Politician, attorney and author Stacey Abrams’ latest work of fiction, the thriller While Justice Sleeps, will be published on May 25, 2021 by Doubleday. Abrams, the former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, told People in a statement, “A decade ago, I wrote the first draft of a novel that explored an intriguing aspect of American democracy — the lifetime appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court…Drawing on my own background as a lawyer and politician, While Justice Sleeps weaves between the Supreme Court, the White House and international intrigue to see what happens when a lowly law clerk controls the fate of a nation.”
In a statement, Doubleday vice president and executive editor Jason Kaufman, said, “While Justice Sleeps is intricately plotted with a magnificent puzzle at its core, and the characters were memorable long after I put the manuscript down. Stacey’s inside viewpoint of politics, the Supreme Court, and her background in law all weave together into a suspenseful and satisfying novel. Not to mention, at a time when the political dynamic of the Supreme Court is so important and tenuous, it was spellbinding to read a thriller set within its halls of power.”
The plot, according to the publisher’s blurb, centers around a “brilliant young law clerk,” Avery Keene, who is tasked with serving as legal guardian and power of attorney for her boss, Justice Howard Wynn. As Keene explores Wynn’s research into a case set to appear before the court, what she finds “will lead her directly into harm’s way in order to find the truth” in this “cunningly crafted, sophisticated novel” that draws on Abrams’ “astute inside knowledge of the court and political landscape.”
Abrams, a Yale Law School graduate who ran for governor of Georgia in 2018 and is the founder of voting rights organization Fair Fight, has written both fiction and nonfiction, most recently, New York Times bestsellers Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America (Henry Holt & Company) and Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change (Picador), originally published under the name Minority Leader (Henry Holt & Company).
Abrams also wrote eight romance novels using the pseudonym Selena Montgomery, starting with 2001’s Rules of Engagement, followed by The Art of Desire, Power of Persuasion, Hidden Sins, Secrets and Lies, and others, which have sold over 100,000 copies, according to her website. Her last novel, Deception, which was released in 2009. She told the Washington Post in October 2018 that there’s a connection between her political career and her writing journey, saying, “When I began writing novels, I read Aristotle to learn how to perfect structure, Pearl Cleage to sustain tension and Nora Roberts for characterization. Good romantic suspense can never underestimate the audience, and the best political leaders know how to shape a compelling narrative that respects voters and paints a picture of what is to come.”
Abrams also told the paper that she’s “been privileged” to have written in various genres covering an array of subjects, declaring, “The act of writing is integral to who I am. I’m a writer, a politician, a tax attorney, a civic leader and an entrepreneur. I am proud of what I’ve accomplished.”
In 2019, CBS is set to turn Abrams’ New Orleans-set psychological romance novel Never Tell, written as Selena Montgomery, into a TV show, with Abrams as executive producer, to be written by NCIS: New Orleans co-executive producer Talicia Riggs, with PatMa Productions, run by Nina Tassler, former CBS Entertainment