Ex-Sen. Dorgan’s novel headed for bookstores

Add former Sen. Byron Dorgan to the list of lawmakers who have gone from writing legislation to crafting works of fiction.

The North Dakota Democrat, who retired last year after 30 years in Congress, will release Blowout, his action-packed thriller and first novel, with co-author David Hagberg on Tuesday.

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From the sound of the publisher’s description of the book, it’s anything but light on drama: “America is on the brink of crisis. Unless we can curb our dangerous appetite for foreign oil, petroleum-rich countries and speculators will bring our economy to its knees … long before CO2 emissions will devastate our ecosystem.”

Dorgan also seems to stick to what he knows: his home state. In the tome, the president is working on a way to develop clean energy from coal with a group called the Dakota District Initiative, a top-secret research team hidden in North Dakota.

Dorgan, 69, isn’t the first senator to make the foray into fiction.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) wrote her first novel, A Time to Run, in 2006. She penned another book, Blind Trust — which seemed to draw from real-life experience — in 2009. It was pegged as a “story of dirty tricks and political survival, and the battle for integrity in the corridors of power.”

Former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) released his own suspense novel, Keys to the Kingdom, last year. The book detailed the quest to stop al Qaeda from unleashing a nuclear device on the world.