(CBS News) Eleven Secret Service agents are on leave, accused of hiring prostitutes in Colombia while preparing for a presidential visit last week.
Author David Baldacci has written a string of best-sellers about government intrigue. His first novel, "Absolute Power," told the story of a secret service cover-up.
When asked if the scandal is giving him material for a novel, Baldacci said, "That's why I like to stick to fiction. ... I don't like to rip stories from the headlines. I like to sort of blend my own stories together. But some of these facts might end up in a book later on down the road.
"But people are people, you know, and in my books I like to deal with the foibles and flaws that's what people have. That's what readers find interesting."
As for the real-life scandal, Baldacci said "it never should have happened." He added, "It was just a total mess-up. It's going to affect the service for a long time."
However, Baldacci said, the investigation, which may lead to more restrictions, training and scrutiny, may eventually be beneficial to the agency.
"As a former lawyer, I like to let the investigation do its job," he said. "If the facts prove out the allegations, I think the repercussions could be swift. Might be a culture that's developed there, a negative one, and they'll have to take care of. This might be a blessing in disguise to turn it around now."
Baldacci's newest novel, "The Innocent" tells the story of a government-hired hitman who has a change of conscience. "The Innocent" comes out April 17th. It Baldacci's 24th book.
For more with Baldacci, including why he said he thinks being a lawyer helped him be a better writer, watch the video in the player above.