Aug. 21, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Speechwriter Moves From Politics to Fiction

Courtesy Ben Coes
Ben Coes’ newest novel centers on a coup in Pakistan.

He was a Delta soldier and was falsely accused of killing his wife. He was tried and acquitted; he didnít do it but was kicked out of the military.  Heís a pretty cool guy and tough as nails.

Why an Army Delta over other branches?
My godfather was in the field, and originally, because I knew so much about my godfather, I was going to make him be in the field, but the more I studied it and the more I got to know [Dewey] as a character, I realized that he wasnít a field. Fields are very team-oriented and Deltas are pretty individualistic, and the more research I did and talking to people, itís very clear that this personality that I built is much more of a Delta. Heís much more of a loner, completely self-sufficient.

Why did you choose Pakistan and India as the countries for this situation?
When I started to write the book, the main thing I was interested in was neither country. I was interested in what occurs during a coup díétat, and I had started a study of different coups and what you realize is that a coup has a way of changing government. Itís much more violent than a revolution.

In the library you find all these books about revolutions but only a handful on coups. So I wanted to write a book that brings the reader inside a national coup. I was interested in that phenomenon, that event, and wanted to take my reader inside.

Iím interested in what I think is a growing tide of radical Islam, and I realized as I was reading about Pakistan, it has a combination of factors that really make it a uniquely dangerous place. The existence of nuclear weapons and that itís 97 percent Muslim and a democracy and I think that once I really understood that, I wanted to write about it because itís the kind of situation that could happen.

You know, I could have written about a coup in Russia or Brazil but the truth is Pakistan is the most dangerous country in the world for America because of the scenario I write about in my book. What happens if a jihadist or a radical Islamist has nuclear weapons ó and I guarantee I am not alone in thinking that itís a potential problem for America.

What are you hoping your readers will take away from the book? What is your political message, if you have one?
The America I paint in my books is one where America is not afraid to take action, to stop radical Islam from triumphing. I definitely want my readers to have fun reading it, but No. 1, I also want them to feel good about the country they live in, not just America, but the people who are protecting it. The picture I paint of the people who are protecting America is a good one.

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