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J. Michael Martin

J. Michael Martin

J. Michael Martin is a professional writer, photographer, and adjunct professor. He has multiple degrees in psychology and biology, and spent 6 years working for a local publishing company.

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Death Precedent

Dr. Robert Banks just won the presidential election, but he's about to realize the job he accepted wasn't the job he thought. Politics and fantasy elements collide in this thriller.

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Thriller Political
Florence, Alabama
75,000 words
50% complete
7 publishers interested

Synopsis

Have you ever wondered why politicians from all walks of life campaign for certain ideas and people, then they never come through with those promises? In fact, they  seemingly vote the exact opposite of how they campaigned. What if the job of politicians different than what they were elected to do? What if politicians were working to the best of their ability for the good of the people? These were the questions that led me to write this book. Death Precedent is a political thriller that mixes mythological and fantasy elements within a real-world setting. 

Synopsis: When Robert Banks M.D. wins the United States presidential election, he believes he's about to change the country and the world for the better. However, the only change is his personal world view, which is turned upside down when he learns the true hierarchy of global governance. After encountering the inhuman archon named Rezzek, an anthropomorphic-raven entity charged with overseeing the country, the president learns that the true nature of his job isn't about saving the lives of his people, but rather taking them. With his grip on reality shattered, President Banks must choose on whether or not to work with these trans-dimensional beings, or defy his primordial overseer to perform the job he was elected to do.

Outline

1.      After Party

Dr. Robert Banks celebrates with his family and campaign after winning the United States presidential election. They discuss the challenges ahead and plans to fix the pressing issues the country faces. Focusing primarily on healthcare, Dr. Banks speculates with his wife, Dianne, the problems of the healthcare system from a doctor’s perspective. The party comes to close with Dr. Banks and his campaign manager discussing possibilities for filling cabinet positions. Meanwhile, a raven perches and intently watches the celebration from the balcony, drawing the attention and disconcertment of Dianne.

2.      Transition Team

President-elect Banks assembles his transition team with the help of his campaign manager, Andy. However, three weeks before the inauguration, Andy goes missing. One by one, the team members who initially accepted administrative positions inform Dr. Banks that they will be unable to continue. With one week to go before the big day, a tall, slender man by the name of “Mr. Charles” mysteriously appears and hands a list of pre-approved cabinet members.

3.      Auguration Day

Andy re-emerges on inauguration day looking nervous and disheveled. He gives Dr. Banks some last-minute cryptic advice before the first couple enter the white house. Inside, they are greeted by Mr. Charles and a murder of ravens. The dozens of black birds swarm around the couple before merging into the form of a man. The inhuman entity politely introduces himself as an archon named Rezzek – the ‘Prince of America’ – a spiritual being charged with overseeing the  country. With his grip on reality shattered, President-elect Banks leaves the room and steps onto the stage to give an inauspicious acceptance speech.

4.      The Grim Raven

After a few weeks of settling into the White House, Rezzek summons President Banks to inform him of his duties. The sins of mankind must be accounted for, and the execute-ive branch is responsible for deciding who will be held accountable. Thus, President Banks and Rezzek must work together on a weekly basis to decide who and how people will meet their demise. Otherwise, the entire country will be held accountable and be destroyed by The Almighty.

5.      Do Know Harm

President Banks objects to his new position and ignores his duties. Rezzek recalls stories from the past, and describes to the president what happens when you ignore the death mandates. Rezzek mentions that if the president refuses to work with him, others will work against him. No matter what, the job will be completed.

6.      Book of Secrets

Mr. Charles, who doesn’t appear all too human, hands President Banks a book passed down from leaders. Inside, many plans are detailed on various methods to exterminate large groups of the population, and how to make the people cheer and vote for their own demise. A few ‘career’ politicians also offer advice and suggestions to the political outsider who seems to be in over his head.

7.      Dealers of Death

Lobbyists swarm the president, who seem to know more about the truth of the job than he does. They seem to hold no objection in taking both money and lives from their fellow citizens. President Banks ponders how and why these humans are never held accountable.

