“Why did you write Trumpicana?”
We felt it was important to shine a spotlight on the effects, rather than the cause of a Trump Presidency. Everyone, including the media, has been centered on what Trump is doing today, what he tweeted the night before, etc... What happens in the Oval Office after election day, however, is of more consequence, and that represents a concern for both authors. We also think the concept of a Trump Presidency is ripe for a solid helping of satire.
Why did you choose to portray the aftermath of a Trump Presidency?
The means justified the ends, and to that point, no one is writing or talking about what happens if Donald Trump wins. As we saw during the Republican Convention, the way Donald Trump conducts himself now is not going to change dramatically if he takes office. In fact the manner in which the RNC unfolded is a microcosm of how a theoretical Trump Presidency might unfold. That contrasts with the world we are accustomed to and that scenario needed to have some light shone upon it.
Why did you publish this independently?
It came down to the time it would take to bring Trumpicana to market. We started and concluded the process in 45 days. The traditional publishing world does not enable authors to turn around work that quickly, given the bureaucracy one has to work through. It can take 16 to 24 months to publish through traditional publishing houses.
Jason Seiler is a world renowned illustrator. How did you come to work with him?
We were in a difficult situation. We had a great cover concept and design, and great content, but we still needed the Trump Orange, and it had to look great. The illustrator we originally hired was good, but we wanted the Trump Orange to really resonate. Finally, Kendall took a chance. He targeted three of the best political caricatures he could find on the web, traced them back to the artists, sent out solicitations, and eventually, Jason Seiler expressed interest in our project. He was hired and provided the perfect visual to represent Trumpicana. We hope to work with him again. He was a first-class professional from start to finish.
Tell us more about the cover. How did it come about?
Jessica Jaffe, the designer who worked on Presley Acuna’s novel, The Day and the Hour, was brought in for the project. She pulled the concept together and did everything except for the Trump visual. She was both patient and polished and we appreciated her efforts.
“What are you trying to accomplish by writing Trumpicana?”
To raise the long-term awareness of the world we are going to live in if Trump takes over the country. We do not see this playing out well, and perhaps in counterpoint to the fear he is trying to instill, we’re providing some comic relief. The bottom line is we’re trying to get readers to ask themselves, is a Trump Presidency going to benefit them, or anyone else that’s not a fear monger?
“What are your writing credentials?”
Presley Acuna penned The Day and The Hour in 2016, a professionally reviewed apocalyptic thriller that has received high ratings. Kendall Smith has published two novels, his most recent is Vault 21-12, which garnered numerous 5-star reviews. They continue to be available on both Amazon and Kindle.
“Is this part of a series?”
The readers will have a say if and when Trumpicana, Volume #2 is released. We are working on additional stories to provide a richer experience but for the moment we are centered on promoting Volume #1. The additional benefit of independent publishing is we can take this as far as we want, or pivot to other writing projects.
“What will you do if Donald Trump actually wins the election?”
Move to New Zealand and seek political asylum! We’re joking, but if nothing else, we will get a lot more involved in local politics and support national candidates that represent fair-minded and balanced politicians. They are a rare breed, unfortunately, but a Trump Presidency would set the stage for a true grass-roots movement to elect leaders who have common decency at their core.
“What is your relationship to Percussion Publishing?”
We are the founders and launched our independent publishing house in the Spring of 2015. We plan to continue building our business to service an audience of millions, one reader at a time.
“How did you become partners?”
We became friends at our former company and our passion for writing brought us together. On many levels, we’ve inspired each another to take our writing to the next level and Trumpicana would not have made it past the first conversation if we didn’t trust one another.