Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, author Terry Conrad read “The Hardy Boys” book series, and he said the mystery and suspense of those books have influenced his writing since he was a boy.
Conrad is a senior accountant for the state of Georgia and has lived in Newnan for a little over two years. He enjoys writing in his spare time, and his third book, “The Idealist,” is set to be released soon.
“The Idealist” is based on the character Trevor Backe, who decides he’s had enough of the corruption in government. He comes up with a plan to solve this by starting a third political party, Conrad said.
The book highlights Backe’s struggles on how to develop the third party, and how to get other people to recognize and vote for it.
Conrad said “The Idealist” also demonstrates the resistance Backe faces from the people who are in power, where much of the action of the book comes into play.
“When I initially started writing it, it was about four years ago. So, part of what prompted it was the political scene that we had in our country, and that’s still going on even today,” he said.
Conrad said themes from people who are in politics have bled into characters in his book.
He said “The Idealist” is a way for him to express some of his political beliefs in a fictional setting.
“Although not everything in my book is per se something that I espouse politically, it does kind of lean towards what I believe,” he said.
Backe believes that politics in Washington, D.C. can be fixed through a bi-partisan effort aimed at ending corruption in government.
“I took that aspect of what I believe, and put it into the character, and his plan in order to root out corruption in government,” he said.
“My expectations are that it might garner a lot of interest, just because of the political climate of the country. Right now, it’s a hot button for a lot of people,” he said.
Conrad said he hopes the book will allow people to see that there are things they can do to help improve the way representatives act.
“Whether you’re on the Republican or Democrat side of everything that’s going on right now, I think people are really starting to wake up to the idea that all of them are corrupt to some extent,” he said.
Conrad’s book includes a reference to a group called RepresentUs, which works to pass anti-corruption laws at the state level, according to www.represent.us . He said he felt like the aims of Backe in “The Idealist” aligned with the message of RepresentUs.
“The Idealist” is different from the other two books he’s written. This is the first one he has written from the main character’s point of view, and it has longer chapters and more character development, Conrad said.
“I developed a little bit from the first two books and tried to improve my writing,” Conrad said.
He wrote his first book, “Illusion of Grandeur,” in 2011. The book is about a cult that is trying to bring about the end of the world. The two main characters are a cult expert and a private investigator who is looking for a missing girl that joined the cult.
Conrad entered it into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest, and out of 10,000 entries, he was a quarter-finalist, landing in the top 250.
His second book, “Fugue,” was published in 2013. A “fugue” state is a mix between multiple personality disorder and amnesia, and someone who is in this state will forget who they are and start a new persona until their memory comes back, Conrad said.
The book is about someone who is in a fugue state and is accused of being a serial killer. The main character doesn’t know if he is a serial killer or not, because he has a different persona. As he begins to regain his memories, he has to piece together whether he is guilty or not.
Conrad said he has plenty of ideas for stories and plans to continue writing despite his busy schedule.