Saturday, November 4, 2017

Individualism


(a golden oldie, published by Generator 21, The World's Magazine, 1999)


Married men will comprehend this dilemma instantly. You love your wife, but find yourself sexually attracted to another woman. What to do?

There are plenty of options. You can go to the nearest sports bar and watch Monday Night Football, postponing the problem of individuality. Marvel and shout and criticize in tempo with the mob. It's a no-brainer. You'll laugh it off, drink it down, and deny the existence of a unique self, separate from your spouse, individually free as a matter of moral and constitutional right. Alcohol does an excellent job of clouding the issue, drowning your brain in sentimental reverence for kith, kin, and the Broncos (without Elway, sniff!)

Or you can go to church, an all inclusive trip to the infinite and universal. New Age, Catholic, Alcoholics Anonymous, Branch Dividian, or Mormon, it's the same cheerful hymn, to merge and forget Thyself in the grace of communion and eternal predictability. Two shows a day, ample parking in rear.

Ask your lawyer for advice. He'll warn you about tax consequences. Ask your doctor. He'll smile and reassure you that there's nothing to worry about; it's normal and natural. Ask a pal. She will state exactly what you should do and not do, divined from a single moral imperative: No one may indulge a silly selfish impulse, separate from the good opinion of others. The path to Self is a minefield of unpredictable consequences. All you're likely to discover is the wisdom of the ages, which is: Keep your nose clean and be a positive role model for youth. In view of our grave social responsibilities, Thou shalt not press thy luck.

THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE

Where is this Self we think so special? Factories can predict with accuracy the number of shirts and shoes you will buy, no matter which size you wear. The daily newspaper is never irrelevant to your interests, the grocery store always provides your favorite food, and the mortuary reflects upon your existence with the certainty of a garbage collector. Every day there are more of us to carry away. What claim do you have to individuality, when every man is animal, every life a brief, predictable progress from infancy to surcease? If you wail and suffer, you wail with us all, every heart and every mind alive to the honest fact of our interchangeable mortality. Even our language mocks us, for no one who speaks is separate and unique, cut clean from the legacy of shared commonplace terms. Science proceeds in collective assent. Philosophy seeks one rule for all.

I've done my best to be an individual. In the other place [Free Market Net] my puny character was ridiculed and shunned. Elsewhere, I've been heaped with praise. Governments alternately punished me and sought my advice, which I thrust upon them unwanted and withheld when solicited. Sound familiar? No one digs his own grave enthusiastically. The first impulse to raw individualism is compounded by telling someone in authority -- a parent, a teacher, a priest -- to get bent. Do it often and you will achieve notoriety, perhaps martyrdom. But how "individual" is that? The evil choice seems a perfectly balanced trap. Heads you lose any claim to integrity; tails you lose liberty and wealth.

Individual life is not statistically significant, according to economic theory. It does not exist at all, say behavioral scientists. We entertain ourselves with delusions of uniqueness, a fantasy conducive to survival of the species. Penguins do it, recognizing the "unique" cry of their offspring on a crowded iceberg. Swans do it, swimming in pairs for life. We do it in cocktail dresses and Santa Claus suits and pajamas, swearing fidelity to our partner or employer or drinking buddy, incapable of guessing the consequences and perfectly aware of one's freedom to change his or her mind.

Obligation is a brief honeymoon, depending on whether a relationship grows or freezes, pleases or punishes. From casual observation of the world, I'd say that most folks find themselves frozen and punished, unwilling to exhibit their real Self again. We get an edited, "spun" version of who they are, a public face that conceals a locked vault. If you're observant, you can sense the weight of a hidden treasure in the presence of a big person. It takes forever to convince them that it's okay to open up, to say something deeply personal. Ayn Rand's heroes (John Galt, Howard Roark) hardly spoke at all, except to state a philosophical proof. This is no criticism of Miss Rand. She merely documented how we routinely speak to one another, how we "share" ourselves with others. We declaim facts. We declaim trivial facts, because we're not Ayn Rand.

THIS WAY OUT

Contemplating the predictable result of another social outing, Queenie recently observed that the company of others produces a litany of woe, "the wounds of the awful," she phrased it with precision. While men chuckle their war stories, women trade sadness, emptiness, resignation, and faded cheeriness.

