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Author with area ties mixes religion and politics

During his time in aviation, FitzGerald said he was exposed to many people involved in politics and soon became fascinated by the political personas of those in the seat of power.

"It became interesting to me that the person that thinks they're in the seat of power, really they're not," he said. "I'm a great fan of history because I do believe history repeats itself. Power is very often abused, and we shouldn't be surprised by that."

He began to think about this more and more, figuring out a way to write a book that would express his ideas while telling a story heavily based on facts.

"As long as we all expect the people in control to be susceptible to corruption, we're fine," he said. "Then I thought, 'You're never supposed to talk about politics and religion. So why not have the pope fight the president and see who wins?'"

So, he decided to write his story using a character who went to Rome and was in the seminary with people who would eventually go on to be leaders of the church, whereas his character goes on to leave the seminary and become a reporter who investigates corruption and writes about power. He combined this with his own observations about power structures.

"I wanted to make some kind of a statement as to how people in politics ought to be viewed. [People who] say one thing and do another," he said.

FitzGerald's publisher, Vantage Press, Inc., recommends the book to those who enjoy factual mysteries.

"Readers may liken FitzGerald's protagonist, Dan Gerard, to Dan Brown's Robert Landon " as he works to uncover the hidden secrets between top government officials and the Vatican," Vantage's publicity office said in a release.

Although this is only his first book, FitzGerald said he does not plan to write another any time soon, though he did learn a great deal from the experience of writing "Seat of Power."

"I learned that I have a great admiration for people who do this on a regular basis," he said, referring to the writing.

FitzGerald will be at the William K. Sanford Library, in Colonie, signing books and discussing "Seat of Power" on Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 12:15 p.m., and at The Book House in Stuyvesant Plaza, in Guilderland, on Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m.

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