May 21, 2013: One of the fun things about fiction, is writing about things and events we are unlikely to do in reality. For example in Unleashing Colter's Hell, I created a president and his administration. In the novel, John Paine is the President of the United States. He is required to deal with foreign and domestic terrorist threats, a possible volcanic eruption, and the pending death of his best friend and Vice President. It's all in the life of a commander in chief. One of the ways I attempt to make President Paine more real to the readers is to give him a history and hint of the values that guide his decisions.
Tradition holds that presidents decorate the cabinet room with four portraits of their favorite presidents from the national gallery of art. Which portrait the president chooses to hang gives some indication of what values and leadership style his plans to emulate.
In Unleashing Colter's Hell, President Paine chose the portraits of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Truman, and Clinton. Paine appreciates Lincoln's laser like focus on saving the Union, Roosevelt's attention to the future, Truman's remaining humble and an "every man" even while the White House, and Clinton's deft political skill.
Who would you pick for your cabinet room?