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Monday, April 18, 2016

Prescient Reporter Releases Topical Political Thriller: A Guest Post by Kindle Press Author Rick Pullen

Fellow Kindle Press author Rick Pullen has managed what seems impossible: he wrote about what interested him, and now that the time for publication has come around, his topic is hotter than anyone could have planned. Naked Ambition is available for preorder. Make sure to get it now and it will download to your device on May 3. Take it away, Rick!

Author Rick Pullen
Naked Ambition is my first thriller, and believe it or not, it’s about the Republican establishment trying to take down a Republican candidate for the Presidency. Talk about timing! But it was written long before Donald Trump came onto the political scene.

It all began with a court scene I had stuck in my head for a decade. What if a federal prosecutor leaked an explosive story to a newspaper reporter and then—due to an uncontrollable twist in circumstances—he suddenly was forced to prosecute the reporter to reveal who the leaker was? How would you resolve that scene?

For years I couldn’t. I talked to friends trying to unravel the dilemma and still couldn’t. Then one day over beers with a colleague at a sports bar across the street from my office, it came to me. That night I went home and began to write.

I’ve been a journalist my entire adult life. I was an investigative reporter for newspapers for years before becoming a magazine editor. Of course being an investigative reporter meant I was constantly accused of writing fiction long before I ever attempted to.

So in 2011 I took a class on novel writing at the Washington Independent Writers Center and began to understand how difficult it was and how totally different the structure of fiction was from straight news reporting. The inverted pyramid? Forget it. Magazine feature story writing? Fiction wasn’t even close. It wasn’t a style question, but one of craft.

Over the next two years I read more than 40 books on the craft of writing fiction—everything from point of view, to pacing, to how to write a sex scene—all while writing the first and second drafts of my novel. I learned quickly that the real craft of writing was actually rewriting and first drafts were little more than glorified outlines.

I’ve worked in Washington most of my career, so I know quite a lot about how the city operates and thinks. Writing a political thriller wasn’t a big stretch for me. But I wanted my novel to examine more than just political skullduggery, power, and sex. I wanted it to be an examination of the flawed human element that makes up our power structure and how overblown egos affect real lives. I wanted it to cover everything from how journalists often fail to shed any light on what really goes on in the nation’s capital, while powerful politicians do everything they can to thwart the truth from ever surfacing. Instead they cynically preach God and patriotism while lusting for power and their administrative assistants.

For this reason, my working title was “Professional Ethics.” I wanted my thriller to examine all types of ethical dilemmas—from questionable journalistic integrity to political hypocrisy. But in my mind that still didn’t rise to the level of being distinctive enough. All of the great detective and thriller series have something unique about their flawed main characters. I needed to create such a character. That’s when I came upon the idea of the “Naked Series,” an honest portrait of the warts beneath the polished patina of pinstripe Washington.

To the outside world, my main character is an award winning, swashbuckling hotshot investigative reporter. Inside the confines of his condo, he’s an insecure jumble of contradictions who couldn’t write his way out of a paper bag without the aid of his secret mentor.

I’m already writing my second thriller. Naked Truth is about the underpinnings of the stature of the Supreme Court. Is Lady Justice really blind or just winking at us? My third book in the series is Naked Aggression. It will examine who holds the real power in Congress.

Of course these are all thrillers, so they are filled with suspense, sex, murder and intrigue. In Naked Ambition, the main character learns about political manipulation and how nothing is as it seems to be—not his job, not his story source and not his new love interest. In the end, everything is stripped bare—well, almost everything. It is Washington after all. So do we ever really know the whole truth? 


Naked Ambition is now available for preorder. Get it today and receive it on your device automatically on the release date of May 3. And check out Rick Pullen at his website.