Scottie Hughes

Tonight, after I put my children to sleep in their beds, I stopped for a moment in front of my fireplace mantel and stared. Some mantels are decorated with a pretty work of art, a colorful flower arrangement, or maybe just left plain. In my home, I display a selection of books from the last 10 years on my mantel.

These books remind me of the great voices within our movement, and their subjects reflect the ever-changing controversies that plague the American political landscape. I look at these books several times a day in order to remind myself that I am not alone in this fight.

Names like Palin, Breitbart, Coulter, Malkin, and Rumsfeld are just a few which I choose to put on my mantel; however, tonight, as I looked at these books, my eyes fell upon Consent to Kill by Vince Flynn, and for the first time all day, I allowed myself to cry.

Vince Flynn was a New York Times bestseller and the creator of such great characters as Stan Hurley, Irene Kennedy, Scott Coleman, and Mitch Rapp. To me, Vince Flynn was not only an amazing author; he was a friend and a mentor, never wasting an opportunity to encourage a person to find the magic of her own life story.

I first met Vince in 2005 when he was beginning his book tour for Consent To Kill. At the time, I was just starting out in conservative media and was Executive Producer for The Steve Gill Show out of Nashville. While I was constantly amazed by the people to whom I was introduced, some of them surprised me by their lack of respect for those around them -- Vince wasn't among those people.

Our original plans consisted simply of a live in-studio interview. But Vince’s enthusiasm and excitement were so contagious that pretty soon I, along with several other staff members, agreed to spend the rest of the day at the various book signings Vince had scheduled in the area.

Every person Vince met that day, regardless of how they arrived, left with a smile. Every signature he placed in a book was accompanied by a few minutes of dialogue, and I was amazed at how this man could make even the shyest people leave with a beaming smile and a sparkle of excitement in their eyes. His optimism was like wildfire, and he never expected special treatment. Vince respected every person he met as if each was the main character in his next book.

Scottie Hughes

Scottie Nell Hughes is the news director and chief journalist for the Tea Party News Network as well as a contributor to Patriot.TV and