Speaking of books, there's a little thing in the publishing business called serendipity, and it comes into play when you write a novel and your fictional premise suddenly becomes a shocking truth, a truth that results in global outrage, banner headlines and round-the-clock cable news coverage.
That's what's happening to Joe Smiga.
Simply stated, the premise of his first novel is this -- Iran has nukes.
That's the central storyline in "Behind the Lies," a prescient piece of work worthy of Tom Clancy, what with Hamas and Hezbollah and renegade Ayatollahs in control of Kilo-class submarines and, in a tribute to his adopted hometown, Joe has scripted a cliff-hanger of a naval battle with a destroyer called the USS Manchester cast as a key player in the drama.
Talk about lucky timing.
"Actually, I had it planned," Joe said, and, while I thought he was joking, he wasn't.
"I'm Jewish," he explained, "I've been reading the Jerusalem Post for years and for as long as I've been reading it, Israeli intelligence has been saying that Iran would have a nuclear capability by the end of 2009, so when I started writing in 2005, that was going to be my premise." And what was his reaction when President Obama held that press conference announcing that Iran has acquired "sufficient information to be able to design and produce a workable atomic bomb"?
"It's a terrifying reality, but as an author, I was thrilled," he said. "His remarks reinforced the title -- the truth 'Behind the Lies' -- and the fact that my book has a black President who's in his first term in the book strikes a chord with readers as well." If you'd like to be one of them -- readers, that is -- you can seek out "Behind the Lies" on the Amazon or Barnes and Noble websites, or if you're looking for an autographed copy, you can go to www.joesmiga.com.
John Clayton is the author of several books on Manchester and New Hampshire, including his newest title, "Remembering Manchester." His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.