Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed author and veteran trial attorney. He has penned more than ten legal thrillers, including his award-winning debut novel “Directed Verdict.” In addition to his law practice and writing, he serves as a teaching pastor for Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He also teaches classes in advocacy and ethics at Regent Law School and serves on the school’s Board of Visitors.
Find out more about Randy at http://www.randysinger.net.
His latest book, Rule of Law, is a legal/political thriller from Tyndale House.
What did the president know? And when did she know it?
For the members of SEAL Team Six, it was a rare mission ordered by the president, monitored in real time from the Situation Room. The Houthi rebels in Yemen had captured an American journalist and a member of the Saudi royal family. Their executions were scheduled for Easter Sunday. The SEAL team would break them out.
But when the mission results in spectacular failure, the finger-pointing goes all the way to the top.
Did the president play political games with the lives of U.S. service members?
Paige Chambers, a determined young lawyer, has a very personal reason for wanting to know the answer. The case she files will polarize the nation and test the resiliency of the Constitution. The stakes are huge, the alliances shaky, and she will be left to wonder if the saying on the Supreme Court building still holds true.
Equal justice under law.
It makes a nice motto. But will it work when one of the most powerful people on the planet is also a defendant?
Hi Randy! Welcome to the blog!
Randy: Oranges. They have zing. Apples are blah.
Carrie: Can I object?
Randy: Summer. I live in Virginia BEACH!
Carrie: haha! Fair enough.
Randy: Dogs. They are loyal, fun and just smart enough to be a great pet. Cats are self-centered, boring and way too smart for their own good. Plus, I’m allergic to them.
Carrie: My dog Zuzu wholeheartedly agrees with your answer!
Randy: Coffee. Nothing beats a cup of coffee first thing in the morning.
Carrie: … except a Diet Coke from McDonald’s with extra ice!
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Randy: My superpower comes straight out of the movie Inception. I want to be able to plant ideas in other people’s heads. I know this sounds a tad manipulative but I make a living at being persuasive. Think how effective a lawyer would be with idea-planting powers! As Dom Cob said in Inception: “What is the most resilient parasite? A bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea—resilient and highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it’s almost impossible to eradicate. And that’s why we need to steal them.” (Or, in my case, plant them.)
Carrie: That superpower is a bit terrifying but incredibly tempting…
Q: Who is your favorite book character from childhood?
Randy: I would have to say Robin Hood (with Peter Pan and Blackbeard close behind). So many things I loved about Robin Hood. I was big into bows and arrows as a boy (we would have archery contests at my birthday parties). I loved the way he fought for justice but lived in the forest. I was also intrigued by the way he led his band of merry men. Though I would never have explained it this way at the time, it was interesting the way he could mold this diverse group of characters into a well-oiled team. I also admired his free spirit and daring.
Carrie: Robin Hood has always been so intriguing, hasn’t he? And I hadn’t thought about it but you’re right – he was an incredible leader of a rather hodge-podge group of people.
Randy: As a bonus answer, my favorite movie character as a child was the parson Dr. Christopher Syn from the Disney movie The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh. Dr. Syn was a pastor by day but at night dressed up like a scarecrow and rode with a gang that smuggled goods into England. Turns out that I grew up and became that character—a pastor by day and a trial lawyer, the modern equivalent of a smuggler, in my second job 🙂
Carrie: Haha! that’s awesome! Even if I must confess to never having seen that movie… and I thought I had seen even the most obscure ones. Must find it.
**UPDATE: I found it. And now I know why I never saw it. Because that full scarecrow mask looks awfully like a scary clown and I find nearly all clowns terrifying anyway LOL.
Q: If I asked your characters to describe YOU as an author, what would they say?
Randy: I love this question. They would probably all have different perspectives, so I will give you three.
Paige Chambers, my young female protagonist, is a smart lawyer who is dating a Navy SEAL. She would probably describe me as heartless. Throughout the book, Paige has to rise to challenge after challenge, pushing herself beyond what she ever thought she was capable of doing.
Wyatt Jackson is a sixty-five-year-old renegade lawyer who lives in his RV (which he named “Court”) with his yellow lab (who he named “Clients.”). That way, his assistant can tell callers that he’s not available because he is in Court or with Clients. This guy is an old-school gun-slinging litigator who will do anything for his client. Ethics do not get in his way. He would probably refer to me as a boy scout because I don’t use his street-fighting techniques and I’m not willing to bend the rules the way he does.
And then there’s Philip Kilpatrick, the president’s fifty-four-year-old Chief of Staff, the antagonist in Rule of Law. “He had become accustomed to being the smartest man in the room, even when that room had a legendary history, like the wood-paneled Situation Room where he now sat, even when the room was populated with the president’s top advisors. He could remember by how many votes the president had come up short in the second precinct in Warren County in the Iowa caucus and by how many votes she had unexpectedly won in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. And that’s why the governor of Pennsylvania was now the secretary of the interior and the governor of Iowa was shaking hands at the Dubuque County Fair.”
How would Kilpatrick describe me? As too dumb to be in charge of such a brilliant character as him.
Carrie: All three of those characters are so layered in the book, and I love the different perspectives you’ve given them in this answer. Very fitting for each of them.
Q: Now, tell me who would cast in their roles if Hollywood wanted to make Rule of Law into a movie!
Randy: I think you asked me this question in an interview on a prior book and that helped me think about character development in a whole new way. Now, before I start writing, I will sketch out my characters, find a picture (generally a Hollywood star) who they resemble, and then bring some of my creative friends over to help me make them three-dimensional.
Paige Chambers—young female lawyer on a quest to avenge the death of her Navy SEAL boyfriend. Isla Fisher from the movie Now You See Me.
Wyatt Jackson—crusty sixty-five-year-old lawyer who despises the federal government and will defend anybody if the price is right. Sam Elliott.
Philip Kilpatrick—the president’s brilliant but ethically-challenged chief of staff. Not an actor and I’m not saying this man is ethically challenged, but I pictured James Carville, former aide to President Bill Clinton.
Carrie: Oh I love that! Thank you. And I can absolutely see each of these characters played by those respective people. Especially Sam Elliott. Yes.
Q: What surprised you about Rule of Law or your characters as you wrote their story?
Randy: The deep bonds that were forged between some very unlikely allies who were fighting for the same cause. There is something about going through trials together that eviscerates our differences and cements deep relationships.
Carrie: So true. It’s a shame that it takes trials to accomplish this, but those kinds of emotional bonds forged during hardships are forever.
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from Rule of Law?
Randy: Two things: First, the debt we owe to our gold star families. “Greater love has no one than this: that one would lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13. And second, that God is a God of justice and we are called to pursue justice no matter the cost.
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Randy: I have several different plot-lines in the development stage, including a sequel to my historical novel, The Advocate, and a few contemporary legal thrillers. The one that seems to be rising to the top. . .
The Devil’s Lawyer, a story about an attorney who represents a terrorist suspect whom the lawyer thought was innocent. But when six coordinated terror attacks occur on the opening day of trial, the lawyer must choose between his country, his client and his family. This book is not for the faint of heart.
Carrie: Oh wow! I can’t wait!
What about you? Which of the characters that Randy mentioned from his book most intrigues you?