Ten years after 9/11, an America still divided over the cause of the attack – and even the identity of the enemy – is about to meet a new hero to awaken the nation from its slumber, cut through the fog of political correctness and thwart another attempt to assault the homeland.
Savage, author of “Trickle Up Poverty” and four other New York Times nonfiction bestsellers – along with a host of successful nutrition books before his radio career – told WND he took the leap into fiction because he wants “to change the mindset of the American people.”
“The bookstores are saturated with non-fiction political books,” he explained. “But if you want to change the minds of people, and where they’re going, you’ve gotta change the images.
“The best way to change images is through books and movies.”
Savage sees his novel as an opportunity for the many conservatives who complain that books and movies are too liberal “to put their money where their mouth is.”
“This isn’t the only conservative fiction book, but it’s one of the main ones of the year, and they have the opportunity to help me change minds,” he said.
“If the book is a big enough hit, it will be a movie.”
As WND reported, a request by Savage to his listeners last week to buy the book catapulted it from more than No. 5,000 on the Amazon.com sales charts to No. 1 in hard-cover books in just one day.
Savage told WND he hopes readers will come away having enjoyed an exciting, fast-paced story that will “alert them to the danger America faces” and remind them that “one honest man an make a difference.”
‘Some of me in Jack’
The regular Savage Nation listener will recognize a lot of Savage in Hatfield, from his love of plying the waters of San Francisco Bay in his Grand Banks cruiser to frequenting the Italian restaurants of the city’s North Beach neighborhood.
“There is some of me in Jack,” Savage acknowledged. “And there is a lot that isn’t. There are pieces of me in other characters and none of me.”
Hatfield is a freelance TV producer who lost his top-rated opinion show because of a liberal media smear campaign by a group that resembles Media Matters. While filming a piece on the San Francisco Police Department’s bomb squad, he discovers the mayor and the FBI are covering up a possible Arab link to a failed bomb attack. Hatfield’s pursuit of the truth takes him to Israel, Paris and London while Islamic agents prepare a major terrorist attack.
Savage said that while nobody will compare his work to the great Russian novelists, he hopes the level of writing might be compared to another famous Bay Area writer.
“It reads well,” Savage said of his book. “Is it equal to Dostoyevsky? No. Is it equal to Jack London? Maybe. I mean Jack London was a popular writer of his time. He wasn’t Dostoyevsky. He wasn’t particularly deep. He was a great storyteller.”
Savage noted that few writers have set their stories in San Francisco since London wrote a century ago.
He envisions the story as a film, enhanced with the Bay Area’s breathtaking scenery as a backdrop.
“Some of the scenes take place on a bay I know very well from boating here,” he said, including a scene on an island known to few, and daring escapes in watercraft.
“You have to know the waters to know how to do that,” he said.
While it challenges liberal convention, “Abuse of Power” might surprise some from the left with its portrayal of a Muslim – a beautiful Yemeni intelligence agent – as one of the story’s heroes.
Hatfield knows he faces an unrelenting foe in radical “Islamofascists,” but he doesn’t believe all Muslims are his enemy.
It’s clear who the good guys and the bad guys are, but Savage’s protagonists have warts, and he shows them wrestling with moral angst.
“Most of us are imperfect, and people do things even though they know that it’s wrong, and then they feel guilty about it, but they do it again anyway,” Savage said. “It doesn’t mean they’re a bad person, because none of us are a hundred-percent pure, and we struggle with ourselves all the time.”
See Savage read from “Abuse of Power”:
Escaping the ‘madness‘
With all of his endeavors, including a lawsuit to clear his name after the U.K. put him on a banned entry list with Islamic terrorists and neo-Nazis, how did he find time to write a novel?
“It’s precisely because of it that I was able to do it,” Savage said. “To get away from the madness of the lawsuits that have obsessed me. I found that escaping into my radio show and my book were actually a relief for me.”
As WND reported in May 2009, then–British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced that the U.K. had put Savage on a list of 16 people banned from entry because the government believed their views might provoke violence. Official U.K. government correspondence shows Savage was put on the list to provide “balance,” because it contained so many Muslim extremists.
Recalling the patrolling of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Coast Guard boats all over the bay immediately after 9/11, Savage noted that now, a decade later, “it’s like nothing happened.”
“Maybe I’m trying to awaken America to the fact that we’ve let our guard down,” he said.
“It’s like we’re asleep at the switch again, and the train is about to come roaring down the tracks, going the wrong way.”