What this demonstrates is the certainty of social pressure -- groupthink -- which flows on contact when you strap yourself to others. But subtract everyone else from your existential awareness (go somewhere in isolation by yourself) and presto! The forsaken, forbidden evidence of Self pops out like an animated, greedy truth, searching with passion and wonder in the earth of individuality, the candid Self that one never dares to reveal in public. It would be pointless and profane to reveal an inner life in public, because spectacle and noise are the twin circus masters of overfed mass communication.

In public, men twist their faces with slobbering glee over sports trivia. In public, women twitter and moan about each other and their men. Practitioners of public relations do both as a job, not unlike those who perform rituals for money and are called priests or whores. But in private, away from the public, they sober up. Put any man or woman indoors (without TV) and watch the miracle of civilization take hold. Actions become purposeful, thoughtful, self-directed. Instead of mimicking or flattering others, solitude inspires productive work.... At home there is no imam to supervise your piety, no gang of thugs at your back, no faceless victim to clean up your spilled milk or to berate with
newly imagined grievances. In private, you are intimately and exclusively confronted by the only person you have a right to obey or resent: yourself. Privacy is the situational source of all growth, improvement, education and morality. It is the fountainhead of art. It is the workshop of philosophy. [DeVoon, "Public Relations," 1991]

Try it. I dare you. Delete everything from your computer that was authored by other people, leaving only that which you created. It can't be done. You need the operating system and application software, products of industrial teamwork. You need the expressions of mathematics and English (or some other ancient, preverbal share of inherited culture). Human history will never be deleted from your knowledge. Work and family life are so deeply fundamental to our sense of purpose, that we seldom think of much else. Pay the rent. Buy the food. Sleep. Pay the rent. Buy the food. Sleep.

I am painfully aware of apparent individuality and diversity, six billion unique lifestyles and hairstyles and nicknames. That's not the problem. The problem is that no one truly wishes to be who they are. I had hoped for a life like David Lean or Stanley Kubrick. In a pinch, I would have settled for Fred Zinnemann. What I got instead was Wolf DeVoon, an isolated beatnik with a second-class brain, whose idea of a good time is a newspaper and a cup of coffee at Denny's.

I often consider the possibility of "self-improvement," in the traditional sense of study, but it seems most appropriate for teenagers. I remember studying like crazy as a youngster, trying to understand the adult world. But youth is a forge; it shapes and twists a personality forever, during the struggle for integration. By age 40, the job of Self is complete and cannot be undone. Odd, isn't it? -- that ours is the first generation in history who will live about half of our existence after age 40, a consequence of vaccines, vitamins, clean water, etc. Fully formed and settled, middle-aged adults experience no challenge or surprise, just more of the same. If youth shaped you into a gambler, then a gambler you remain. Your adult Self cannot be unlearned, only
disowned and hushed.

From age 40 onwards, life polishes and burnishes the public you, smoothing over a few superficial bumps and lumps of personality, but it seldom digs much deeper, not even by accident. Rearranging yourself in middle age is basically impossible. No wonder that Ayn Rand liked the company of younger souls who were still under construction. Young people are infinitely more interesting than fossilized elders -- a fact which Rand acknowledged explicitly in 'The Simplest Thing In The World'. Among other charming qualities, the young ask questions and listen to a thoughtful reply. Seniors ask nothing and declaim spontaneously, whether anybody's paying attention or not.

I fall into the second category. I declaim on these pages, whether anyone pays attention or not. I ask no questions except one: What lurks within the shadow of my Self, the manchild shackled and forgotten in socialized, polished life? It is a question that no one other than Self can answer (if I can persuade a recalcitrant, inarticulate Me to speak up, after a lifetime of compromise).

WILL THE REAL WOLF PLEASE STAND UP?

The real Me is not married, not middle aged. I might not even be male in the traditional sense, because the tradition in question is civilized and polite. If I rummage around deeply enough in the DNA, who knows? I might find a wild predator, an angel, or a rodent. Queenie told me that man is all the lower forms combined -- part lizard, part tiger -- and I have no reason to doubt her.

But I'm certain of two things. I am not female. And I love music.

It's embarrassing to talk about music, because it creates no wealth, does no work in the world. By music, I mean all of the arts: writing, sculpture, dance, film and canvas. I don't dance to the drama of geology and cyberspace. I thrill to the beat of blood in our mammalian physicality, the rhythm of a 12-bar shuffle, and throaty Crown power amplification. I suppose Shaw was right, that hell is full of musical amateurs. Lord knows, I've worked with too many of them, in too many ill-equipped studios and saloons on both sides of the Atlantic. My life has been a search for competence. Larry Withers had it, I think. Claude Smith, for sure. But who else?

