Although a technical writer for over twenty years, my interest in national and political possibilities has long been at the heart of my writing pursuits. Creating a vehicle to present the historical potential for a richer, more vibrant America was the driving source of inspiration for this novel.
I'm fascinated by those points in history where a small change precipitates large shifts in events. Chaos Theory suggests that butterflies flapping quietly in South America can alter world weather patterns through an ever-magnifying chain of events. This might start with the slight shifting of air flow around their tiny wings, growing to a small breeze, then a gust of wind, and a change in pressure that eventually helps power a tornado in Oklahoma. In the same way a small change in one person’s actions can have far-reaching effects. What history would we be living now if Lincoln had not attended the play that evening? Or if a lone radar technician had picked up the Japanese fleet approaching Pearl Harbor? Or a few stray chads had shifted the 2000 presidential election to Al Gore, would the 9/11 terrorist attacks have even occurred? Would Gore have drawn America into two endless wars? Would we have succumbed to an economic meltdown?
And what sort of world would we inhabit if, thirty-seven years earlier, John F. Kennedy had recovered fully from bullet wounds and gone on to fulfill a second term as president? How many times has the question been asked about his potential impact on world history? I’ve attempted to fill that gap with this novel, posing that perpetual question regarding 11/22/63, “What if…?”