In my second novel, The Hammer of God, my leading character, Bill Hiccock is the science advisor to the president who routinely reports to him on technological threats aimed at America. Yet, upon learning his wife is pregnant, those routine assessments suddenly loom larger and more terrifying in his mind, which causes him, in a moment of self-reflection to ask himself, “Is that what impending fatherhood does to a person: magnify all the sharp edges and pointy things in the world?”
Well, when you “father” international thrillers and regularly write about terrorism and study the threat matrix, you tend to see the world as billions of looming sharp edges and pointy things … all aimed at America.
As an author, this scary view is especially magnified as major holidays and large public events draw near. The specter of an attack and our vulnerability as a free and open society, find their way into the media, public discourse and more than a few family discussions. As I write this, the world has successfully managed to enter a new year with no major terrorist statement accompanying the strains of Auld Lang Syne. There were a couple of blips; a lone wolf in Syracuse who was caught before he could slaughter folks with a machete as they dined locally. He confessed it was an act to serve as his initiation fee and buy-in to ISIS. There were some plots foiled in Germany and unfortunately an attack in Israel. But thankfully the most spectacular event this New Year’s Eve was the 63-story hotel fire in Abu Dhabi, which for now seems to be accidental in nature.
Strike that, the most spectacular event was a million people in Times Square, and millions more around the country unfettered, unstoppable and unmolested as they reveled in New Year’s celebrations throughout America. Made possible by hundreds of thousands of men and woman on watch, on guard and on duty while the rest of us got to party. Lets resolve to keep them and their families in our thoughts and prayers. – Happy New Year.