FOTUS Press Kit

About The Author

Ranter, raver, writer, wronger, upside-downer, stirrer-upper, & topsy-turvyist…

Kevin Kunundrum is an award winning novelist, playwright, visual artist, screenwriter, one-time jazz guitarist, backwoods house-builder, old sports car enthusiast, and avid mixologist. His first novel, the literary satire THE SERIAL KILLER’S DIET BOOK, was acclaimed for about five minutes when it came out in the Fall of 2001, because, for some reason, “other events” doomed it from the start. His very first book-signing was scheduled for the night of September 11th. “The Taliban ruined my career!”

After tragically losing his wife of fifteen years in 2010 to a pulmonary embolism, he wrote the memoir TALES OF INSOMNIA DESPAIR & THE PERFECT COCKTAIL as a way of coming to terms with her death and the overwhelming grief that followed.

His other literary efforts include: MUDVILLE, a novel of violence in America where “Casey at the Bat” is turned askew and seen through the sulfurous light of Hellfire; the mash-up GEORGE WASHINGTON WEREWOLF; and LIVE NUDE GIRLS, a postmodern exploration of identity, hope, inevitability, and how practically everything in life is a Schrödinger’s Cat experiment.

The political satire, FOTUS, is the first part of KUNUNDRUM’s American President Trilogy.

Short Overview

In the very near future, an American fetus named Alexander Jackson Rett becomes self-aware. He sees that the world out there is where everything bad happens, but inside, in the womb, it’s safe. It’s the safest place to be. So he decides to never come out.

And because he’s self-aware, and because he’s smart and reasonably witty, his Mom and Ernie the next door neighbor make a video. They ask Little Alex questions and he answers from within the womb. And he gets most of them right (although he’s not that good at math). And the next day, Ernie posts the video on YouTube and it goes viral. And before ya know it, Little Alex, the world’s first and only “Amazing Talking Fetus,” is interviewed on Dr. Phyllis:

“What’s it like in there?” she asks. “It’s dark,” he replies.

“Who’s your favorite President?”

“Richard Nixon.”

“Get a load of this kid!” Dr. Phyllis says. “So what’s the thing you’d most like to do, Alex?”

“I want to run for President!”

And the world is amazed. Including an ultra-secret group of billionaire king makers known as “The Florists.” To keep their party in office, they need someone who’s bullet-proof to run against Mallory Blitzen. And who better than Little Alex? He’s already world-famous. He’s scandal-proof. He’s the ultimate single-issue candidate! And according to the latest poll, Americans will vote for a white male fetus over a woman for President seven out of ten times, and those odds are pretty good.

So Alexander Jackson Rett becomes the President of the United States. But he discovers that life on the inside may not be all it’s cracked up to be.

Downloadable Full Press Kits

Early Praise

FOTUS
“The current political climate suggests that anything is possible and anyone could inhabit the White House. Kevin Kunundrum wants to stretch you beyond even that frame of reference. The result is a president who has not yet traveled through the birth canal. Sound preposterous? Sure, but not as outlandish as it should be. These days, most knowledge is derivative and anecdotal, the perfect breeding ground for a fetus schooled on a steady stream of documentaries perceived while still in the womb. You will laugh out loud, but there will also be times when FOTUS will feel a little creepy and all too real. The cast of characters have been culled from the present-day political arena. The situations are so current you could be reading about them today on popular newsfeeds, and there’s not much Kunundrum shies away from. All of this results in a highly entertaining novel that will also, at times, make you wonder how we got to where we are today and where we’re headed.”
FRED BURTON, AUTHOR OF THE NOVEL THE OLD SONGS AND THE SOON TO BE PUBLISHED BOUNTIFUL CALLING

“If you can work past the shock of a novel written from the point of view of a fetus—and a president fetus for that matter—then you’ll happily discover that FOTUS offers a quirky perspective and commentary on modern-day politics. Under the satirical layer of a literal baby for president, the ineptness of our government structure and its corrupt nature is criticized and parodied. This novel uses material from ‘both sides of the aisle’ to turn it into a fast-paced, humorous piece in a new and truly original way.”
EMILY BATDORF, JUNIATA COLLEGE

“President Alexander Rett has set out to be the most controversial POTUS of all time. He’s infamous for his inarticulate twitter feuds with Senator Mallory Blitzen and talk show host Dirk Fist, not to mention his penchant for sipping morning martinis while dancing to Britney Spears in the Oval Office. No question about it, Alex is unlike any president in U.S. history. He’s less than a foot tall and still lives with his mother, but that’s par for the course when you’re a self-aware fetus who refuses to leave the womb. What’s more, Alex, the eponymous Fetus of the United States (FOTUS), is as explosive and insensitive as a certain someone who is only identified as his predecessor (though it’s clear who Alex is meant to represent). Not even two months into his presidency, Alex finds himself a subject of intense public scrutiny and dismal approval ratings, with impeachment looming on the horizon. But when he wakes up from a weekend-long drunken stupor, the country is, all of a sudden, unified and looking to him for guidance. For once in his short life, Alex sees a chance to truly change himself for the better, but it’s a change that some shady figures aren’t too happy with and plan to stop by any means necessary. Kunundrum’s political satire doesn’t pull any punches, parodying everyone from gun rights advocates to BLM activists, European dictators to moustache-twirling billionaires. There’s even a placenta painting or two. This first installment in the FOTUS trilogy is a raunchy, no-holds-barred, hilarious adventure that pokes fun at the ridiculousness of our current political climate; however, it is also tempered by moments of genuine intimacy and reflection between Alex and his staff that show how the fetus of the free world might be ready to grow up after all.”
TYLER JONAS, LOYOLA UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

