ATLANTA – George Franklin is a man who has worn many hats – lawyer, lobbyist, businessman, candidate, speaker and author. In his latest work of political fiction, “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington” releasing in Sept. 12 2023, Franklin draws from his career experiences to offer a hilarious take on Congress today.
“A Feeding Frenzy in Washington” is a rollicking tale of Washington lobbying that will have you in stitches while making you think twice about our government. Filled with a cast of characters only to be found in our nation’s capital, Franklin’s novel is a hilarious look at the politicians, lobbyists and assorted scalawags that work behind the scenes to create public policy. A laugh-filled work of fiction that exposes how Congress really works, “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington” is a must read for anyone who thought it couldn’t get any worse.
About the Author
As a lawyer, lobbyist and former Vice President of Worldwide Government Affairs for Kellogg Company, George Franklin has an insider’s perspective on how Washington works and doesn’t. He spent years in the halls of Congress as a major player on behalf of the food industry where he developed the anecdotes and saw first hand the outrageous personalities parodied in this book. “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington” along with his other three books – “Raisin Bran and Other Cereal Wars,” “So You Think You Want to Run for Congress” and “Incentives: The Holy Water of Free Enterprise” – mark him as a must read for anyone with a keen eye for politics today. Find out more about Franklin at https://www.georgefranklinauthor.com/.
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“A Feeding Frenzy in Washington”
George Franklin | Sept. 12, 2023
Political Fiction / Humor / Satirical Fiction
In an interview, George Franklin can discuss:
- Blending fact, fiction and political satire in “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington”
- How “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington” relates to today’s political climate
- His multifaceted career as a lawyer, lobbyist, businessman, candidate and speaker – and how that informs his work as an author, specifically writing political fiction
- How “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington” draws inspiration from his experience as the former Vice President of Worldwide Government Relations for Kellogg Company and career in the food industry
- His experience running for Congress – including lessons from campaigning and how it influences his satirical approach to political fiction
- Insight into the widely misunderstood role of corporate government relations and how it affects public policy
An Interview with
Can you briefly introduce us to the colorful characters and major players we meet in “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington?”
- P.J. “Snakeboots “ Jackson – Washington lawyer/lobbyist who greases the skids and makes it all happen
- Annika Svensson – Corporate VP who specializes in managing up while climbing over the backs of anyone in her way
- Rod McDonnell – Feckless good ol’ boy who finds out Washington can be a ruthless town
- Clyde Cartwright – Trade association executive from the heartland who gets deposed by a cunning intern
- Congressman Mickey Girtz (R FL) – A leading Luddite with delusions of grandeur
- Congresswoman Lizzie Pendergast (D RI) – Loud mouth progressive whose feet never touch the ground
- Congresswoman Barb Breen (R GA) – Fantasist flame-throwing right wing populist
- Congresswoman Lucy Sprout (D CA) – Inside player who deftly manages to survive
- Wienermobile – All hell breaks loose when this American icon is hijacked by vegans
Were the politicians in your new book based on real people?
The politicians and other characters are composites of people I knew and saw over a career in and around politics. They ran the gamut from serious and studious to whack jobs that made you question the whole concept of democracy. The fact that some of these people were actually elected was quite terrifying. If Gorbachev had spent a week in Washington before dismantling the Soviet Union, he might have reconsidered the whole thing.
How does “Feeding Frenzy in Washington” relate to today’s political climate? Is it particularly timely?
“Feeding Frenzy in Washington” is both timely and timeless. Set in current time, it satirizes Congress in action today while serving as a reminder none of this is really new and most likely will be the case in Congresses to come. Getting an appropriation in one body and then holding on for dear life is not unusual. I managed to get a $5 million earmark in such a manner. What you read in your high school civics book has nothing to do with what really goes on in Washington behind the scenes.
How did you balance fact vs fiction in “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington?”
The people and the story is all fiction, but there is a vein of truth in how lobbyists and Washington really works. As I mention in the book, lobbyists really do run in packs like wolves and spend a lot of time talking to themselves. Some of the stuff they dream up in those cabals is absolutely amazing and, even crazier, ends up in public policy. Good lobbyists are never accused of having a lack of imagination.
It’s easy to take politics seriously – but why is it important for you to weave humor into your political fiction?
Politicians are a reflection of their constituents, and it is time we all looked in the mirror and had a good laugh. We send these people there and keep sending them back. We rationalize all this by determining our local member of Congress is not part of the problem; it’s those other people. Also, as far as earmarks are concerned, if the money flows to our hometown, it is good government, but if it goes somewhere else, it is wasteful government spending. It is like every citizen enters the voting booth wearing blinders.
Your career has brought you down many paths – lawyer, lobbyist, businessman, candidate, speaker and of course, author. Can you talk a bit about your multi-hat career trajectory? Did anything surprise you along the way? Do you have a favorite role / experience from your career?
Over my career I have learned a few things. Nothing is simple. Beware of sanctimonious people or those who wear religion on their sleeve. Also, what appears to be isn’t necessarily so. The legislative process is built on smoke and mirrors. What people say may have nothing to do with what they really do. Oftentimes a member of Congress will be given a “pass” to vote for or against something when their vote is not needed, so they can go home and declare support or opposition when in fact if their vote was needed they would have done the opposite.
How have your varied career experiences inform your literary career?
Being a corporate officer for a major worldwide company, I saw the mismatch between what business people think goes on in Washington and what really does. They operate in two different worlds, and the interaction of the two is a comedy machine. I remember coming back from DC on the company plane after a meeting with a senator and one of my colleagues remarking what a good meeting it was. I had to quickly disabuse him of that notion. A senator telling you that he was “concerned “ or “disturbed” and telling the staff to “look into the matter” meant nothing! It was mere political blather.
In 2018, you ran as a Democratic candidate for Michigan’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House. You joke that while you lost, you survived to write about it in your nonfiction tell-all, “So You Think You Want to Run for Congress” (2019). Can you tell us about this experience?
As far as running for Congress, I blame it on temporary insanity. It was the most exhausting thing I ever did. It made a job in corporate America seem like a walk in the park. The personal attacks, mudslinging and skullduggery was beyond anything I ever imagined and to make it worse, this was a primary so this was from my own team.
What do you hope people will take away from your newest book?
I hope all who read this book will get some good laughs and take solace in the fact that our democracy has survived this long and somehow will continue.
A former award-winning journalist with national exposure, Marissa now oversees the day-to-day operation of the Books Forward author branding and book marketing firm, along with our indie publishing support sister company Books Fluent.
Born and bred in Louisiana, currently living in New Orleans, she has lived and developed a strong base for our company and authors in Chicago and Nashville. Her journalism work has appeared in USA Today, National Geographic and other major publications. She is now interviewed by media on best practices for book marketing.