Douglas J Wood, an alumni from the University of Rhode Island, recently released his book “Presidential Conclusions,” the last in a trilogy of political fiction following the second woman president, Samantha Harrison.
“Presidential Conclusions” feels like it could be “ripped from today’s headlines” and is full of “imagined conversations with real politicians.” Wood described the trilogy series as a political thriller. “As Samantha Harrison takes her place as leader of the free world, her dilemmas give readers a taste of the difficult decisions politicians must make and the resulting marks they leave on American history.”
In the first book of the series, “Presidential Intentions” which was published in 2014, Harrison runs against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 elections and loses. In the second book “Presidential Declarations” she goes on to win in 2020 election. Now, going into “Presidential Conclusions” Harrison is the President and she must deal with threats that are both international and homegrown. The Cigar had the pleasure to talk to Wood about his writing and life.
With his father in the military, Wood moved around a lot as a child, settling in New Jersey for high school before coming to the University of Rhode Island for college. He says that URI was the main college New Jersey students went to at the time, something that remains true to an extent today. He grew up reading authors Hemingway and O’Henry, moving on to Clancy, Ludlum, and Grisham during college.
Wood says he loved the campus and talked about being a political science major during a political time — he was here when the campus closed during the Vietnam War. He said he was more liberal back then, though remains fairly bipartisan, something he wanted to reflect in the character of Harrison.
He went on to say how “we’ve only had two presidents willing to compromise in recent history, Reagan and Clinton”, and that the past 12 years have been polarizing and damaging for the country. These were attributes he wanted Harrison to battle throughout his series.
Being a layer helps with his writing, Wood claims. Wood has been practicing law for over 35 years and is a senior partner at Reed Smith LLP. “If you don’t know how to write legal contracts easily, you don’t know how to write,” he said. Through his practice Wood has seen politics at it’s best and worst.
He started writing about Samantha Harrison 18 years ago working off and on, but with the recent importance of Hillary Clinton on the political field he realized it was now or never for releasing the series. When asked how he feels qualified to write about the first woman presidency as a man, he says the characters aren’t too different, but “having a wife and daughters helps.” Wood has been happily married for over 44 years and is a proud father of three.
Wood mainly wanted to make a political morality play, but a good read as well. Using Hillary as Harrison’s running mate, he made the concept of a female president a non-issue in his fictional election. He looks forward to what he will write next, and hopes these books go on to reach a wide audience and become a great success. Wood has authored other books in the past. His works include “Presidential Intentions,” “Presidential Declarations,” and nonfiction books “101 Things I Want to Say: The Collection” as well as “Please Be Ad-Vised: A Legal Reference Guide for the Advertising Executive.”
Keep an eye out for Wood’s final chapter of the trilogy “Presidential Conclusions,” it will be released on April 3 and will be published in paperback for $15.99. You can find the book on Amazon, GoodReads.com, and KirkusReviews.com