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Thriller - Novel
The Genesis of this Novel

The initial idea of this book happened in an instant. While touring an FAA facility built in the early 1960s, I was taken into the basement. In the center was a lead lined room that was designed for the building in the event of a nuclear attack. It had the vibe of the Cheyenne Mountain Complex. That room, long since obsolete, served as the spark that lit a flame and caused a raging fire. What if it wasn't a fallout shelter but really a secret room that that could have a huge impact the entire National Airspace System? Boom! From there, five years of my life evaporated. This book is the result.

About the writing process.

I have quietly worked on the novel. It took time to develop, mature, and evolve the ideas into a meaningful story. I wanted have a substantially complete product before I was willing to talk about it.

Of course, there was awareness by others that I was working on this book, but no one really knew the story. Until now.

There was tremendous interest in the book while I was working one it. That was expected, but what really surprised me was the interest in my writing process. Without exception, it has always come up in conversation. This section is dedicated to answering some of those questions.

My Process: A disjointed, almost scattered writing style.

The first thing you will notice while reading through this page is that the topics are somewhat disjointed. That is exactly how the writing process went for me. There are scraps of paper everywhere that were stitched together to make a cohesive story.

Write a paragraph on the protagonist's car. Jump to the antagonist murdering someone. Jot a note on a post-it note about a clue left at a scene. Develop character arc. Consider the pacing. Sequence everything. Oh, by the way, don't forget there is a story to be told and it needs to make sense.

Areas that I struggled with are language, gratuitous sex, and violence. With every edit, those areas seemed to be amplified because the characters had to be motivated. Each edit was an effort to ensure that the characters had no choice but to do the things they did.

Is CS Runn actually Reed Stanton, the book's protagonist?


I did go on a journey with each character, though. If there was a murder; I did experience it. If there was grief and sadness; I lived it. If there was joy; I was moved. It was an intellectually enriching experience.

You want to know something crazy? There were times the characters literally guided me down the road and told me what they were doing next. Sometimes I was the character and other times they were telling me the story. It was nuts, but it was super, super fun.

I am not schizophrenic. Neither am I.

Are the characters based on real people?

The characters are fictional.

On the other hand, if the shoe fits; wear it!

Remember that disclaimer about the characters being fictional? That is a true. The puppy in the story is real, though. That said, I did visualize people while writing. Keeping up with plot twists, locations, and timelines is exceedingly complicated. If I picked a person, say Elvis, and made him a character; it was easy to step into the character to write about him and then step out.

It was the personality type that I used, not the individual. A funny guy, a jerk, someone ruthless. When I finished the book, I did revisit each character to ensure this remained a work of fiction.

There is one exception (sort of). The navy admiral that is prominent in the plot is a composite of friends. Spoiler alert - the admiral survives. I was just having fun, folks.

Are the locations real?

I chose some real locations for certain parts of the story. I find it interesting to visit places I have read about. The genesis of the book was the tour of an air traffic facility built in the 1960s. The facility used in the book was commissioned in 1994. There is no connection between facilities.

Did you have writer's block?

While writing, I thought I did. But not really. I did write in spurts. It took enormous energy and focus. And yes, life did get in the way.

There were times I struggled with storyline. When that happened, I jumped around. Write a sentence here. Go over there. Pretty soon the words were flowing.The key was to write something; anything.

How many words per day did you write?

My highest output in one day was 5,000 words. On average, I wrote 500 to 2,000 per day. 2,000 words edited down to maybe 500 usable words. On top of that you have to consider the research which was very time consuming. The key was to keep chipping away.

Did you participate in a writer's group?

I did not join a writer's group. I think that would have been extremely helpful for plot development and for learning how to write. I also think using a writer's group would have accelerated the process. I have done some of my best work in life while in a collaborative environment. In the end, I used the brute force method. Probably a mistake.

What was the biggest obstacle?

My biggest obstacle was learning how to write. Taking large amounts of information and consolidating it into something meaningful was a challenge. That easily took 80% of my time. Ultimately, what I did was to get a book on How to Write a Novel. Every day before I wrote, I would go through it. When I was done writing for the day, I reviewed it again. Each time it had new meaning for me. It worked; I crossed the finish line.

Writing is easy. The hard part is getting your work to making sense.

Are you going to write another book?

My vision is that this novel is the first book in a trilogy. The problem is that publishing and promotion consumes a significant amount of time. I now understand why it takes a year from finishing a manuscript to publishing a completed book.

My investment in this novel has been my time. For another book to be realized, I need to invest in resources to accelerate the developmental editing, publishing, and marketing processes.

So, the answer is that it depends on the acceptance of this work and whether I can find a publishing house to partner with in the next project. The spirit is willing!