When you shouldn’t write…

I get a lot of people inside government, the scientific community and law enforcement agencies who “tell” me things off the record. You know, “You didn’t hear this from me but…”

Well, last week I got a tip on something, I’ll call it “Installation X,” a really good piece of reality that would make a beautiful plot point and revelation. For me revelation is as important as a tight story. I use “fiction” in my books to plant a few seeds on things that governments and media soft pedal or aggressively ignore into obliteration.

So I get this information that I could center my entire 4th book on. A juicy, real, almost unbelievable fact that I can fictionalize. Except, last week I got a note that asked I forget what I was told. The reason? Apparently, it’s hotter than even the person who shared it with me thought it was.

Professional dilemma: respect my source or go for it? Well, I decided to not only respect my source but also join into the spirit of our national secrets, which is mainly to keep them secret. So I took a deep breath and moved on. This happened with my first book, when I deduced, based on available technology, a technological process that could protect the President. I “made it up” and wrote it into my story. Then a person who was a protector of POTUS asked me to “not go there.” Fair enough. I broomed it for the sake of Presidential security and my acquaintance, and the folks he works with, lives. Easy decision… then.

Two days ago, I met a guy who tells me almost the whole “Installation X” story! Now this guy is a new source. I could go with his version of the events and situation since he so far has not asked me to forget it. (He may not be as in the loop as my original source.) But that would just be a way around what I said I wouldn’t do to my original source and my own feeling of obligation to the men an women who risk their lives carrying out our nation’s security that has to be done in secret.

So no. I am still not going to go near this thing. I will however scour the Internet, go to the library and see if any of this can be open sourced. Meaning if it’s already out there and thus I won’t be jeopardizing a source or my country. Although I hope it’s not.

And the Winner is…

CONGRATULATIONS

Having never won anything in my life, it’s interesting to be on this side. I
am so glad for Rachel Robertson  and I hope the luck continues… So Rachel if I
were you I’d go buy a lottery ticket!

Did Bin Laden read my book?


Let me start out by saying there is absolutely no proof supporting the rumor that a dog-eared copy of my book, “The Eighth Day”, was found in the Bin Laden compound. (hat tip, Lawyer Robert Rosenblatt) Yet, rumors can be persistently pesky little gnats always buzzing around.  Like the one that I got an $8 million dollar advance for the film rights to “The Eighth Day.” Let me categorically state for all you who are reading this, and any IRS agents, that I have not received that check yet.

But as someone once said, “Why let the facts get in the way of a good story?” of course his name is a fact that never came with the story so he will remain “someone.” As an author, some rumors are cool, “I have Alec Baldwin on speed dial”,  “I used to hang with Raquel Welch”, “Tom Clancy liked my book.”  “Bill Clinton gave me the final green light to write, “The Hammer of God.”

Now, here’s the thing, that last one, about Clinton, was True! Yet, with all these other tall tales out there, who’s going to believe it? For years I hesitated to publish “Hammer” the sequel to “The Eighth Day” because I didn’t know if the “secrets” revealed within would hurt America’s National Security.  After a generous, and in-depth discussion with the former president, he assured me that as far as global thermo nuclear war was concerned, those “secrets” were, at best, theories, but ones that never the less, ever crossed his desk or was part of the SIOP (Single Integrated Operational Plan, which was the secret playbook for American Nuclear response).  So, here I sit cut by the double-edged sword of the rumor mill. While any unfounded item, at minimum, gets your name out there, they also create a fog that makes it hard to see the truth underlying the main plot point to my second novel in Bill Hiccock’s Quarterback Operations Group, Thrillogy.

I have to tell you, it’s enough to push me to spend the entire 8 million on an ad campaign to set the record straight.

 

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