Sunday, April 21, 2013

David Morrell, Creator of Rambo

In a way, mentioning Rambo in the title of this post is a bit of a cheat. Sure, the name is recognizable, but it's just one among a plethora of amazing things that David Morrell has accomplished over a long and illustrious career, which is still going strong. I've been intending to write this feature about David Morrell for several weeks, but frankly, I think I was a little overwhelmed. There is so much to say, that I didn't know where to start.

Photo credit:  Jennifer Esperanza

Last year, I attended the Tony Hillerman Conference. It was my first writing conference ever and I went with the intention of getting better integrated into the local writing community. I wanted to meet writers and feel like a real writer myself. One day at lunch a man sits down next to me and in my usual subtle yet winning manner, I proceeded to pepper him with questions.  How are you enjoying the conference?  Are you a writer? What genre? I can’t even remember what methods of interrogation I employed, or how many hundreds of questions I fired at him, but suffice it to say that he was graceful and kind. And if I'm being completely honest, my manner, while enthusiastic, was probably anything but winning. Over salad, we discussed novel writing and plot devices. I was in writerly heaven.

Photo credit:  Jennifer Esperanza

Suddenly, it was time for the speaker. As he was introduced, it became evident that this was a really, really, real writer. A New York Times Bestselling author.  Someone who had published many books and came equipped with four decades of experience as a writer. Had I really heard that right?  The creator of Rambo? My neighbor rose and took the podium. I realized that I had just eaten lunch with David Morrell. I was (and still am) a little chagrined when I think back to my naiveté regarding the novel writing business, not to mention my passel of questions, but I soon forgot about that as I listened to him speak.

Photo credit:  Douglas Preston

Since that time, I’ve become an active part of SouthWest Writers Group and have been thrilled to find out that Mr. Morrell is also a member and an incredible resource and inspiration to us as a group.

Photo credit: Matt Freitas

His resume is impressive to say the least. A Canadian by birth, he moved to the U.S. in 1966 and earned both an M.A. and Ph.D. in American Literature from Penn State. David taught American Literature at the University of Iowa for sixteen years, from 1970 to 1986. Early in his tenure, First Blood was published. He stayed on as a professor in the English Department, but continued to write novels, many of which became international bestsellers. As you can see below, he's even written a book about writing books.

Eventually, he transformed himself into a full-time writer. Lest you think he spends all of his time stabbing away at the keyboard, I should tell you that as he researched one of his books, David became a private pilot. He was also sent to a war zone in Iraq as part of a USO Tour.  He has been awarded numerous awards for his writing. His books number over eighteen million copies and have been translated into twenty-six languages.  Many of his books have also been electronically published. His website and blog include an incredible wealth of information, from a wonderful Q & A session with David, to video footage from Iraq. Please take a moment and visit his site. You're sure to come away enriched as a writer.

His latest book, Murder as a Fine Art, will be released in May, 2013. I’m anxious to read it, and fascinated by the setting, which is 1854 London. I would like to extend my thanks to David for his support in my writing this feature.  He is currently extraordinarily busy with activities related to his book promotion, yet he was most accommodating when I contacted him regarding an interview and feature. I also hear that David will be at the SW Book Fiesta, which is taking place on May 10 - May 12, 2013.  I hope to see you there!

You can read his full biography here and view his list of published books here. Note that credit for many of David's photos goes to Jennifer Esperanza, another incredibly talented person who hails from New Mexico.  Her photography website and blog are amazing.

In other news, the April missive from More Ink has been released into the wild. Read it here. Thanks so much to each of you for reading. If you're interested in being interviewed and featured at More Ink, drop me a line. Here are the details

Happy week and successful writing to you!

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