Political reporter Jack Macdonald is having a bad day. He wakes up with a terrible hangover, a hazy memory and an extra BlackBerry in the pocket of his wine-stained suit. He’s doing better than his friend, political staffer Ed Sawatski, who is floating face down in the icy Rideau Canal.
The same morning, Prime Minister Bruce Stevens tells his wife he has decided to retire from politics, which sets off a ruthless, no-holds-barred power struggle in the backrooms and bedrooms of Ottawa.
Macdonald doesn’t know it, but he has a great story on his hands, if he can stay alive long enough to tell it.
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How is Writing In Your Genre Different from Others?
Deadline is a political thriller. I think the genre is necessarily challenging, because a good political thriller is complex and dense, so it has to be drum tight to keep the reader engaged.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
I am an aspiring writer myself, so I don’t know how useful my advice would be, but I think that you have to be disciplined with yourself, both to force yourself to write, and to always see things from the reader’s perspective, so that your story is compelling.
Stephen Maher began his career in journalism in 1989 as a reporter for the Grand Falls Advertiser, in central Newfoundland. He worked as an editor and restaurant critic for Halifax’s Chronicle Herald, then moved to Ottawa in 2003 to cover federal politics. In 2011 he moved to Postmedia News, where he works as an investigative journalist and columnist. He lives in Ottawa. Deadline is his first published novel.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I’ve been a political reporter for 10 years, and I was often frustrated by how much of what happens happens in secret. Deadline is an attempt to pierce that veil of secrecy, in the hopes that I will be better able to get at deeper truths with fiction than with non-fiction.
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