Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thank You, Tom Clancy

Nothing is as real as a dream. The world can change around you, but your dream will not. Responsibilities need not erase it. Duties need not obscure it. Because the dream is within you, no one can take it away. - TOM CLANCY

I trolled my Facebook feed yesterday, much as I do every morning. Among the news of kids and school, weather and writing, were two different status updates that simply said "Tom Clancy!!!". Not having the time to investigate further, I moved on to other things and the busyness of the day.

About an hour later, my phone vibrated, alerting me to more emails, more updates. Too engrossed in the daily grind to pay attention, I muted the posts and continued with the drudgery of the day. Until one particular post came through. It said "Tom Clancy, dead at 66". I was in the middle of a conversation when my brain clicked into gear and I processed the news.

Tom Clancy was dead.

The man who brought books into my husband's life. The man who taught me the value of research. The man who inspired the idea of writing thrillers. And the man whose work I am currently "researching" for an upcoming book I am preparing to write.

Tom Clancy - dead.

It seemed impossible at first. Like hearing that Dan Brown was dead. Or J.K. Rowling had died. The impact was much the same. I quickly posted a little RIP for my status update and went about my day. What else was I to do, right? I hadn't met him in person, our lives had never crossed. He is just one of the many who have influenced me in ways too complex to fully explain. One that I had wanted to meet one day. One I would gladly invite over for dinner.

As I sat down to write the posts for today, I knew I had to pay tribute to Tom in some way. To thank him for his influence and collective works. The Jack Ryan stories (Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games, to name a few), Act of Valor, Threat Vector and others shaped my opinions of the political thriller genre. His dedication to art and storytelling remains an inspiration to me and is something I will carry forward throughout my writing career. I can only hope to be as prolific and dedicated!

It seems fitting to end the post as I started - with a Tom Clancy quote:

I think about the characters I've created and then I sit down and start typing and see what they will do. There's a lot of subconscious thought that goes on. It amazes me to find out, a few chapters later, why I put someone in a certain place when I did. It's spooky. - TOM CLANCY

Rest in Peace, Tom. My heart and prayers to your family. And my sincere and deep thanks for your work!

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