Scott McDermott on his IRDA Winning title “Election 2064: Book One”

Election 2064: Book One was the winner in the Science Fiction category of the 2017 IndieReader Discovery Awards, where undiscovered talent meets people with the power to make a difference.

Following find an interview with author Scott McDermott.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

Election 2064: Book One was published on February 13th, 2017.

What’s the book’s first line?

Loop. Around. Under. Through.

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.

Nearly five decades from now, as America recovers from a devastating Second Civil War, candidates across the political spectrum vie for the power of the presidency by any means necessary.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?

The 2016 election was certainly an inspiration as it devolved our civil discourse into something more personal and sinister and our two-party system showed signs of collapse.  Much of the novel is an exploration of how our current politics would evolve into its next era, where technological advances have in many ways outpaced human sensibility.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?

Elijah Schroeder is the Vice President of the United States.  In the 2060 election, he ran against the president and lost, but in a gesture of good faith (and in a nod to America’s early history) the president selected him as his second-in-command even though they politically agree on nothing.  Now a few years into their unlikely partnership, the relationship is fraying and Elijah must decide if he’s to remain in his boss’s shadow, try a second time to defeat him in an election, or seek a darker third option.

Elijah is an everyman who finds himself in the cog of the wheel of history, pulled in all directions by powerful and competing forces.  For the most part, he’s up to the challenge, but personal demons and lingering animosities can shroud his judgment.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

It’s a thriller with bursts of action, a wide cast of dynamic characters, and game-changing surprises.  But beneath that, larger issues are at play – how our society adapts to a perilous future, whether a divided nation can come together again, and if all our amazing technical advances make us fuller people or the opposite.

If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?

Most of the characters in the book are at least loosely based on real political figures, either now or in history – but I don’t want to give away who!  As far as what actors would play them, I could see Kathy Bates as a perfect Shelby Monroe, Michael Fassbender as Elijah Schroeder, and Richard Dreyfuss as Ben Allen, among others.

When did you first decide to become an author?

I used to write short stories in elementary school and sell them to my classmates for a quarter, but got away from writing after finishing college and joining the “real” world.  Once I solidified my career and got hitched, writing a novel called back to me and I decided it was now or never.

Is this the first you’ve written?

This is my first finished and published novel, yes.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

I’m a Business/IT Analyst for a media research company.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

The amount of time can vary, but I aim for 3,000 words per week when writing.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?

The best part is the creative freedom.  The hardest part is anything non-writing – marketing, social media, not knowing which solicitations are helpful and which are scams.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling? If so, why? 

While I enjoy many of the freedoms that being an indie provides, it’s a lifelong dream to be traditionally published and have a broader audience.

Is there something in particular that motivates you?

It sounds trite but I just want people to enjoy the stories I tell, and maybe think about things a little differently after.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

I have many favorites, but I read almost every Stephen King book by the time I was 13 (which may or not say a lot about me), so I’d have to say him.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

The Stand – it’s the perfect epic novel.


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