Roll The Dice, by Wayne Avrashow
Wayne Avrashow’s Debut Novel, “Roll The Dice”
When you think rock star, most reactions aren’t especially responsible or that of a straight shooter. True or not, they are perceived as being fairly wild, living in a world where drugs, alcohol, and sex surround them.
How does that present in a political campaign?
A Different Stage
When Toby Sloan announces his last performance to a crowd of his fans, he knows what he wants to do. Next stop, Senator from the state of Nevada. Can he do it? Should he?He can’t know what will happen as a result.
Oddly, huge numbers of people would probably vote for the star because of his star power, his name recognition. But is it possible to get past, or bury, all his highly publicized actions during that successful career?
Sloan is likable. You can’t help appreciate what he has chosen to do. He isn’t after fame and fortune. He’s got that. Toby wants to get things done, over or across any party lines.
Nearly all of the other characters, staff, politicians, publicists, are willing to do anything to win. They don’t paint a positive view.
Corruption, blackmail and bribery, influence peddling, lobbying, one-upmanship, are—sadly—realistically portrayed as part of a campaign today. Just how much there is would perhaps shock us all.
The relationship between his father, former Governor of California, and son, rock star running for the senate, brings added conflict to the novel. When did that tension arise, that distance? Can it be fixed? Can the two men have more than a political relationship, if even that?
All in The Details
The book demonstrates the intricacies of a campaign. Each word spoken must be carefully selected. Values get flipped when competition gets fierce. Most elected candidates do what they are told by their party. When someone talks of being independent of both parties, that person might be the best choice. The voters want someone tolget things done.
A candidate is schooled on every word and every move. How to use his/her hands, what not to say, how to get around a question…The detail is rather startling. For one to act natural after the barrage of do’s and don’ts takes a special skill of its own.
Then there is the certainty that everything is about the campaign. It is the only things of importance. Even within the family. Any mistakes, even misspoken words are viewed as how will it affect the campaign. It becomes all consuming.
The book offers plenty of excitement, as well as surprises that leave you to wonder what will happen. It will make you think. How does one look through all the pretense to choose the right candidate? It’s no wonder the non politician may be who a voter would want.
After finishing Roll the Dice, the word “redemption” keeps coming to mind. Could be that is the theme of this intriguing novel, the word that fuels Toby Sloan. Redeeming himself to his daughter, his friends, his father, and even the nation, may be what drives him along this path.
The ending? You will have to read this suspenseful novel to see. It did feel like the actual conclusion was too fast. Still, maybe that’s exactly right. After all, it is all about the campaign.
Press Release Courtesy of JKS Communications
As rock star exits stage for politics in “Roll the Dice,”
dark secrets are exposed, and scandals around every corner
ENCINO, California – When Tyler Sloan, famed singer-songwriter and member of the Rock n’Roll Hall of Fame, retires from the Las Vegas stage to campaign for election as Nevada’s next U.S. senator in “Roll the Dice” (Fiery Seas, Nov. 28), intrigue and scandals bubble up from every corner.
Issues with his father, a former California governor who nearly became president, permeate their relationship and the campaign. Sloan’s attorney has one eye on protecting Sloan and the other on his own interests. Another musician blackmails him with a decades-old video sex tape of Sloan and two women, one of whom is his Republican opponent. Sloan’s edgy relationship with his attractive young media advisor borders on the edge of propriety, and his campaign manager is embroiled in legal troubles with the FBI.
Throughout this turbulent ride, Sloan tries to protect his 13-year-old daughter from all of this, but finds it difficult to shield her from her mother, who is becoming increasingly dependent on prescription medications.
Wayne Avrashow knows politics and campaigns inside and out, and it shows in his first novel. In pre-publication review, Kirkus awarded “Roll the Dice” as one of the year’s best unpublished manuscripts, and termed it “politics at its corrupt, dysfunctional best.” It is filled with dark secrets, family tension, blackmail and bribes.
Sloan is a unique character who runs as a political independent, refuses campaign contributions and disdains support from lobbyists. “Roll the Dice” takes the reader on a tense, thrilling ride through the campaign for a seat that will ultimately control the equally divided Senate.
Wayne Avrashow is an attorney, former campaign manager in Los Angles politics, government commissioner, and author of numerous op-ed articles on political and legal issues. “Roll the Dice” has received positive blurbs from a New York Times-bestselling author, a prominent movie producer and elected political figures, including the former mayor of Los Angeles.
Avrashow is also the author of “Success at Mediation-10 Strategic Tools for Attorneys.” Find him online at www.wayneavrashow.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter, @WayneAvrashow.
An Interview with
1. Was there an exact moment you knew you wanted to write a novel? Or was a feeling that grew over time?
I enjoyed political and legal books, fiction and nonfiction. I read a
political novel that received critical acclaim, and with all due modesty, thought I could weave a story based on my experiences and creative license of a novel.
2. Were Tyler Sloan or any of the other characters inspired by real life figures?
A combination of political candidates I have known personally, and watched on TV. I blended those characteristics with a few celebrities I have interacted with and also watched. Sloan is not one person, but imagine your favorite fifty year old, rock or movie star with political sensibilities…that’s Sloan.
3. How does Tyler’s campaign differ from campaigns you’ve worked on? How is it similar?
I took a writing classes at UCLA Extension and the teacher had an expression “go big.” I took my experiences and inflated them to “go big.”
4. How is the writing process for a novel different from writing your previous book
“Success at Mediation-10 Strategic Tools for Attorneys?” My mediation book was a more serious analysis, with casual examples of how-to for attorneys in mediations or any settlement discussions. The novel is based on factual circumstances and then…boom…the creative juices flow. The pleasure of writing a novel is the creative process, a LOT more enjoyment than drafting a legal document.
5. If you were able to sit down and have dinner with three political figures, who would you choose?
George Washington, he could share his recollections of all the founding
fathers and how they created this perfect union. It was a government masterpiece. Abraham Lincoln on how he held the union together. His “malice toward none” is a stark contrast to today’s polarized politics. I’ll tweak the question and listen as FDR and Winston Churchill discuss how to prevail in WWII.
6. Same question, but for authors.
I marvel at how John Grisham and Michael Connelly can continue to remain fresh, with clever plot lines and characters after so many books. J.K. Rowling created an alternative universe in Harry Potter…the creativity is mind boggling. Her rise from abject poverty is also awe inspiring.
7. There are a lot of complex plot lines in “Roll the Dice.” Did you have to devise a way to keep everything straight?
I wanted a smart, but politically less knowledgeable candidate like Sloan to face an onslaught of attacks from various forces, angles and people. Some of the attacks are legitimate, some nonsense, the current state of politics. All of the plot lines weave together and are resolved.
8. What make Las Vegas and Reno such good backdrops for a political thriller?
Las Vegas is sui generis, Latin for unique. It is internationally known, some love it, others loathe the city. Nevada is a large state with vast open space. In Reno and many of its smaller cities and towns, the state retains its westerly heritage and culture.
9. What advice would you give aspiring writers?
I just wrote a blog on that for my webpage, www.wayneavrashow.com. Keep your creative dream, write frequently, educate yourself on your subject matter and how to craft your story. Be patient, it is not a quick or easy process.
10. Can we expect more from you, and possibly Tyler Sloan, in the future?
The sequel is being outlined as we speak!!