Larry painted in Philadelphia, thrown out of the Academy of Art for insubordination. Claude quit voluntarily, shunning the organized world in search of a meaningful "dribble" (powerful abstract expressionism). Frank Zappa was so pissed off that it interfered with his ability to compose and perform. You have to sift through a hundred miles of bad-tempered crap, just to find a fragment of his authentic genius ('Peaches En Regalia' on Hots Rats, the entire Waka Jawaka album and thematic use of horn arrangements for The Grand Wazoo.) Filmmaker Joseph Losey couldn't get arrested in Hollywood, had to beg his bread in Ireland and France. Kubrick was so loopy that he refused to travel in an aircraft. The world of art is littered with human trainwrecks. Jim Morrison. Jimi Hendrix. John Belushi. Freddie Mercury.

This is the sad realm that my real Self inhabits. There is but one God, manifest in cables and quartz lamps, raw stock and eerie blue nothingness on the program monitor, a few seconds before picture start. It rattles like a nervous beehive on the time-code display. It rolls on trucks and lifts and cranes. There is an army for God, two or three hundred deployed with military precision, so that I can sit in a chair and say "action." There is a prison and a sentence, forcing me to write a novel, so I can be freed to work again, someday maybe. I don't know any other measurement of my life, except Someday Maybe.

The panther in me is rising. I can feel it as plainly as the sun on my face and the wind in my hair. Driving my car feels like an overture, foreshadowing battle -- an old, familiar hunger to paint on the screen, to blast through the rock of groupthink and say THIS IS MINE.

An individual is unique. It would be strange and wildly inaccurate to see your Self in me. That's the point. Whoever you are, whichever star guides the deep sense of integrity that's dormant and buried within you, the truth of your life is uniquely yours to cherish or repudiate, but I don't think anyone gets away with a painless normalcy, plain vanilla citizenship, just one of the boys.

There is only one choice: to be or not to be. It's the song of individualism, never happy, never certain, until you rip off the social mask and look inside. Look hard and long, if you dare.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Case Files of Cable & Blount ebook on Smashwords

The Case Files of Cable & Blount
$3.99 at Smashwords
Oh, yay. Sold ONE copy of my new Smashwords ebook anthology, three complete novels for less than four bucks, of which I get to keep two for the privilege of being scraped and private label counterfeited by hackers working from their mom's basement, the only two bucks I'll probably get, after which there will be 50 sites selling it, middle finger salute to the author.

Separately, I wrote to a literary agent, as in singular, one guy whose profile indicated he was fond of heroes, real and fictional -- the only one among 80 agents that I researched in detail. Scripts & Scribes had a long list of websites for literary agencies. I knew some of them, like Curtis Brown and Writers House, but I systematically went through the entire list, took two days to study every bio. Most firms have numerous agents, each one looking for something other than me. Womens, LGBT, childrens, YA, fantasy, science fiction, narrative nonfiction (preferably a prominent public person) or pop psych motivational hooey. Can't blame them, those are the categories that sell. In fiction, it's Clive Cussler and an infinity of chick lit.

-- taps fingers on keyboard --

There is really little else to say about selling books or begging an agent to help. I invested two years in writing 135,000 words, a difficult story to tell. That it will now be ripped off by internet rodents doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is a hardcover edition and film rights. There's enough material in The Case Files of Cable & Blount for a TV series, a colorful supporting cast with Chris and Peachy in foreground, tough, funny, sexy, and smart. Ample room for a guest star each episode. No digital effects, just crime scenes and shootouts.

Monday, October 9, 2017

I need to go to Los Angeles


I'm a lucid dreamer, which means that I'm consciously present and alert when I dream. Sound asleep, I direct what I do (quelle suprise, directors direct their dreams). Last night I found myself in a dream where it was imperative to save life, and I couldn't do it, because I don't have a car. I can't dream the unreal. Being car-less and stranded prompts a larger question.

Did God ordain that I should work in a factory and never write a word? -- perhaps so.

I sold my car to buy a third novel starring Chris and Peachy. Friends sent money to help me finish and publicize it. Now the punishment intensifies, no food, no car, no book sales. God has a strange sense of humor. An encyclopedia of TV tropes quoted a passage I wrote 17 years ago, a story with hot sex scenes, murder and gunplay, private jets and limosines, no different than my recent work. I write about luxury and intrigue because I experienced it, traveled in circles of wealth and power, cruelty and kindness, the electrifying chemistry of hard men and beautiful women. I try to keep my stories realistic. Honest. Plausible.

