Title: The Cemetery Vote
Author : Steve Silkin
Genre: Political thriller
Format: E-book and paperback
Other e-readers: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/29339
Tell us the story behind the story. What inspired you to write this novel?
A U.S. Senate candidate refused to acknowledge his defeat in an election after he’d spent millions and millions in the campaign, claiming voting fraud. I thought he’d be willing to pay for proof, and an extortionist might want to take advantage of that – even if it meant fabricating evidence. But being that I’m not a criminal, I decided to write about the plot instead of translating my fantasy into reality. I was a newspaper journalist at the time, and was covering the case of a fired police officer, and decided to make him the protagonist. Then I heard about the drug-dealing misadventures of one of my high school classmates, and decided to model one of the two main characters on him.
Tell us about the book cover. How does it represent your book? How did you choose the artwork?
I thought it should suggest the idea of Election Day with a red-white-and-blue motif. I asked an artist friend to do the graphic design. You’ll notice that the white stars are on a red background. We discussed that and the choice was intentional.
Jace is recruited to ferry day laborers for ballot box stuffing. Dan is trying to become an Internet porn mogul, but also launches a plot to extort a million dollars from a losing candidate by selling him fake evidence that the election was stolen. Everything goes wrong. Jace and Dan will cross paths. Can they save themselves, or will they destroy each other? It’s a political thriller with philosophical underpinnings – plus a love story, or rather two or three or four of them.
“Well, I don’t know,” she said. “They said they wanted someone really good who wasn’t in politics. Someone who could do a bunch of stuff real quick.”
“What’s ‘a bunch of stuff?’ ”
“I don’t know. It’s for Election Day. But there’s some stuff to do beforehand. They asked me if I knew anybody who was pretty cool, could be low key, y’know, and was smart.”
“Low key? What’s that mean?”
“Well, I don’t know, I think they said: ‘Someone who can keep his mouth shut.’ ”
“Well, that I can do.”
But he thought to himself: Uh-oh. Sounds like another “job” I won’t be able to put on a resume.
I was born in New York and grew up in Los Angeles, then spent most of my 20s in Europe. I rode my bicycle from Paris to Barcelona, worked at a bed and breakfast in London, studied at La Sorbonne and started a career in journalism at the International Herald Tribune in Paris. I have stood at the edge of the Sahara and consulted the oracle at Delphi. But my proudest moment came when I escaped arrest for trespassing at a skyscraper under construction by fleeing from the LAPD on my bicycle. I have worked as a reporter and editor at various publications in Southern California since the late 1980s.