8.      The GLP Summit

The president meets with other world leaders, and their respective archons to debate the yearly death mandates: Gross Lethal Product. In addition to weekly deaths, a yearly death mandate is required, which usually is resolved through wars. The archons of the countries seem to be fighting for their citizens much more than the politicians.

9.      Pharmakeia

President Banks decides to work with the pharmaceutical lobbyists as he kicks off his new healthcare plan. New drugs are approved and sold at low prices, with ‘amazing’ results. President Banks refuses to financially profit from this decision, and he struggles to cope with his betrayal of the Hippocratic oath.

10.  Backlash

As campaign promises are not upheld, public backlash ensues. Deaths from the pharmaceutical company continue to rise, and somehow the president takes most of the blame over the actual companies. President Banks undergoes the realization that his job isn’t to make decisions; his job is to endure the backlash of the decisions of others. Dianne is injured in a suspicious accident.

11.  Defining Temptation

A government scientist approaches President Banks claiming to have a method for exterminating archons. He explains his work and pleads with the president to let humans truly rule themselves. Since the president is the only human who can get close enough to Rezzek, he’s the only one with a chance to use the device. Dianne’s condition takes a turn for the worst in the hospital.

12.  The Accounting Department

The president suspects Rezzek hasn’t been truthful with him, and decides to seek out the truth for himself. He journeys to the accounting department, which takes an accounting of the sins of all humans. His suspicions are confirmed when the math doesn’t seem to add up.

13.  Humanifest Destiny

President Banks successfully brings Rezzeks true form to the dimension of humanity, resulting in Rezzeks extermination. Now at the helm of humanity, President Banks finally learns that all actions have consequences.

14.  Chaos From Chaos

With Rezzek gone, chaos ensues in the spiritual dimensions as his former servants kill humans indiscriminately. The other Archons conspire to kill President Banks and divide up the United States as a result for his actions. The president learns a little too late that he might have destroyed the only friend he had at the job.

15.  DUMBing Down

The hunt is on from both humans and archons to catch President Banks. He manages to escape to a deep underground military bunker where things aren’t as they appear. President Banks learns that some humans deserve to be punished.

16.  The Children Are Our Present

President Banks learns the secret of the missing children, and the horrific research that was hidden from Rezzek’s “eyes” that has been creating the insurmountable death deficit. In a fit of rage, President Banks puts an abrupt halt to the research.

17.  Cut-Throat Politics

Realizing there is no happy ending for him, President Banks takes out the top offenders from the accounting department list. One by one, the deficit of death will be paid, and the president will do whatever it takes to see justice done.

18.  Escapegoating the Issues

As President Banks emerges from the underground bunker, he takes a moment to view the situation of the world around him. Anger and death erupt across the country, and his actions are to blame. Sometimes the people need a hero, and sometimes they need a villain. President Banks must choose which he will become.

19.  Unequivalent Exchange

If the actions of one man can doom all humanity, can the actions of one man redeem humanity? President Banks puts his life on the line to test the theory. 

Audience

Given the current political climate in the United States, many people have taken an elementary interest in politics. Although I do not take a political stance in the book, the fantasy/fiction elements will attract a younger readership to the political thriller genre than classic books of the series. Citizens upset with politicians should find this book enjoyable, which according to current polls is a large majority on both sides of the political spectrum. Readers of  a cynical and conspiratorial view of government will also be drawn to reading this book. Although this work is an exaggeration of real world politics, I find it difficult to mask my feelings of cynicism and substandard expectations toward federal governments. 

Author

J. Michael Martin is a professional writer, photographer, and adjunct professor. His credentials include a B.A in psychology, a B.S. in biology, and a Master's in Botany, in addition to many articles and photographs published in magazines, including monthly columns. He wrote both print and online articles for a publication company for six years before returning to the world of academia. Currently, J. Michael Martin teaches biology at local universities to supplement his writing career. J. Michael Martin has a wide range of interests ranging from science, natural health, teaching, fiction writing, philosophy, politics, religion, and of course fantasy board games. 

