Tag Archives: political fiction

Ghosts of the Republic

What if both sides stopped caring about rules?

I wrote the initial draft of Novel12/Boone6 Ghosts of the Republic five years ago. This was during the end of the Obama administration, when a biased media was putting forth every effort in convincing the country that Hillary Clinton would be our next president.

Things change, don’t they? The ever-comforting fact is that more important things stay just as they are. Human nature is one of them, and that’s how my novels, addressing essential and universal questions as they do, seem to stay relevant over a wonderfully lengthy period of time.

Here we are at the end of another February. We first saw Boone on Leap Day, in what was set as 2012. She was in Terry Bradley’s office, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). She was dressed to the nines, catty, and drinking on duty. Despite everything in her poor first impressions, there was an underlying element of unlimited potential. Over the course of her character arc, she more than any other figure has fulfilled my catalogue.

In a sense, all my novels to date comprise parts of Sean’s File. He is in his backstory, throughout Jon’s Trilogy, and appears in every episode of Boone’s File as well. The man, in fact, appears in every novel I’ve written save one. Boone will return for her backstory retrospective, God willing, in my final release perhaps next year. Two titles in Sean’s File are queued for production before we get there.

For now, Ghosts of the Republic closes a number of character arcs for antagonists and protagonists admirable and despicable as their life choices warrant. I won’t expound on the mission of the novel here — better you discover that for yourself — more than I have in the afterword. Suffice it to say the title explores relevant themes in a way that makes me glad I could publish the thing before real life paralleled the story line.

Here’s the blurb:

“Homicides of prominent figures spike inside the Beltway, and D.C. is on edge.

Presented with an ultimatum from the Director of National Intelligence to find their killers or shoulder the blame, Peter McAllen’s people devote themselves to a singularly vital mission. Interested parties range from Congressional inquisitors to agents of a spiteful liberal news media determined to ferret out InterLynk’s every past move and present ally. None of them are helping.

Boone, Daniel Sean Ritter, and their allies navigate an alarming scenario. If prime movers are using threats to political stability in the world’s last superpower to institute a constitutional crisis, who can they trust?

Approx. 85,000 words / 325 pp print length”

GOTR is going live everywhere as I write this. I will post its Big List of Links once they are available.

Thank you. Choose to love. -DA

Sean and Muhammad

Perhaps a detailed psychoanalysis can explain where the ideas for a writer’s work originate. If so—despite my degree in that area of study—it is unlikely that I would take such a conclusion seriously in any case. Science tends to discount the notion that the mind is a spiritual crossroad, and tends to fall into the trap of human arrogance in assuming all of our thoughts and inspirations are our own.

In The Anvil of the Craftsman, Farrah’s son Gabir and the story’s mysterious military man have a brief conversation regarding Gabir’s father Muhammad. He was a man whose memory resided in reverence, seemingly by everyone who knew him. It was a scene that demanded the fulfillment of the back-story from the moment I wrote the words.

Whether a reader knows my Air Force Special Operator as Matt Kameldorn—his nom de guerre in Anvil—Drew Domenick from The Britteridge Heresy, or Daniel Sean Ritter from Killing Doctor Jon, he is a character whose intrigue draws the reader close. They seemed to want to know more, and so did I. The result was a parallel series to Jon’s Trilogy now beginning: Sean’s File, opening with his first novel Operation Naji.

Heroes, Villains, and ordinary people are made, not born. Each story has a beginning, and middle, and an end. In Naji, we see the beginnings of the man in whom training, talent, and dedication would coalesce to produce a warrior. That, however, is not the whole purpose of the work.

The heart of the novel remains a question in the deep blue water of theology, and that is the basis for salvation. Those of you who have absorbed my work may find my ideas divergent in that regard, though as with everything my opinions result from dedicated consideration. I see our origins in the work of a Craftsman: one who takes the time needed to produce His desired result, and Who is very good at what He does. I believe that skill is applied across cultures and faiths, due to the engineered capacity of the human soul to find its way back home. We humans do that by addressing essential and universal questions—consciously or not—and with a result determined by our individual character, capacity, and determination.

