Friday, November 2, 2012

What the Experts Say: POLITICALLY SPEAKING by Author and TV Reporter/Anchor Tom Abrahams

Tom Abrahams, Author

Author and TV reporter/anchor Tom Abrahams joins us during this election season to talk about his recently-released political thriller SEDITION. Tom has spent the last 20 years covering local, national, and international news. He tells us that the move from covering political news to writing a political thriller was not a big leap. Don't miss the excerpt from his book at the end of this article

Politically Speaking
By Tom Abrahams

For twenty years, I’ve covered politics as a television reporter.

My first job was covering a small county commission.  Later, I was an education reporter, a city hall reporter, and over the last decade I’ve covered virtually every national political happening we’ve experienced.

Politics is inherently thrilling and I’ve always found people incredibly passionate about it. 

It’s fertile ground for a novel.  And writing a political thriller is no different than other strains of suspense.  It all comes down to the plot, the pacing, and the characters taking the reader for a ride.

But the challenge of writing about politics, which makes it different from other kinds of novels, lies in writing one that appeals to all political sensibilities.

Just as in reporting, I’m there to tell the story, not spin it.  If I do, I’ve lost half of the audience.

It’s a lot easier said than done but, with SEDITION, my plan was to tell a plausible, fantastic political story with which all sides could sympathize.

From the book’s cover, masterfully designed by Jason Farmand, you can surmise SEDITION is a book about the Tea Party.   And it is…sort of.

But really it is more about our political climate and how, depending on your myopic perspective, our system is in peril.

That’s something upon which Democrats, Republicans, and Independents can agree. 

The challenge of writing a politically charged thriller, especially in an election year, is finding that balance in the story telling.

I don’t want the reader thinking they’ve read my manifesto.

Instead I want to challenge them to think while they’re being entertained.  That’s why I grounded the story in reality, and filled it with references to history and art.

And just as a good news story is made by the people in it, so is a good book.

As such, I created characters without real political affiliation.  Obviously, some of them are to the far right.  But the others could just as easily be Democrats or Republicans.  I want each reader to identify with at least one of the primary characters, their beliefs, their cause.

SEDITION is a book about the narrow line between patriot and traitor.  It’s a story absent black and white distinctions between the good guys and the bad, just as it is the real world…politically speaking.

About Tom Abrahams

Tom is a Texas television reporter and anchor who has spent 20 years covering local, national, and international news.

He's interviewed Presidents, cabinet members, and leaders in congress. He's reported live from the White House, Capitol Hill, and the United Nations.

Tom's covered five national political conventions. He has flown with presidential candidates, gone backstage at their rallies, and broken stories about them on television and online.

He was at the Pentagon while smoke still rose in the hours after 9/11 and was in the room when Secretary Colin Powell made his case to the U.N. Security Council for war against Iraq.

Tom lives in the Houston suburbs with his wife, Courtney, and their two children.

SEDITION is his first novel.

The President of The United States is dead. There is no Vice President to take his place. As the nation slips into a constitutional crisis, a small group of disenfranchised neo-patriots conspire to violently seize power.

They have the will. They already have someone on the inside. And they have the explosives.
Standing in their way is a woman who listens to conversations not meant for her to hear. She reads mail not intended for her to see. She knows their intention. But can she stop them in time?

SEDITION is a smart, fast-paced, modern day political novel woven in reality and based on the 1820 British plot, The Cato Street Conspiracy.

It navigates the thin line between good versus evil and patriot versus traitor, proving there’s always a reason behind treason.


Sir Spencer Thomas stirred the Chivas Regal Royal Salute with his left pinkie then sucked the rare liquid from his finger.

He’d saved the fifty year old scotch since 2003 when it was gifted to him at the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Now was as good a time as any to self-medicate with a $10,000 bottle of Strathisla malted scotch.

           From his high back, brown leather chair in his suite at the Hay-Adams Hotel he could see The White House, The Washington Monument, and the 52 inch LCD television alit with coverage of President Foreman’s sudden death. The news was minutes old and already the spin doctors were talking succession.

“The body isn’t even cold yet,” he thought and crossed his legs.

He took a sip from the leaded glass and listened to the commentary on T.V.

“What complicates matters so much,” opined the pundit on the screen “is that the President’s death comes so soon after the prolonged illness and death of the former Vice President. It leaves us with a bit of a constitutional crisis. The replacement nominee is confirmed, but hasn’t taken the oath. Does this mean the Speaker of The House becomes President? Does she take the reins only until V.P. nominee Blackmon is sworn in? Who is in control right now?”

At the bottom of the screen flashed a crawl of announcements. Sir Spencer muted the television as he read the information moving from right to left across the screen.

Wall Street trading suspended after sharp 900 point drop. Mourners gather outside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Cabinet meets in emergency session in White House. Leadership vacuum not a concern, says Speaker Jackson. Doctors say Foreman’s last checkup revealed no health issues. Aneurysm suspected in President Foreman’s sudden death. Autopsy is scheduled for late tonight with results tomorrow.

Sir Spencer took another sip. The scotch was smooth and it finished with a creamy taste. He stood from the chair, using his left hand to balance his six foot five inch frame as he rose. It was a simple task that had become increasingly difficult with age and indulgence. Sighing slightly, he stepped to the window overlooking the People’s House and thought about the incredible opportunity that fate chose to bestow upon him.

            The possibilities!  

The knight was a man for whom manifest destiny was a deep belief. It did not end with his adopted country’s purchase of Texas, as some historians suggested. It did not end with the Imperialism so many believe the U.S. employed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It was, for him, the idea that America’s place as the world’s foremost military, economic, and social power was ordained in perpetuity. Sir Spencer believed the death of a president and the ensuing uncertainty might be exactly what was needed to regain its authority and rightful place in the hierarchy of nations.

This is what we’ve waited for. This is our opportunity.

Sir Spencer reached into the inside breast pocket of his combed, blue cashmere Kiton jacket. He pulled out his Sigillu encrypted cell phone and punched a series of numbers with his thumb, pressed send, and slipped the phone back into the pocket. “A Deo et Rege,” he murmured as he again lifted the glass to his lips. From God and The King. He could smell the strength of the scotch.


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Twitter:  @seditionbook


  1. Cool! I started reading your post and thinking I wouldn't be interested in a political thriller, but I've changed my mind. Sedition sounds great!

    1. Tom AbrahamsNovember 7, 2012 1:15 PM
      Sheila, that is very kind of you. I really appreciate it and am thrilled that you're enjoying a genre you wouldn't normally choose to read! I'd love to know what you think once you've finished. You can email me at

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