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Tom Clancy…

October 4, 2013
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An American with honor, a Soviet who wants to defect, and a sub that is designed to destroy all meet at the height of the Cold War. What else would someone need to write a great story?
An author with a brilliant mind who wasn’t afraid to challenge the publishing industry.

Hey Y’all,

I would like to take a short break before finishing the last series about coming home. I would like to take a moment to publically thank a man that I never met, but has as much influence on me as anyone in my quest to become a writer.

I don’t remember how I was introduced to Tom Clancy. I do remember reading Red Storm Rising after I graduated High School, in 1987. I went back to read The Hunt For Red October soon after. He opened my eyes to another world and opened my mind to other possibilities.

He passed away on Wednesday. Death is a part of life, but the suddenness it brings is tragic. My thoughts and prayers go out to those who actually knew Mr. Clancy. They are the ones who are hurting, they are the ones who are missing someone who was in their lives. They are the ones who truly grieve. I have not earned the right to be mourning. I only have the right to honor a man who wrote about honor.


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If it is true that every main character resembles the author. Then Mr. Clancy valued truth, honor, dignity, and the military.


To me the world has lost a great storyteller and friend of the military. Because I am too dumb to buy paperback books; during one of my rotations I packed up all the hard cover books that I own lugging them all over the world. Escaping into his world on every opportunity, in a 60 day rotation I read everything in about 30 days. During that rotation, many of the concepts of my current work began to form.


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Not just any writer can create this many words. This is an impressive stack or original material. He was told to cut 100 pages from his first book. It probably made for a tighter story, but how many authors struggle to write 100 pages? Very impressive, and the truth of the matter is that each of his novels could act as a stand alone book and they weigh about five pounds each.


One of my writing goals was to take Mr. Clancy to dinner as near equals. Mr. Clancy would play the role as the cool, old head master with the attitude of a teacher, and I would be the rising, hotshot author with a one shot, one kill, bringer of fate attitude. I wanted to learn from him, hear his stories and talk about all of the things that we may or may not have in common. Unfortunately, that meeting will have to wait until I join him in the afterlife.


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My only critique of Mr. Clancy is the scarf. Don’t listen to the fighter jock, it just isn’t cool. Wish I would have been there for you on that one.


Until then, I thought it would be appropriate to say how important Mr. Clancy is to my writing style, and offer a salute to someone who proudly waved the flag.


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A mind without equal.
When he met with the troops or when he met with the Generals he always told them that he didn’t want to know the classified stuff. I think that is because he didn’t want his mind to be littered with real things and stifle his imagination.


Until next time, keep on rockin!

From → writing

  1. Thank you so much for writing this. I was shocked when I heard. Then I had to fly. Such a household name. A wonderful tribute. Thanks!

    • Karlene,

      Thanks for your comments. I hope one day Karlene Petitt is as widely recognized.

  2. Rob,

    What an excellent post and tribute to an author who has contributed so much to the world in the way of military storytelling. And you’re right—I do think of you in that vein as well.

    Sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve been here. Missed out on the first portion of the Coming Home series and have been waiting for a new topic on which I could jump. Today’s post afforded me that opportunity.

    Although I’m not a big Clancy reader (I’m simply not into that genre), I have enjoyed the movies made from his novels. I’ll get to more of your stuff when there’s a Bill Rimes movie made. 😉

    Hey…National Novel Writing Month is coming up in November…maybe you could turn one of your experiences into a novel. With your ability to write as prolifically as you do, you should have no trouble coming up with 1667 words/day. I’m doing a book on a dog I used to have. It’s

    Good to see you!

    • Swifty,

      Thank you for your wonderful comments. Sorry that you missed out on the last series. I know it isn’t your thing but I appreciate you being so supportive.

      I would love to make Billy Rimes such a well known character as Jack Ryan. The only problem is that Jack Ryan would be nothing compared to Billy Rimes.

      I will be going to training soon, so no NANOWRIMO for me. In fact I will be significantly slowing down the blog and shutting down the book until I finish training. Probably mid-January before I can get back going again.

      Cant wait to read all of your stuff though.

  3. worldsbeforethedoor permalink

    Amen and amen! I was shocked to hear this and really sad. I Ioved his work so much! And yes, I too never got to meet him. I’ll miss him!

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