By Bob Mayer
Story comes out of experience, intellectual interest and emotional passion. Looking back over my career of 25 years and over 60 books, I can see patterns. I didn’t focus on one genre or one series (which would have been a smart career move). I wrote whatever I wanted when I wanted. And now, I’m beginning to merge some of my series, moving characters from diverse stories into the same overall storyline. So I what were my four pillars of story?
Write what you know: My military background, from West Point, through the Infantry, and particularly into Special Operations is a large part of my books and was a large part of my life. In fact, pretty much every protagonist I have is military or ex-military. I’m one of the few thriller writers with actual military experience, especially in Special Operations, so that has affected not only my writing but the way I view the world.
Write what interests you: I love history. Not just for the information, but more the people. Also, because I am a big believer in the maxim those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. Experience is the best teacher and history is experience. From a novel that is purely historical, Duty, Honor, Country, to the 50% of the last five Atlantis books where I use a past timeline to support the current story, a large portion of my writing has to do with history. What I find fascinating is what we think we know is often wrong; and we know a lot less than we think we know.
Write what is your passion: Last, and most importantly, I go back to the mind. When I went into West
Point I was sure I was going to major in engineering. But once I started in psychology, I realized this was where I wanted to concentrate. I find the human mind utterly fascinating. I had to laugh when reading Esquire and they ask a celebrity what book they have on their nightstand (no one ever says Conan the Barbarian) and Sean Penn replied: The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Okay, maybe I believe him. I remember pulling the hardcover of that book out of a Jeep I totaled about ten years ago. It’s still sitting on our bookshelf here at Write on the River.
Learn more about Bob at http://www.coolgus.com/bobmayer.html