What motivated me to write thrillers?
I suppose the answer to that question has several facets, as anything important in one’s life tends to have.
I love reading and have always been fascinated by multi-threaded novels; stories with multiple plots that are inextricably intertwined. Life is like that. You live your life, but your story touches other people’s stories. Your actions will affect theirs and visa-versa. What befuddled me is how to invent, or rather put to paper, a story-line that mimicked reality in this way. Then again, reality does often mimic a story.
My wife, Daria, and I were living in northern New Jersey within 20 miles of the World Trade Center in Manhattan on 9/11. Everyone in the area, along with everyone else in the world, was deeply affected by this event. So, that part was in me and wanted to get out. Like so many thousands of others, I was a reluctant immigrant from Ireland. A few years ago, Daria and I moved back to Ireland, sailing across the Atlantic. That part is my story. And then there was the question of what led up to 9/11, and what might happen because of it. That is the other part of the story, the fictional storyline.
A while back, my mother sustained an injury and Daria and I wound up living in her home while she convalesced. I was working on an article for one of the sailing magazines. A particular turn of phrase was eluding me. I sat back and started to daydream. I saw a story-line with a hero and a villain and quickly wrote it down. I showed this to Daria and she liked the idea.
The first draft of my first novel was pure stream of consciousness. The story line was a starting point, but what came out bore scant resemblance to the original idea. New characters introduced themselves to me and told me their stories. The original ones developed in ways I had not imagined. I certainly had not planned for an anti-hero to be the main character. While I wrote, I edited previous passages so that they would fit the evolving story. I then read and reread the whole thing countless times making even more changes – even as the story was still unfolding.
When I thought I was done, I handed it to Daria, my favorite and most honest critic. When I got the file back a few weeks later, it was full of edits, changes and comments that needed addressing. I started at the beginning and worked my way through. Everything she noted was valid, and I pretty much did a complete rewrite. Then came many detail edits, chapter moves, new chapters, chapter changes, you name it. Daria did two more major edits. I did two more rewrites and endless detail changes. Nothing in life is written in stone, and the same goes for a story.
The result is what you see here today: The Butterfly Effect: It Strarted on 9/11. I hope you enjoy reading it, and I look forward to your comments (here and on Amazon). I need your feedback: the good, the bad and the ugly – all of it. If you enjoy reading my work, I promise I will continue writing, and I promise to learn from your feedback.
With the second book in the series, The Brotherhood: Acquisition of Power, pretty much the same thing happened. This time I did not bother with a time line, but kept track of things on a big spreadsheet, so that I wouldn't get muddled. Once again the story unfolded before my eyes. Daria did not like the ending so I took a look. What I saw was indeed abrupt. I started afresh and suddenly it came alive all on its own. In fact the pace was so fast, that I had trouble keeping up writing it down. In the end, after many hours, I sat backand read the new ending - wow, it was perfect - well almost. several edits and rewrites later the Brotherhood was done.
In the meanwhile, I have of course continued writing. Book three in the Butterfly Effect Series in is process. Its working title is Supremacy. In the meanwhile, Onyx, the Cruising Kitty, has come out. It is a series of short stories about Onyx' life told in her voice. Other novels will, of course, follow.
Daria and I also write non-fiction. These books we keep rewriting to keep them up to date. On days when the creative writing eludes me, I turn back to these, as there is always a huge backlog of collected notes.
Writing novels has turned out to be quite the trip for me! I hope you enjoy the ride! But do check out our non-fiction titles as well. I am sure there is something there for you.