Promotion

Although I do not have a knack for facebook and twitter, my wife and friends know how to make a living from it. I will start by having them promote the book through many social media outlets. I will be promoting the book through various high-traffic forums specializing in politics and religion. 

Competition

The American Assassin series by Vince Flynn, classic dystopian novels such as 1984 and Atlas Shrugged, and many works from Tom Clancy all share a similar audience to this book. There is a fantasy/mythos element to this book, which sets it apart from the ones mentioned above and attempts to bridge multiple genres. This may draw in readers who would never consider a political thriller, but also might alienate others who dislike fantasy concepts.  Combining politics and religion is risky, so I've done my best to stick to the middle of the road on political issues and religious beliefs. The point of this book is not about promoting specific religious or political ideals, but rather describing and explaining human nature and the need for personal responsibility of ones actions. 

Sample

Chapter 1: After Party

            Another cork blasted across the room, followed by a shower of champagne. Laughter and cheers drowned-out the sound of the oaken bobber slamming against one of dozens of televisions that lined the wall of the room. The room buzzed with congratulatory hugs and handshakes from a well-won campaign.

            “Congratulations Mr. President,” the soft voice of a woman proclaimed, as she leaned in to kiss her husband.

            “That’s Dr. President,” the man corrected with a large smile. He gently caressed her cheek and leaned in for another kiss.

            “That’s Dr. President-Elect,” another man interrupted the happy couple, pointing his index finger next to their lips.

            “Can’t you see this a private party?” the president-elect informed the man. Both men chuckled after an awkward silence. “Plus, your job is finished, Andy,” the president-elect continued.

            “Well, I was hoping there might be another job lined-up for your winning campaign manager,” Andy winked at the president without an ounce of subtlety.

            “So the millions of dollars and immeasurable amount of publicity isn’t enough for you?” the president asked.

            “Never! At least not now that you get half of that back in taxes.” Andy replied immediately, barely waiting for the president-elect to finish his thoughts. They both laughed again at their playful formalities.

            “I want in on the Banks administration,” Andy announced. “You’re a new breed of politician, and you’re going places, my friend. I want to be the guy that rides your coattails to the top!”

            “I’d say winning the presidency of the United States is as tops as it gets,” Mrs. Banks interjected. Both men laughed again, as President Banks released his gentle grasp from his wife and turned to Andy.

            “Well, I wouldn’t be here without you, Andy. That’s for sure,” President Banks applauded. “You came up with a lot of bad slogans before you found the right one.”

            “Bet on the Banks was a great slogan!” Andy protested. “It’s not my fault that most voters hate corporate banks.”

            “No, but it was your job to know that,” President Banks pointed out.

            “We adapted, and we survived,” Andy reminded. “That’s why we quickly moved to the slogan, ‘Rob, the Bank!’”

            “Do you remember how much funding we lost with that one slogan?” Robert admonished.

            “I remember,” Andy said. “I also remembered it worked. You may have lost some money, but think of it as purchasing the name recognition that seasoned politicians would kill for.”

Robert smirked at his campaign manager’s ability to put a positive spin on just about any situation. He truly was a master at finding the right words for the right situation, like rotating a puzzle piece until it fits perfectly.

“Anyways, my slogans and speeches didn’t get you elected,” Andy broke the silence. “Your ideas and experiences won the day. Imagine having an experience doctor running the healthcare of the country. You know the ins- and outs- of the system, and you have a surgeons precision to remove the problems. You actually have a plan to save lives.”

“Flattery won’t get you that press secretary job,” Robert admonished. Andy’s excited face fell flat.

“Every. Single. Time,” Andy muttered at his failed attempt to persuade the president-elect. 

            “Plus, you won’t have to imagine it for much longer,” Robert continued. “Only seventy-two days to go before we can fix all the problems, not just healthcare.”

            “I heard a ‘we’ in that last sentence.” A slow smile crept back onto Andy’s face as he raised one eyebrow.

            Robert sighed, followed by a small grin, “At the very least, I want you to head up my transition team…”

            “I’ll take it!” Andy interrupted without hearing any details, causing both men to laugh again.

