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Ghostwriting Tom Clancy

October 3, 2013 | by


“I had to be more disciplined than ever about my work schedule; after the first book was turned in, I would have approximately ten months to plot, research, and write each novel. The deadline left no wiggle room—my publisher had pre-sold the books to retailers as holiday releases. Nor was there room for error when it came to the factual details of technology, ballistics, and geography. When I wrote Bio-Strike, for instance, I consulted with polymer engineers and geneticists to design a newfangled biological weapon that that would be scientifically feasible. And then there was the more routine stuff of which action thrillers are made. How does a human body react when hit with a bullet of a particular caliber, at a given distance, striking at a particular angle? I had to find out—call a cop, a forensic pathologist, or a trauma room doctor. Winging it wasn’t an option.”

Read more from Jerome Preisler, who cowrote eight novels with Tom Clancy, here.




  1. Bill White | October 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Very interesting to see how “factory-produced” drivel for the masses is conceived and written. Right-wing boneheads just love these books.

  2. Dan Alterman | October 7, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Why right-wing? Why right-wing boneheads?

  3. Rich Samuels | October 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Gosh, Bill, it’s called the market. Do you have a problem with that?

  4. Jonny Arbon | January 14, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Great post!

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  1. […] imagine the cinematic equivalent of authors like James Patterson, Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, or V. C. Andrews—all of whom have developed bestselling literary franchises based […]

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