world in which we live. I was raised in
I have always said that it is impossible for Hamas and Hezbollah to make peace with
You've created interesting yet complex characters complete with strengths and flaws. Which character(s) grew beyond the scope of your original concept for them and in what way?
This is a great question. I used to wonder how I could paint a fictitious human in a genuine way. As humans, we have histories of greatness and profound mistakes at times. I came to an understanding that all I had to do was take a realistic look at myself. That provided the good and the bad that all of possess. I would love to write a memoire in the future, but my greatest concern is how I can portray the real me and still have friends, in light of the life I have lived and some of the things I have done, that I cannot speak of. I will not write a biography unless I can tell the good, the bad and the ugly.
Do you see part of yourself in any of your characters?
I would say a lot of Fisher Harrison’s development and personality and actions represent who I am and somewhat who I would have liked to be. Hamilton Smith and Jamie O’Rourke ended up basically who I patterned them to be. But, the character who took on a life of his own was the President figure, Christopher A. Tate.
President Tate, in Patriot Acts, was patterned after someone in my past who was a real self-indulged, egotistical and despicable person I worked for politically, in my past. My intent was to paint him as I recalled him, in a very negative light, to say the least. Yet, he emerged as a naïve man, a man with bitter demons that plagued him, but who was courageous enough to face his mistakes and character flaws and to grow into a real leader. I have always said that a great story starts to write itself, and President Tate in Patriot Acts is a prime example of that. He has a supreme role in Patriot Acts Two and his character, I predict, will bring you to tears.
This story is full of suspense and intrigue. It is written with such clarity and realistic fervor that it seems one could click on the TV and see these fictional events played out on the news. What do you hope to accomplish with this story?
As it has accurately been said, fact is often stranger than fiction. I want Americans too actually see that there is no future unless we take the rose-colored glasses off and look at the world around us. In 2002, I was in
On the morning of
Now we are negotiating with Iran; our President tells those with the same evil ideas that we are not at war with them, that their evil ideals in the name of some evil concept of a god that they have a good faith and that we are friends. We have blinded our eyes and the forces at work to destroy us and the current political leaders controlling the nation are a combination that places this nation and our children’s futures in peril. That is why I burn the midnight oil to push myself to tell the next generation that there will be no future of freedom, there will be no happy ending unless we give our all to thumb our noses at the peaceniks who would just as soon see us perish than to do what it takes to survive. These are some of the reasons why I write on issues that some may find too realistic to say they enjoy my writing. I am not trying to be enjoyable. I want to stimulate, to resurrect the desire to maintain our free society and to see the threats so we can prepare for them.
Where do you hope to take your writing in the future? Is there a sequel on the horizon?
The sequel is written and I would say, though the characters are the same, the story is just as powerful as and actually more so than Patriot Acts One. I have tentatively called it The Second Republic. It is about domestic biological terrorism and it will make your hair stand up on your arm. I do not know where such ideas come from, but it is a plausible and super-frightening scenario of what evil men and women can do to control the lives of others and to make the world to tremble. I sometimes feel too clear in what I see for the future if we stay on our current path. I fall asleep wondering where we are headed. Perhaps, instead of worrying about some unproven hole in the ozone, perhaps we should worry more about the holes in our security, about the breaches of trust our leaders create, bout those who wish to relegate
What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing? Any special memories that you would like to share?
Of all the books I have written, I have to say that Nimrod Rising shook me to my very core. I came back to
Where is Patriot Acts available?
This new exciting novel is easy to find and available all over the net. Here are a few links to help you secure you own copy of Patriot Acts.
I hope everyone who reads this will not just think it is entertainment or the irrational rambling of a scared American. I am not afraid; I am convinced that no one will secure our future except us. That is why I declare the main theme of Patriot Acts in one key phrase: Patriot Acts – No unconditional Talks – Just patriot Acts!
Steven Clark Bradley