            “Well if it isn’t Andy Cartwright!” a teenage girl walked up and smacked his shoulder.

            “Hey, no champagne for you, young lady,” Andy scolded and yanked the crystal glass from her hand.

            “You’re not my father,” she scoffed.

            “He’s worse than your father,” Robert’s gruff voice and narrowed eyes always caused his daughter’s face to scrunch up.

            “That’s right!” Andy concurred. “I’m your father’s campaign manager. It’s my job to make sure you stay out of any news media.”

            “Yeah, but we won!” Despite the joyous occasion, her overly-happy and relaxed demeaner suggested her inhibitions had been slightly lowered.

            “I’ll take care of this,” Andy whispered to Robert before giving a sly wink.

            “That’s why I pay you the big bucks,” Robert retorted. “You’re the highest paid nanny I know of.”

            “And it’s still not enough,” Andy winked. He put his arm around the young lady and escorted her to a water cooler.

            Robert rolled his eyes, but his wife wasn’t sure if it was directed at Andy or his daughter. She smiled at him once more and grabbed his waist, “Don’t worry about them.”

            “At least I don’t have to worry about you, Dianne,” Robert sighed. “You always keep me honest, and I’m pretty sure that you received more votes than I did.”

            She looked into his hazel eyes and gently smiled, “That’s only because your bald.”

            “Bal-DING,” Robert quickly rebutted. “Nobody ever honors the side hair.” The happy coupled laughed once more.  

            Bright flashes of light erupted from outside. The fireworks show appeared to be starting across the city skyline, and they had the front row seat. A brilliant display of red, white, and blue fireworks streamed across the night sky in a patriotic display. The first couple made there way to the balcony, recently decorated with red, white, and blue streamers, and kissed under the fire fireworks. A perfect photo opportunity for the perfect day.

            After a few more minutes of posing under the pyrotechnics, Robert thanked and ushered the cameramen and aides off the balcony. A crisp breeze blew across the Dianne’s silvery-streaked blonde hair, and she brushed it back before hugging her husband in privacy. A raven perched on the ledge, watching the happy couple embrace under the fireworks. Slightly perturbed at the intrusion, Robert turned and shuffled the pair away from the murky blot on an otherwise perfect day. Another raven flew down and landed on the railing they now faced. Both Robert and Dianne glanced nervously at each other.

            “Don’t worry about those dumb birds,” Andy loudly slurred from behind, causing the couple to jump. “The Romans actually viewed ravens as a symbol of victory.” Apparently, Andy’s technique for keeping the first-daughter sober was to drink anything she grabbed.

”Their presence is still…unsettling to me,” Robert remarked. “I can…feel their beady yellow eyes staring at me.”

“Nah,” Andy slightly hiccupped. “They’re just…they’re just dumb birds. Ya see, they used to follow victorious armies around because the surviving soldiers always left plenty of…food on the ground everywhere they went. So…you’re just the winning general, and they can sense that.”

“Okay, that’s even more unsettling,” Robert quickly remarked. “Let’s go back inside, honey.”

Andy raised his half-glass of champagne before chanting, “The more you know!”

Robert smirked as another multicolored firework brightened the sky behind his friend. However, Dianne didn’t even notice the brightly colored pyrotechnics. She focused on the raven, whose eyes weren’t actually yellow, but a bloody shade of red. The bird quickly snapped its head, causing Dianne to jump and latch onto her husband’s arm.

“Let’s go inside…please,” she softly pleaded with her husband.

He smiled, unaware of the cause of her increased anxiety, “Sure thing, sweetie.” The eyes of the birds followed their every movement, even beyond the glass door.

The celebrations continued throughout the night without any further feathery setbacks. Robert made sure to thank everyone who came into contact with him. This night was just as much about them as it was about him. Eventually, the crowded room started to thin out. A few of the televisions turned black as the media coverage of the night died down. Little did the president-elect know that the after party was just starting.



Additional chapter samples will be added in the coming weeks. Full chapters may be viewed upon request. 

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