One believes in salvation by grace through faith, or one does not. Personally, I see the accommodation of Christ as an eternal fixture in a perfect plan rather than as a point of legality in a historical timeline. Some overly rigid doctrinalists will doubtless take issue with a Christian writer placing a Muslim as the main narrative character in Naji. Nevertheless, the novel brings across the message given as I wrote, and I have no regrets concerning the result.

Operation Naji is now in the very final stages of editing, and shall—God willing—soon go on to proofing and formatting and thence to its beta readers. Once published, the same faith telling me this endeavor of writing was worthwhile assures me that the novel will achieve its intended influence. Maybe only a few will read it, or perhaps many. It is what it is, and I think it a story that will not be forgotten once absorbed. Sean, of course, deserves that, as does Muhammad … certainly even more.

Choose to Love, -DA

Vince Flynn—Remembered

Writers of Political Fiction are flying their colors at half-staff this week as a memorial to Vince Flynn, author of a dynamic series of novels that continue to hold the attention of his fan base. His titles are familiar here, as they were always and doubtless will continue to be constant occupants in the top listings of the genre we share.

Vince Flynn—whose journey, by the way, began with self-publishing—pleased his audience. His achievement is reflected in his rankings in Amazon Best Sellers, but just as significant and more laudable is his residence in Amazon Top Rated. As of this writing, Mr. Flynn’s titles occupy seven of the Top Twenty slots by customer ranking.

It is good writing that will be remembered. Literature endures past the span of its author. Writing well grants a legacy of remembrance that travels past the point in time where one’s children will grow old and pass on in their own journey. There is a secret promise in the crafting of words … one that offers an opportunity to endure. Thoughts frozen in time by transcription carry forward the mind of their author, and hold a chance for that much immortality at least. We still read Homer nearly three millennia later, and we do so because he chose to write.

Vince Flynn did so as well, and his results speak for themselves. Congratulations, sir. You used what time you were granted to its best effect, which is as much as any of us can hope to do.

Choose to Love, -DA

Boone

Over the course of the last few months, I have been spending my days with a woman named Rebecca Boone Hildebrandt. Not to worry, friends and family; technically she does not exist—except in roughly four hundred and fifty pages of fiction that so far only I have seen.

Boone is the heroine (yes, I still use gender-specific terms) of a trilogy a bit over halfway to completion. Jon Anthony now has three titles of his own (two published, the third coming this winter), and everyone’s favorite Air Force officer has received his own back-story. Another vision now has residence in the private work space of my mind, and is at present flowing into some of the best prose that I have ever written.

Jon Anthony, my quiet, soft-spoken academic and man of unshakable faith, is one of those people whom one meets only now and again in life, a soul in which God’s enemy has never found a foothold. Mademoiselle Hildebrandt is someone quite different.

Boone lives in a world of deep, dark secrets. She works for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. This top executive level of the United States Intelligence Community is the consolidating entity of intelligence organs in the U.S. government and is headquartered in McLean, Virginia. Her intellect and physical abilities have aided her ascension to the position of Level One Case Officer, and her job description in its most terse form is to solve problems that most will never know existed.

Boone’s exceptional ability to retain information had her leaving high school early, to study physiology in Europe, where she also navigated academe at an accelerated pace. Her doctorate secured, two years of training in the martial arts followed in Vietnam, studying the techniques of practitioners similarly small in stature, yet very dangerous.

For all her wondrous abilities, Boone is a flawed character. Her faith at the onset of her debut, Absinthe and Chocolate, is practically nonexistent. She has a problem with alcohol. She takes the stresses of her work, the loneliness of her existence, and the weight of the lives she has extinguished and channels them into intoxication and sexual outlet.

Boone’s story, as all of ours shall be, is a tale of change. She is part hero (yes, sometimes I also use gender-neutral terms), part victim, and composed of both steel and velvet. She is, as one of her revelations in The Bonus Pool relays, “… all light, darkness, death, life, joy and grief, wrapped in a package that most people simply called Boone.”

The woman is a work in progress, in the pages of her fiction and in the part she plays in what God is doing, as are we all. Her purpose is unapparent, as it is for many of us, and will take patience to comprehend fully. Knowing her has nevertheless blessed me, and I am glad to be the woman’s chronicler.

There are many roads to the same destination. Boone and I are on one less traveled. I hope that my readers will understand.

Choose to Love, -DA