As far as I know, no one else in my family tree ever wrote fiction. I'm not certain if they read anything other than newspaper headlines, medicine labels, tax tables, and product assembly instructions. Literature was something taught in school and suffered as an irrational duty, like Bible verses and prayers on Sunday accompanied by a pre-printed envelope, a vig for God in weekly installments. I have brothers and cousins who worked in factories, paid God, stuck at it and gained union seniority, better money, generously defined benefits.

They eat well, have nice homes and new cars. I pine for grapefruit juice, casaer salads, fried chicken, haven't had any in many months. I bought electricity, coffee, lunch meat and chili, cigarettes by the carton, so I could sit and write, listen to music on the radio until I saw what happened moment by moment in a story that seems authorless now, completed. My people stumble into situations not of their choosing (nor mine). Life happens. We try to do the best we can, or raise hell, if hell sinks to an unacceptable depth. "We only live once," Chris says in the final crisis, winning a woman's trust with something other than money.

 $3.98 at Lulu
$3.98 at Lulu
I spent my one life accordingly. I worked in factories as a teenager and young adult, decided to join the circus of film and television, became a screenwriter and novelist, careened from failure to failure indifferently because the work mattered, the market didn't. One hopes to improve, but I don't think that's what happens with most authors.

There is an apogee in every creative career. Fred and Ginger, sprightly young things; Ayn Rand's second novel; Gilded Age industrialization after the adolescent tantrum of Civil War and before adult World Wars taxed everything twice, made America a nonprofit global cop. The era in which we are living now is strewn with vacant factories and plump political lies, a post-industrial welfare state that shed manufacturing jobs, became a global "consumer of last resort" on credit, no way to repay it.

I did something similar, walked away from employment, ran up credit cards I couldn't repay. Perhaps it's a national disease. As a unique American snowflake I stamped my foot and wrote what I liked, the way I liked it, first person. Hahahaha. Nothing left to do but laugh at myself, try to forgive, make a cup of coffee and think about dinner, cold chili over baked potato.

It's important to be good to myself to the extent possible. Maybe I'll mosey down the road and buy a Kit Kat and a bottle of fake orange juice. I spent the afternoon ripping out partitions in the horse barn, throat parched from decades-old straw dust and barn filth, something to do while I'm not writing. There is nothing further to write. I hit a million words recently, plenty of punishment, thanks, don't care for any extra or additional. I'd rather shovel shit.

Friday, October 6, 2017

"As independent as an insult"

I monitor conservative talk radio, not because I enjoy it, but because it delivers a series of social snapshots. In addition to being professional radio personalities who read advertising copy with perfect enthusiasm, most of them are Jews, a few are Christian, all of them 100% patriotic and pro-Israel. They loved Ted Cruz and disliked Donald Trump, but reluctantly supported Trump in the general election because they loathed and feared Hillary. Conservatives are pragmatic, go along to get along and get richer.

The worst of the pragmatists is super-sweet patriarch Dennis Prager.

Today, Dennis Prager attributed all mass murder to "loners" -- fatherless atheists who gamble, skate on the wrong side of the law, have no conscience or remorse. I took it at face value and saw myself so described.

Before I discuss it further, please keep in mind that killing is not done exclusively by loners with absent earthly or heavenly fathers. Entire nations led by enthusiastic party cheerleaders have killed tens of millions. Groups are more dangerous than isolated lone wolves. That said, it is true that the tragedy of American urban violence and crime consists primarily of angry lone wolves acting in combination with and/or competition with other lone wolves.

I spent time in prison and saw quite a few of these men. As a group they were suspicious and opportunistic, quiet about their history on earth. I'm slightly different in that respect. It has been my habit to talk, reflect, discuss ideas. Perhaps that explains why I sell so few books. No one cares to contemplate what a loner thinks. At best, it's always dark and disturbing.

-- or is it? -- compared to socially accepted product like horror movies? More than a few serial killers were warped by first person shooter video games. Why such stuff exists is pragmatic, big money for the producers and distributors of blood-soaked amusements. I can't watch it. I can't even contemplate the horrible, unless I'm trying to conceive a fictional villain, someone for a fictional hero to defeat. The hero is a far better man than I am, but not so very different, either. A hero is a loner by definition, independent of the approval of others.

