Perhaps both, given that San Diego lawyer James Huston, whose first novel, Balance of Power, shopped by Grisham editor-turned-agent David Gernert in recent weeks, is also a former fighter pilot who trained at the "Top Gun" academy. Morrow publisher Paul Fedorko made the winning, rumored $500,000, two-book offer to get Balance, the political/military thriller about a power struggle between Congress, led by an ambitious speaker of the House, and the president after a U.S. ship is attacked in Indonesia. So should we expect the book to feature thinly veiled versions of Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton? Gernert demurred on that one, although he said that the book's Indonesia setting (a Clinton fund-raising hot spot) "is no accident." A spring 1998 publication is tentatively planned and Gernert negotiated exclusively with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who acquired the film option. Gernert said Bruckheimer was the perfect fit, since "people keep saying they think the book is like Top Gun, Crimson Tide and Advise and Consent, and Jerry's done the first two movies."
Volume 243 Issue 29 07/21/1997