Second Term by J.M. Adams
Author and journalist J.M. Adams isn’t afraid to pen a political thriller that deals with some hot-button issues. His debut novel, Second Term (Oceanview Publishing) takes inspiration from the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capital in 2021. Only in this fictional government crisis, things escalate even further as a lame-duck president is willing to do anything to stay in power — including suspending the normal rules of law and arresting members of Congress who try to stop him.
In this author interview, we talk to Adams about the challenge of writing a political story while keeping pace with real-life events, and how his background in journalism plays an essential role in crafting such a politically savvy novel.
Q: What inspired you to write this book?
A: I was in the process of writing a fictional account about immigration at the border when I was blindsided by the events of January 6th, 2021. I completely switched gears and made my way down to Washington D.C. Before I knew it, I had already knocked out six chapters and Cora Walker was off to the races and taking on all comers in a new political thriller.
Q: The events of the story seem almost plausible in the current age. How did you go about weaving real-world issues into the story?
A: The most disturbing issue is that January 6th was likely nothing more than a trial run. It was a warm up act to gauge how the nation would react and how far the disrupters could go in overturning a free and fair election. I also assumed that the lies would swirl around at a breakneck pace within days of the incident. Some called it a tourist visit and others said it was members of the “Deep State” posing as MAGA supporters. It was actually a challenge for the fiction I was writing to keep pace with the reality unfolding before me.
Q: Has your experience as a journalist informed any elements of the story?
A: My journalism experience plays a significant role in my writing because I won’t write on a subject without first dedicating myself to the research process. Researching an event, getting the lay of the land, even taking in the smells are all critical elements that I incorporate into my writing. I spent time at the Capitol and watched nearly a 100 hours of video footage from that day, much of it taken by the people who live-streamed the event while they were breaking into the Capitol.
Q: Has the work of any other authors influenced your own?
A: Nelson DeMille probably had the most influence on my work and deciding what kind of writer I wanted to be. It wasn’t so much his writing style, but I find his storytelling masterful. He introduces his characters, but they never are quite who they seem to be. I was a freshman in college when I read Word of Honor and the ending blew my mind. I was confident that the story was going one way and DeMille flipped the script with a revelation that left me speechless. That was one of those pivotal moments that I hope to replicate in my writing some day.
Q: What do you hope readers take away from Second Term?
A: I hope Second Term sounds an alarm bell for readers about the dangers of extremism. The fastest way to end the American experiment is to reject a free and fair election and embrace an authoritarian form of government. An American president is not a king and was never meant to be one. Government and military leaders swear an oath to the Constitution of the United States – not to the President of the United States. Once the leaders in our government bend the knee to a tyrant, our democracy turns to ashes.
Q: What is your next project?
A: I’ve been in and out of Mexico multiple times this year in cities like Juarez, Tijuana and Piedras Negras spending time with the National Guard, migrant families, the Mexican Federal Police and Border Control Monitors. My next novel will be dominated by the crisis at the international border between Mexico and the United States where Cora Walker will be called upon to straighten things out.
Publish Date: October 17, 2023
Genre: Fiction, Thrillers
Author: J.M. Adams
Page Count: 320 pages
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing