The Latina President

compiled interview by Marisol Hernandez

Interviewer: We have here on the microphone, interviewing the author of a novel title The Latina President. Joe, can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and why we are interviewing you

Joe: Yes, for thirty years or more, I was actively involved in American political campaigns. I’ve managed them, developed strategies, produced radio, television, and print materials for candidates that worked in forty-four of the fifty states. Over that time, there were people running for the house, the senate, and the state offices, such as governor. So, I’ve had a fairly extensive experience working with candidates and campaigns. It’s part of that body of experience that I built my new novel, The Latina President. I also, in addition to my political work, have worked extensively in producing media for non-political clients and one of the most interesting clients I’ve ever had was in Puebla, Mexico which allowed me to spend quite a little time in Mexico. I was so impressed by the people and the community, so important that I’ve never forgotten it. So when I decided to write the novel, I felt it had to have a fairly serious Mexican component to it.

Interviewer: That’s great. I read that your novel is the conspiracy to destroy her story and is not a true story but it’s based on all the knowledge you have had in all those years of the strategies and political campaigns. Can you tell us more why you decided to write that novel and without telling people too much about it, what it is about.?

Joe: Yes, well in my novel I create a woman who is the heiress to a fortune from an old blind Mexican family. And in this case it’s the Aragon, and the Aragon go all the way back to the era of Columbus and she works for the family for a number of years and inherits quite a fortune and then discovers that the family business is a conglomerate that exploits people and works with the criminal gangs with drugs and guns and some of the worst elements in Latino society. She becomes involved in American politics and gets elected president of the United States and she’s determined to reform the banking system, the financial system. She particularly has an eye on the less fortunate and getting retribution from the people who have taken over the old family corporations and eventually the drama begins. The story is that this woman whose name is Isabel Aragon Tennyson, Tennyson is her father’s name, he’s American, embarks on this campaign of reform and of course the powers, the financial powers and other powers fight back. The novel covers a plight that involves impeachment, assassination, and attempts of murders. In addition, I didn’t want to write just a novel that is an adventure story although I think it is a pretty good adventure story, I wanted to make a case for reform and the exploitation that goes on with people who are financially powerless to fend themselves.

Interviewer: So even though it’s fictitious and not base on a true story, can we see some of the things happening in the political arena similar to what’s happening nowadays in real life?

Joe: Yes, would you like me to read some from the story?

Interviewer: Yes, that would be good.

Joe: Well, it begins with a banquet in a Washington Hotel. Immigration reform has been passed. All the leaders of immigration reform have been assembled in the banquet hall and the president is about to enter the stage. She is, of course, a hero to all these people because she did get, after all these years, the humane immigration program passed. And so, she’s introduced and…

[Start of excerpt from book]: A brassy “Hail to the Chief” bounced off the ballroom’s hard surfaces, amplifying both the sound and the excitement. President Tennyson strode quickly onto the stage, and energetic, hands-waving entrance, the image of victory. The ovation was deafening, sustained, overriding the orchestra. Many in the room had lived their adult lives with the uncertainty of place and belonging. For so many, the war now was over. Victory achieved. This was V-J Day and for tonight, this ballroom was Times Square.

Television cameras were live, as they were at most of the president’s events these days, recording what could be the last moments of her historic presidency. The president triumphant, love enveloping her, love she requited with every air blown kiss.

Then the cameras went dark. Black. Suddenly and ominously. All of them at once. Those watching on television could no longer see anything. Those in the ballroom saw hell [End of excerpt].

Joe: And then there’s an explosion which destroys all the cameras, people can’t see anything. All the emergency vehicles are rushed to the scene. The scene switches to the Vice President’s house. He’s told about it.

[Start of excerpt from book] The U.S. senate was just days away from a decision on whether to remove President Isabel Aragon Tennyson from office. There had been months of hearings. Lurid hearings. Tales of gun running, money laundering, complicity with Mexican drug cartels, murder. Roderick Rusher was prepared to inherit that office, eager for it, a goal he had worked toward for decades. But not like this. Not assassination!

Disoriented, Rusher felt an overwhelming need to do something, anything. Impulsively he grabbed his private cell phone, thumbed through his contacts, found a number he had never expected to use, and pressed the round call button. A voice answered. A thick, accented voice. [End of excerpt].

And so we know from the very beginning, the vice president is somehow involved in the removal of the president from office and that essentially is what the book is about. Interestingly enough, the other day I was at an event celebrating the 25 years of an organization called The Hispanic Policy Agenda. It was an event that celebrated something similar to the event I just described in my book. It involved all the leadership of many Hispanic organizations, not just political but representing education, labor, civil rights, environment, and so forth. It was really impressive to see this quality of Hispanic leadership all gathered in one place. The progress that that’s been made, the agenda that they’re working towards. I was especially enlightened and it certainly shows that there’s an active, successful leadership among the Hispanic community in the United States. And they’re at the convention center in Washington, D.C. where many leaders of the national government work.

Interviewer: Wow, that sounds great. I mean, I know how many Latino leaders are very strong now-a-days on getting into the politics and affecting the immigration agenda and all that. Well, thank you very much for your time and reading a little bit about your book. I can’t wait to read the full book. But, how can the readers get your book? Where can they get it and is it in Spanish for those that don’t speak English?

Joe: Yes, the book is for sale on Amazon if you have an electronic reader. It’s $2.98 and if you want it in paperback it’s available for $12.98. And I hope your readers enjoy it. My email address is on the inside cover of the front page so if they want to contact me for any questions, my email address is jrothstein@rothstein.net. I’m happy to answer any questions or any suggestions, comments, or criticisms.

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