Saturday, January 5, 2013

Fear Nothing

Thriller guy was having lunch with his pal and fellow writer Larry the other day and we were discussing the way we wrote when we were young. This subject has been much on TG’s mind these days as Allen Appel, TG’s alter ego, recently put all his early works up, plus some recent stuff on Amazon for Kindle as part of his ongoing experiment concerning the world of publishing as it exists, or doesn’t exist, today. Well, let’s drop the convoluted POV and let Appel take up the thread.

Reading novels I’d written two and three decades ago was an interesting experience. In many ways, it was like traveling back in time. I recognized my words as I read, but I had almost no memory of writing them. I laughed at my own jokes, marveled at the interesting facts I had unearthed in my research, and, most importantly, I was amazed at the chances I took. It never occurred to me at the time that what would now seem a series of near impossible plot connections could not be achieved. These were my time travel books, known as the Pastmaster series, where I would plop my hero, Alex Balfour, down amidst some outrageous circumstance and expect him to make his labyrinthine way to a cataclysmic ending which he would somehow survive to fight again another day in the next book. A good example is the third book in the series, Till the End of Time. Alex arrives back in time at Pearl Harbor during the attack and ends up making his way through the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Really? Really! I can remember at the time coming up with that plan, just the beginning and the end, and hardly giving a thought to the difficulties that would be involved. And this was before we had the Internet for research. As I reread this book I was amazed that I had followed my original idea and that, at least in my opinion, succeeded in making it believable. Would I attempt such a journey today? All my professional experience gained after nearly forty years in the business would tell me that it would be impossible, and I would be broken on the yoke of such a task. And yet there it is. You can read it for yourself.
Here’s the writing lesson in today’s sermon: don’t let being older and wiser keep you from taking the chances a tyro might leap at. You’re smarter now, use that experience to achieve the flights of imagination that novels, or any other writing, demand.

Dream big.

Plot big.

Write big.

Fear nothing.


  1. I can relate to that. Also this:

  2. The magazine article that Joel is referring to in the Times magazine zipped back and forth last week between all my writer friends. I urge anyone out there who is writing a book, wants to write a book or has written a book to read it.

  3. "Till The End Of Time" was how I "discovered" Allen Appel. I was at a giant used book sale in Phoenix, Az. and (he probably doesn't want to hear this) the book was a buck. I spat in the face of convention and judged it by its cover, and the rest is history. It's a good thing that I didn't realize that it was the third in a series until after I started reading it, or I probably would've passed. Shortly after reading it, I looked up the author's email address, and we've been conversing ever since. It's odd having a friend of nearly 15 years that I've never met in the real world. Could be a book in there somewhere . . .

    Also let the record show that I paid full price for a hardcover copy of "In Time of War." I'm frugal enough for used book sales, but not so frugal that I won't pry open my dust covered wallet for an author with class and style.