Troy Patterson
September 10, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

”I’d never thought I would write about politics,” says the second-born child of the 45th vice president. ”Even though people always say, ‘Write what you know,’ it just was kind of off-limits.” And yet here’s Kristin Gore, 27-year-old daughter of Al, talking about her new novel, Sammy’s Hill, whose heroine is Samantha Joyce, a neurotic, idealistic 26-year-old Senate staffer. Subsisting largely on Marshmallow Fluff and tequila, Sammy dallies with a slick speechwriter and a hunky Washington Post reporter — signs that Gore hasn’t dished about the family business so much as constructed a chick-lit comedy set in it.

Gore practiced her humor skills at the Harvard Lampoon and later on Matt Groening’s animated sci-fi show Futurama, twice directing her dad, who appeared as a disembodied head. (”It was nothing too hard. Y’know, ‘Sound more boring!”’ she says, and laughs, adding, ”That’s a terrible quote out of context. Don’t do that.”) When Futurama died, she wrote for 2003’s Charlie Lawrence, a short-lived sitcom starring Nathan Lane as a congressman. There, she recalls coworkers turning to her and asking ”’Now, what happens when someone wants to pass a law?’ I realized I actually enjoyed making jokes in that context.”

So last summer, Gore began Sammy’s Hill — and then caught a break few aspiring writers do: running into Miramax honcho Harvey Weinstein at a party. ”He was like, ‘We’re looking for someone to do a D.C. novel. Do you have any ideas?”’ She sent in a couple of chapters. She had a deal. These days, she’s at ease with being a first-time novelist most noted as a former Second Daughter. ”I know that’s why some people will be interested and also why some people will hate it,” she says. ”There’s nothing to do but just go with it.”

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