The President Is
Missing is available
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history of publishing; what am I doing? But I
tried to make sure the president had an authentic
and consistent voice. I learned a lot, watching the
way this book was put together and amended and
morphed over time, about how to do it.
JP: It’s a deeper, fuller thriller than pretty much anything I’ve ever written, and that was a lot in terms
of the president. The characters just kept getting
fleshed out, and fleshed out, and fleshed out. And
that was President Clinton, pushing and pushing.
CC: As people read the book they may be trying
to figure out the inspirations for each character.
JP: We assumed that would happen, but the reality
is that’s not how we wrote the book.
BC: Nobody can take themselves out of anything
totally. But when I thought about this president,
he’s a whole different kettle of fish. Because I grew
up in his culture, I could hear his voice and I wanted
to preserve it through all the ups and downs and
developments. But we did not try to make our
biographies or politics be in the book.
JP: I hope that everybody, whatever their party or
affiliation is, that they’ll go, “This is an example of
the kind of president we should have.”
CC: What do you want readers to take away from
this book beyond the exciting reading experience?
BC: That the presidency is a job. It’s all very well if
our president says things we agree with and is, for
whatever reason, somebody we like, but it is a job,
and you’ve got to hire people who will make good
decisions [and] get good people around him.
Secondly, cybersecurity is a major challenge for us,
and one that we started dealing with in my second
term, in 1997, but that we never thoroughly mastered, nor have we devoted sufficient resources
JP: I think the third thing is—and this is a little bit of
a pipe dream—that we would begin to move toward
listening to one another a little better than we’re
doing. It’s not solving anything to throw mud at one
another. It’s just not useful. And I think most people
BC: We’re not going to obliterate partisanship, we’re
not going to obliterate conflict, we’re not going to
obliterate the grandness of ambition, but we all
need to show up to work.
OUR DIGITAL EDITIONS
Watch Bill Clinton and
James Patterson discuss
The President Is Missing.
(See page 11 for details.)