number 3 croppedIt’s been awhile since I posted, in part because I’ve been trying to move my next book forward while still wrestling with the marketing of the last one. The good news is that I’m about two thirds of the way through the first draft of book three, and hope to put its completion, and then revision, on a more reliable schedule. My goal is to issue the new book before the end of the year.

Like the first two, The Doodlebug War will be topical and timely as well, with the bad guys being an ISIS-like group that is proving to be more successful than the current combatants on the ground in the Mideast, and far more successful at bringing the war home to those in Europe and the US. As with the earlier books, there will be a heavy dose of reality, as multiple all too feasible attacks are launched. Of course, only Frank stands between the Caliphate and the end of the world as we know it.

A sobering aspect of writing a book like this is realizing how many appalling, almost impossible to thwart atrocities can be devised to launch against innocent civilians. And not just of the magnitude of the horrible attacks in Paris, San Bernadino, and Brussels, but far worse.

When you sit at a keyboard concocting one of these horrific events, you can’t help wondering who else might be thinking through the same line of attack. After all, an author starts with the same constraints, trying to think through what would be the most feasible way to set something up that would have the maximum effect. The means of destruction comprise only so long a list – biologics, chemicals, explosives and nuclear – and the same factors that would make for a credible plot also dictate what could and could not actually be accomplished in the real world.

This is something the authorities sometimes fail to appreciate, as when Condaleeza Rice asked rhetorically after 9/11, “Who could have every imagined that anyone would fly a get into a building?” Well, Tom Clancy, for one, in 1994, in Debt of Honor. It’s as likely as not that the fourth 9/11 plane, which crashed in Pennsylvania, might have had the Capitol as its target as well.

I’ve already seen this interweaving of fact and fiction with each of my first two books, as events I devised then occurred in reality. And why wouldn’t they?

Here’s hoping that won’t happen in reality with the plot of my new book, but I’m very pessimistic on that point. The central vulnerability that I’m focusing on represents far too obvious and attractive a target, and it’s too much too hope that it will be ignored by nation states as well as fanatics. And yet we keep moving forward in this area as if there is no danger at all, making ourselves more vulnerable by the day.

If you’d like to learn more, please consider becoming a Friend of Frank. If you do, you’ll be able to access the password protected blog where I’ll be posting regularly right up to the launch date.

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