My latest book “McFadden’s War” started as a quote I had seen on a writing coach’s website: “Starting a novel is asking a question. What if ?” That question found its way to my brain’s back burner and simmered. I had earlier read a non-fiction book about America’s military scattered around the globe. Some of these isolated outposts were manned by Special Forces like the Green Berets and Navy SEALs. One base caught my eye: Zamboanga, a city on Mindanao, the southernmost island in The Philippines. A sultry spot full of intrigue, poverty, beauty, coral reefs, and smugglers, the Philippines was a great setting. Up popped “What if?” and I was off and running. Asia has always fascinated me so it was logical to pursue a story prompted by that original question. Along the way I met a retired Navy SEAL who became a valued source. He introduced me to men who had served in that part of the world. I followed two parallel tracks: research and storyline. For me half the fun of writing fiction is marrying reality with the probable.
A tale has to convince readers the writer did their homework. Readers will accompany a fiction author if they sense there is a kernel of truth about humanity buried in the story—however deep.
An avid reader, I am always ready for a wild ride if it’s well-told.