Q&A With Jake Tapper: The Devil May Dance

Jake Tapper
( Photo By Jeremy Freeman)

Author Bio:

“CNN anchor and chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper joined the network in January 2013. Tapper currently hosts a two-hour weekday program, The Lead with Jake Tapper, which debuted in March 2013, and has hosted CNN's Sunday morning show, State of the Union, since June 2015. Tapper has been a widely respected reporter in the nation’s capital for more than 20 years. His most recent non-fiction book, The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor, debuted in the top 10 on the New York Times bestseller list. His previous novel THE HELLFIRE CLUB was on the list for several weeks.
 
Tapper imparts his political expertise on State of the Union by conducting interviews with top newsmakers on politics and policy, covering Washington, the country and the world. The Lead covers headlines from around the country and the globe with topics ranging from breaking news in politics and world events, to politics, money, sports, and popular culture.
 
Most recently, Tapper lent his political expertise to CNN's 2016 election coverage and moderated two Presidential Primary debates. On election night, Tapper played a pivotal role in the network's coverage of the race and provided analysis on projections throughout the evening.”
 

1.  Where do you find the time to host a nightly television show and write a full-length novel? 

My main rule when taking on a writing project is: write every day, even if just for fifteen minutes. It adds up. Also I broadcast my show from home for much of 2020 so I had no commute, and I had only two reporting trips, as opposed to the dozens I would normally have in an election year, so finding the time to write was less of an issue.

 

2.  Seeing as this latest novel is a follow-up to your previous bestseller, The Hellfire Club, did you feel any added pressure while writing this story to live up to what was created in the first novel?

I felt the opposite pressure: to make it better. I see the flaws in everything I do, and The Hellfire Club is certainly no exception.

  

3.  What did you learn about yourself while writing ‘The Devil May Dance’?

That I can not only write myself into a place where I feel trapped and unsure of where to go, I can create the escape. 

  

4.  What can readers expect from this book? 

Readers can expect to enter the world of the Rat Pack in the early 1960s: actors, actresses, booze, Vegas, restaurants, movie sets, mobsters, groupies. They can expect to see Charlie and Margaret's relationship continue to evolve and grow. And -- hopefully -- they can expect to be caught up in a perplexing page-turning mystery.

  

5.  What makes the late 1950s-early 1960s time period such a compelling and literary rich setting for these stories?

The era is marked by a surface romanticism that masks deeper menaces.

 

6.  What excites you most about ‘The Devil May Dance’?

I'm frankly more nervous than excited. I hope people like it! But the era was very fun to write about and I think I've grown as a writer.

  

7.  How will this book open the eyes of readers that don’t understand or believe in the dark and most secret side of Hollywood?

A lot of the darker material in the book is real or based on reality. I would say more but spoilers.

  

8.  When you were writing the characters, Charlie and Margaret Marder, did you have anyone specific in mind and if not, who do they remind you of?

There are elements of lots of folks in both of them, obviously my wife and myself but beyond them other friends and figures from the era. When thinking about Charlie's time in battle, I thought about my grandfather and his brother, who went off to fight in World War II, though only my grandfather came home.

  

9.  If President John and Robert F. Kennedy were alive to witness the presidency of Donald Trump, what do you think they would say? 

These were politicians who revered arts and science and quoted poets in their speeches, so I'm sure they would find his public persona crude. Which is not to say they wouldn't find his skills fascinating and his appetites understandable.

  

10.  What do you miss most about covering President Trump?

* blinks repeatedly *

 

11.  What is your favorite Frank Sinatra song?  

The Way You Look Tonight, but it changes all the time.

 

12.  What’s the best advice you have ever received on happiness? 

More of a realization than advice: once you're an adult, your happiness is in your own hands.

  

13.  What’s your best advice for getting over writer’s block?

Write every day, even if you don't think it's any good. You can always delete it. But putting words on a page might lead you somewhere.

 

14.  What’s the best book you have read this year? 

Too many to list! Right now I'm reading One Good Deed by David Baldacci and Win by Harlan Coben and they're both fantastic. 

 

15.  Do you plan on writing more books in the future? 

Absolutely, I'm having a lot of fun.

 

 

Places To Find More From This Author:

Instagram: @JakeTapper

Twitter: @JakeTapper

Facebook: Jake Tapper

Website: www.jaketapper.com

 

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