Over the past year, I have been reading a variety of books that range in subject from WWII to the Cold War to continuity of government (COG). From the opus The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich to Berlin 1961 to Raven Rock, each of these books chronicled a unique place in history. While the first two books may have been specific to a particular time period with the third transcending decades, each has shaped our way of life in the 21st century. Then there was my read of Normandy ’44 and Countdown 1945, that further detailed world events that are still with us today.
It was during my read of Raven Rock that I realized part of that subject (COG) lent itself to my political thriller SOS United States. It was the following lines by the Prime Minister and the President…
PRIME MINISTER ASTOR
I don’t get it.
What you need to get with is a continuity program that hasn’t been seen on the History Channel.
… that got me thinking. While I’m developing SOS United States as my third feature film, I should add to the “franchise” by not only writing a companion book but expanding on the COG aspect of the story. Simply put, after reading Raven Rock I never knew the federal government of the United States had more plans for government continuity than any other nation in the world. The number of secret installations, standby executive orders, shadow governments and other planned initiatives and actions was simply unbelievable.
For those of us that follow these types of stories, we’ve all heard of Raven Rock, Mount Weather and NORAD, but what about the Mobile Consolidated Command Center, Deep Underground Support Center and the Committee on National Censorship Planning? From secret bunkers and committees, the breadth of COG planning is colossal, legendary and perhaps even a bit disturbing.
With all this new detail and background information I discovered when reading Raven Rock, my thought was that I could enhance the story not only with specific nomenclature, but real-world aspects on how the President of the United States would go off grid to a secret bunker, while maintaining a public presence through video conferencing and other methods of communication. Thus, it was just this week that I started to write SOS United States as a novel.
While I’ve written countless screenplays, I’ve only written one book (Frozen Assets) and one novella (First World: Covenant). As one can appreciate, it is a completely different form of writing. Of course, the nice thing about having a completed script is that of an outline. But now I have the opportunity to enhance the story for a new medium.
Outside Geneva, Switzerland
The nondescript warehouse became only slightly visible when an approaching vehicle’s headlights pierced the moonless night. As the vehicle approached in near stealth with the only interruption of sound being its contact with the dirt road, a feeling of purpose crossed the moment when it passed other parked cars. Reading like a United Nations General Assembly carpark, diplomatic plates from several countries dramatized the moment.