It's easy to like policemen and firemen, doctors and lawyers, engineers and heavy equipment operators, auto mechanics who fight with rusted bolts. From time to time I do some of that, show a dab of physical courage, tackle projects involving practical thought and danger, swing heavy tools, balance on ladders and whatnot. If I had to, I could probably shoot to kill if my wife or daughter were threatened, no different than a cop. Years ago, I fought a forest fire, a so-called "first responder" joined by other neighbors armed with hand tools.

I've also done wrong, deliberately and remorselessly. In the past two years I ran up enormous credit card bills that I can't pay. Not the first time in life that I gambled with other people's money, a staple of filmed entertainment and artistic enterprise. I've been a cad with women repeatedly. These are real problems, primarily because I failed to produce much of anything in the world, if the measure of a man is his wallet. My wallet is empty. Women can take a lot of crap from their men, but being broke is unforgivable. Being bad tempered in defeat makes everything worse, so I make an effort to be cheerful. There is quite a lot to be happy about, so it's an authentic emotional response. I like being alive, enjoy the courage and joy of life in others, acknowledge and encourage work by talented friends and family.

However, I completely understand lone wolves -- and I chose the pen name 'Wolf' in specific acknowledgment of social demerit, a deplorable before it became fashionable. I was deeply influenced by Ayn Rand, an articulate exponent of selfishness. I took it seriously, saw life as a personal possession, mine to save or spend to the extent of my mental and physical ability, took no notice of what might be pragmatic or pleasing to others.

Without asking anyone to agree with me, I believe that it is the human condition generally to be alone, fundamentally independent no matter how often or how deeply we congregate at work or play. I know that people derive pleasure from congress. Sporting events, religion and neighborhood gatherings are fun for all concerned, and I've seen pleasure in the workplace lots of times, although there's always a dollop of artificial enthusiasm. Work is called work for a reason. Given a choice, employees and supervisors would rather be somewhere else.

It's a special condition of privilege to be a loner, which is nearly impossible to maintain as an economic activity, unless one is particularly gifted. I know for a fact that I'm not exceptionally talented, except in the matter of selfhood. When I die, I doubt anyone will mourn. That's the price of selfhood as I understand it. Few people want such a fate. I do not recommend it as a goal, unless you're an independent novelist or filmmaker, deaf and blind to pragmatism.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Hollywood Pitch













Hi.

I've written a series of romantic action adventure novels, a modern Nick and Nora Charles, enough material for four or five features or a cable series, self-published to nail copyright.

Chris Cable is a black sheep, former USMC war hero, resigned his commission as an officer because he hated killing. Recruited as an LAPD homicide detective, couldn't take orders or follow rules, tried working as an investigator for the D.A. and quit, on his own as a licensed P.I. in Hollywood. Rugged, cynical, broken nose, covered in scars, not fun to be with.

Mary Blount, CPA, Stanford Ph.D., is a Silicon Valley polymath who does forensic audits for private equity and insurance companies, temporarily in L.A. to investigate a U.S.-Chinese aerospace joint venture. Confident elder daughter of a billionaire physicist, walked away from an arranged marriage, made her own way in the world.

Hot water seeks its own level. These two are made for each other.

They meet in A Portrait of Valor, cheat death again in The Tar Pit mystery, throw the world's financial system for a loop in Charity. Hard to summarize in a query. Like Nick and Nora, she inherits vast wealth when her father dies. Chris comes from a prominent military clan with NSC and CIA clout. They get forced into high society black ops in London and Hollywood.

Nice office on Sunset Strip, a beach house in Laguna, plenty of sex with multiple partners, passionate and devoted married couple who travel the world, armed and dangerous.

All rights all media in perpetuity, cash upfront, shared 'story by' credit.

Thanks,

Wolf DeVoon

not exactly famous, somewhat notorious as a public person
had contact with retired CIA and KGB

'Portrait of Valor' and 'The Tar Pit' in paperback, with a 'Charity' tease
https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Peachy-Files-Cable-Blount/dp/197392630X

'Charity' (complete novel)
Rogue traders, pallets of cash, beautiful babes, CIA black ops, and a desperate chase through Warsaw's Chopin airport in a cryptocurrency adventure wild enough to make central bankers and Swiss cops pee their pants.
 $0.99 on Kindle  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075KDPRJ6/

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Wolf DeVoon on Wolf DeVoon

Gentleman. Renegade. Traitor. Polygamist. Hero.
I find it difficult to conceive a readership profile for 'Charity' or Chris Cable's two previous adventures. Older men, I suppose, guys who still read. My pal Jeff is early-60s, watches TV half-heartedly, reads detective fiction (Hammett, Chandler, Kerr). How many of these old farts are there? -- maybe 20 million younger Boomers who still like to read books, of whom maybe 10% are libertarian and straight. That's a target group of 2 million. If I had CNBC and Bloomberg publicity, I'd catch 2%, sell 40,000 books. That is not a meaningful upside for book publishers. Not a big audience for movie adaptation, either. Old men? Are you kidding?

