The Org, a political thriller is the perfect read as the USA faces its next presidential election. Author Scott Brody loosely bases The Org off his own experiences in a political cult. We had to learn more about this soon-to-be-released story:
Tell me about The Org from your point of view.
Set in the near future, as climate change is getting worse, the book is about a charismatic cult leader of the tiny EcoPartyUSA, Lee Beloit, who is propelled on the national stage when one of his followers is killed. He uses that event to build his following and fight climate change. Our protagonist, James Roth, who is a member of the cult and ex-boyfriend of the woman who was killed, is determined to uncover the killer or killers. In the course of his search for the truth, James uncovers things that could end Beloit’s campaign. When Beloit’s people realize this, his top lieutenant sets out to stop him.
What was the most challenging part of writing your book?
I am drawn to those fascinating charismatic characters in life. The powerful personalities that drive people to lead and dominate others. Creating a convincing character like that was a big challenge.
What type of reader will enjoy The Org?
People who like action and mystery stories with vulnerable protagonists, people who like politics, people who are interested in where we could be going with climate change.
Can you tell me three interesting facts about the main characters of your book?
Lee Beloit has Bipolar Disorder. This explains his dominant and powerfully charismatic character, and also his periods of withdrawal and depression
Bonnie is determined to stop having sex with Lee. She knows how totally unhealthy the relationship is under his domination.
James is basically very idealistic. That’s why he joined the EcoPartyUSA, he believed they could make a difference. Whenever he disagrees with what they do or what Lee says, no matter how bad, his idealism keeps him there. In school, he had lots of friends he was with all the time. He walked away from all of them to join the Org.
What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers after
finishing your book?
I hope the characters are strong enough to stay with readers after they finish the book. I hope it makes them think about the need to deal with climate change in a more concrete and urgent way.
What is your favorite passage from The Org?
I love my children equally, but I do like this one:
Ultimately, he blamed the Org. They had taken two impressionable and idealistic kids and forced the most inhuman decisions on them. It had killed her and damaged him. He supported Lee, but what kind of monsters would do that?
I like this passage because it clearly portrays the crisis he finds himself in. He’s devoted and loyal to Lee, their leader, at the same time seeing how terribly they acted towards him and Marianne, finally resulting in her death. He’s unable to oppose the Org, feeling trapped – confused and frightened of the situation he is in – and alone until Rachel comes along.
What inspired you to write your book?
After college, I spent a few years in a political cult. After I left I decided it would be a good experience to write about. Now – years later, I found the current political mood would form a good background for that.
Do you have a sequel planned for your book? If not, are you working on any other projects?
Yes I am working on a sequel now.
How is your book different from others in similar genres?
I tried to create a great action and mystery story and set it against the real life dangers and political conflicts I see ahead as the climate crisis unfolds.
What was your favorite experience while writing The Org?
I took a series of courses at the UCLA Writers Extension and after that did a mentorship with one of the professors. At all of these, I learned a huge amount about writing and really enjoyed meeting and learning from all the teachers and other students.
Which popular book, tv show or movie is most like your book?
I would say a TV series like “House of Cards” or a book like “The Overstory: A Novel” by Richard Powers.
For more great books to check out visit our TBR list!