OK, Thriller Guy has more from RWW about writing in general and his new Doc Ford novel in particular. Read the man's words and take heed.
What's the Doc Ford schedule? Do you try for one a year?
I am a working writer, and I work every day, seven days a week, with rare exception. My deadlines are set by me, not my publisher, but I believe that a full year of research, writing and editing are required to produce what I hope are literate and literary popular novels. I could produce books much faster, but I doubt if they would be of the quality that I demand of myself as a professional. Back when I was a full time fishing guide, and also working hard in my spare time to learn the writing craft, I wrote a penname thriller in nine days. Yep, 45,000 words or so in nine around-the-clock days. I have a close friend, Don Carman, who was a brilliant pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, and he signs baseballs: “Be relentless.” I can think of no better advice to an aspiring writer: Be relentless.
An important part of the plot of Deep Shadow revolves around the search for “Batista's Treasure Plane.” Is this a true story? Maybe. It’s certainly possible. I first went to Cuba in 1978, and have returned many times, including 1980 when I returned from Mariel Harbor on a 55-foot fishing boat carrying 147 refugees. When we raised Key West, every refugee aboard took up the chant, Libertad . . Libertad! Liberty. It was a powerful experience, and I have been fascinated with the island ever since. In recent years, I have played baseball there, distributing gear to kids, and, most recently, I played a small role in officially twinning the Freemasons of Cuba with the Freemasons of Florida in a formal ceremony at the Gran Logia de Habana – another very powerful experience. I have close friends there, but Cuba is a police state – whatever your politics may be, this is a fact beyond debate – so I am ever mindful that I must be careful when I refer to anything regarding Cuban history as fact or fiction. It is a well documented fact, however, that Batista fled Havana after filling several Tampa-bound cargo planes with cash and historical treasures that still, rightfully, belong to the Cuban people. Some of these treasures are still on display in a Daytona Beach museum.
Besides having to deal with a pair of homicidal maniacs, Doc has to fight a terrifying dragon-like creature. Does this animal actually exist in Florida? I found out long ago that, if a reader catches even a single factual error, it damages the credibility of the entire storyline, so I take research seriously. To the best of my ability, data regarding biology and history in my books is accurate, including DEEP SHADOW’s reference to the thriving population of exotics that are reproducing in the Everglades. These include king cobras, iguanas, 400-pound boa constrictors and also predatory Nile Monitors that do, indeed, hunt in packs. There are no documented sightings, however, of the Nile’s close relative, the Komodo monitor.
OK, Thriller Guy here again. As stated in the last entry, writers interested in how to structure a thriller could learn plenty from RWW's new Doc Ford novel.
This novel is unrelenting. I could not put it down.