Well, think about it. It was written by an old man. The main character is a man, adult stories where he wins spectacular babes and never shuns a gunfight. If Chris was black or latino, it would sell like hotcakes -- except he's not an underclass urban antihero, he's Ivy League prep school and USMC straight white war hero. Slime from the hood doesn't stand a chance against Chris Cable's situational awareness and combat experience. That's the purpose of conceiving and/or contemplating a hero. I have to do both when I write novels, show the man in action. He has to be better than I am -- a hell of a lot better, yet human, vulnerable at times. Almost beaten, frequently confused and uncertain. "I don't know," is Cable's recurrent confession. That's why he operates mostly on intuition and a sort of relentlessness, maximum effort, as long as its takes to find an answer that makes sense, usually involving gunfire.

World travel, beautiful women, unlimited cash, multiple identities. Yup. Male fantasy. Only fifty years too late, like Fleming's Bond, although I like modern Chris Cable a lot better, the last handsome, dashing hero in an era of politically correct pussies. He emphatically does not give a damn about being nice, get the fuck out of his way, quickly please. It's a geniunely new story to tell, what it means to be armed and dangerous,  completely independent, in today's lame brain gutter chatter about white privilege. There's no time to discuss it. Move or die.

I suppose a lot of fictional people, sometimes big crowds see Chris and his women in action, guns drawn, running, shooting when necessary. I never think of civilians or bystanders, never hear them unless they're making too much noise to hear anything. Frightened people run in circles and scream, scare each other, cause all sorts of chaos. Combat operators take no notice of civilians, try to avoid collateral damage but can't guarantee anyone's safety in combat.

Because that's finally what my stories are about, the courage to face evil and fight it. Not a bad thing to impart to future generations. I'd like to do that, if I can keep myself in print that long. Most likely I will not get a vote. Depends entirely on the merit of what I wrote.

'Charity' $0.99 on Kindle https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075KDPRJ6/


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Creative work

Let's talk about the creative enterprise. Cass can write magnificently, triumphs with the icky and horrible, told me last night that she hates people. Erik's characters leap off the page, as real as you or I, every moment of life in sharp focus. Kit tackled one of the greatest stories of French literature, adapted it confidently for the screen. Joey writes original screenplays full of wonder, maturity, wry humor. Jim is a rewrite man, does it for a living, creates whatever the story needs. Dave has the giddy gift of bright comedy, Gerry the grim truth of drama.

Then there's me. Slow. I plod a page at a time, often devote an hour to a single paragraph, uninterested in storyline. I throw my characters into hopeless situations, let them struggle through it. How real it is doesn't matter. I feel every inch of their predicament and heroism, let them laugh at bad jokes and grit their teeth in pain, risk life to undertake an impossible mission. My hero is average intelligence, does guesswork and takes chances. The only thing he knows how to do is shoot to kill, something he despises, having done too much of it.

There's something else I do that separates me from all of my honored colleagues. I write red hot sex scenes, because that's how I understand heroism, hunger for the challenge of success as biological animals. We've almost lost it culturally, but I remember it, want to transmit it to the future, that straight white couples can be hot creamy animals, a race of titans in love with personal power, hard man and wanton woman, magnetically drawn to each other. The world around them ceases to exist and they live for that glory, the impossible and stupendous thrill of physical romance, an irresistible union, never a dull moment.

As far as I know, I'm the only author who puts vivid hetero sex on the page, where men are bold and unafraid and women want them that way. "Old fashioned," Cass says. But there's another independent author who shall remain anonymous, a woman who sees what I see in life, because she carries a gun at work, knows how deep and wild the river of life pulsates. I could not have risked two years if it weren't for her example and quiet encouragement. Now Chris and Peachy cannot be undone. I bet my career on privileged passionate valor.

'Charity' $0.99 on Kindle https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075KDPRJ6/