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.
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.
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.
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.
Until next time, keep on rockin!