“This novel doesn’t pull any punches with its ridiculous premise. Right out of the gate, you are introduced to the fetus president, which prompts the reader to suspend any and all disbelief as they follow him throughout his presidency. The novel is current in that its first part draws strong parallels to the election and presidency of Donald Trump, with the very fact that the protagonist is a fetus, offering the not-so-satirical suggestion that America male voters would take anything, even a fetus, over a woman for president. Alex Rett’s character at the start of the novel is, as one would probably guess, very immature, with an air of narcissism, eccentricity, and little to no filter, which is reminiscent of the current president. Alex’s tweets are effective at showing his eccentricity and ineptitude as president, and the changes he wants to implement are hilarious in their absurdity, such as an Automatic Weapons in Schools Bill and an initiative for a “Death Ray.” This, as well as his addressing the reader as he talks about himself, give us a front row seat to how terrible a person he is. However, as the consequences of his actions pile up, Alex begins to learn what it means to be a president. We see his initial character start to crumble, going from only talking about himself, to reaching out and trying to understand those around him. The fact that he leaves (albeit forcefully) his protective “womb room,” which kept him safe and cut off from the outside world, conveys his continuing maturity. As he states, it is hubris to think you can barricade yourself from the world… The humor in the novel is mainly through exaggeration, taking a situation and blowing it extremely out of proportion to create an outlandish situation, such as the president having his people frame an eight-year-old boy for participating in the drug trade. Yet, it’s the novel’s serious moments that often create the best humor because the author lets the emotion play out just enough to have it affect the reader before creating even more absurd situations.”
CALEB MARTINEZ, TOWSON UNIVERSITY

“In what is an arguably post-satire world – in that the real news is so absurd, and satire becomes nearly impossible – the author has managed to crank the dial past Max into a new realm, an achievement of incalculable value.”
JOSHUA WAYMAN, TOWSON UNIVERSITY

“FOTUS gripped me from the start, mainly because the central character, the fetus president Alex Rett, is so interesting. Even though Rhett is initially presented as an arrogant and immature character, I can’t help but feel for him when he faces crisis. And my sympathy is elevated when Rett begins to subtly change for the better during the course of his presidency. This character growth does not come across as too sudden or too delayed; rather, he has to constantly adapt to the pressures of the presidency, and this creates a believable and gradual change. The struggles that he faces due to the often unstable state of United States society creates a plot that kept me invested and wanting to read more to see when the next crisis would arise, how Rett would handle it, and how long the relatively peaceful times would last. During such times of trouble, I was consistently impressed with the author’s writing, which seamlessly transitions from a humorous tone to a more dire and serious one… and back again. In those serious moments, I found myself mentally biting my nails and hoping for things to get better. The humor is ridiculous and at times childish, but that is perfect for a book about such a technically-but-notquite-childish president. The humor had me laughing out loud at multiple points, a feat not often achieved with me. What is also impressive is that while reading it, I could not get a clear sense of any political agenda being laid out. Everyone seemed to be subjected to the satire of FOTUS, from conservatives to liberals, from whites to blacks, and multiple other groups. It is easy for a writer to fall into the trap of pushing a political agenda, and the fact that FOTUS does not is something to be admired.”
SETH MARTINEZ, TOWSON UNIVERSITY

“Konundrum’s sixth novel and the first of three political satire books, FOTUS is about President Alexander Jackson Rett, the first ever President of the United States who is a…fetus. A selfaware fetus, not yet born (who heavily persuaded his mother to let him stay in there, though they did modify the womb to look more Presidential), Alex (whose favorite President is Nixon) manages being President quite well, aided by chief-of-staff Tim Chopper, and when things don’t go so well… he writes angry tweets. As Alex learns more and more, and meets new people, his eyes begin to open to all the benefits of being a President that are scandal proof. The only negative thing in his life is the fact that he is secretly sponsored by a top-secret group called The Florists. Alex has never knowingly met any of its members, though they seem to control some aspects of his life. But he copes quite well with the help of his bartender, Manny; his secretary, Gladdy; and his new painter friend, Vincent Van Go-Go. This book is great fun, consistently funny, and absolutely perfect for anyone, whatever their political preference, age, or generation, who needs comic relief for their politics-induced stress and/or depression.”
MADELINE WOLFE, PARK SCHOOL