Fiction mirrors Cubs, political reality

In 2014, when former Hoffman Estates resident Dennis Hetzel published his first sports/politics novel, “Killing the Curse,” about the Cubs in the World Series amid presidential drama, the real Cubs were in last place and Donald Trump was a reality TV show host proudly assuring “Celebrity Apprentice” viewers that “this is the nastiest cast that we’ve had.”

When Hetzel, 64, joins a writers group at next month’s Printer’s Row Lit Fest to talk about his “Season of Lies” sequel, the concepts of presidential drama and champion Cubs don’t seem as far-fetched.

“I rewrote the second book to reflect the reality of the new world,” says Hetzel. “In the new book, the Cubs are trying to build a dynasty.”

And the political angles?

“I was writing in real time as Donald Trump won the election,” Hetzel says. “In fiction, you can’t come up with anything crazier than what is going on in politics.”

In his new novel, the Cubs trade for the Boston Red Sox’s ace pitcher, Trey Van Ohmann, who creates a firestorm by endorsing incumbent President Luke Murphy of Palatine in his re-election bid against a Democrat and a third-party candidate in a political climate fraught with scandal, terror threats, religious extremism and even “fake news.”

“This book is a little more sweeping because it unfolds over a Cubs season and a political season,” says Hetzel, who adds that both seasons reach a climax by the end of October. The author weaves the Cubs and the politics throughout the novel. When the Republican Convention comes to Cincinnati, the Cubs are there, too, taking on the Reds.

Combining his love of the Chicago Cubs and political drama, former Hoffman Estates resident Dennis Hetzel has a new novel, “Season of Lies,” in which the Cubs are trying to build a dynasty and the president faces political and personal drama. He’ll discuss his book during a session from 12:30 to 3 p.m. June 10 at Printer’s…

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