"I’ve wanted to write a thriller for years and I’ve never gotten around to it," Bill Clinton told Ryan Tubridy, talking about the book he has co-written with James Patterson entitled The President is Missing.
The former president is a huge fan of the genre, saying, "I read a lot of them when I was president. I read a lot of serious books too, but I read an enormous number of thrillers. I still do." Aside from enjoyment, the aim was also to educate.
"I think in some ways today in the crazy world we’re living in and peoples’ living habits and need for release, you can sometimes tell people more about the way things work in a work of fiction than in a straightforward policy book. You can make it interesting and educational at the same time. That’s what we tried to do."
James joined Ryan on the line, describing this partnership as "the thrill of a lifetime". He said the obvious advantage of President Clinton’s insight means that this book hits as close to the truth as it’s possible to get.
"It’s the authenticity that we think separates the book, where people around the world will learn we think more about being president in reading this book than they will in most memoirs, and it’s a very exciting read. Everything in here could happen, literally everything, and if it happened, this is the way it would happen, whether it’s an attack on the president’s motorcade or the attack against the United States and really against the world."
The book raises very real issues that are all-too-prevalent in our modern, mediated world.
"As James says, we think this subject is important. We think there’s a lot of stuff about cyber security and cyber defence and cyber attacks now because of what happened, and not just the American election but the efforts of Russia to interfere in France, Germany, the Netherlands and other places in the elections. But it’s also important to remember that it’s just in the last few years that Russians and the Chinese hacked both the Defence and State Departments and some of the intelligence files, and this is going on all the time - and the next logical step is you can actually do a lot of the things that we talked about in the book. So the whole issue is something that we think people all over the world should be interested in."