After publishing my first novel this year The Potential, I was asked by an acquaintance, how did a security consultant become a writer? I responded by saying that a consultant is a writer. Although writing for security is non-fiction, the consultant still has to create a vision, an idea that makes the reader or listener want to know more. The same principle applies to fictional writers. My challenge was to organize the ideas that were bouncing around in my head and translate my visions into readable storylines. After years of scribbling hypotheticals and sheer nonsense on plane rides around the world, I was able to finally make sense of it all and turn it into something that makes a reader want to know more, live the story or relate to the characters.
During my creative writing process (or lack thereof as work got in the way, go figure) I fell back on some wise words that I picked up from a college law professor who said that when reading and writing you should follow three basic principles: read, analyze and weave. This idea stayed with me throughout my security industry career which enabled me to become a security consultant and now a published writer. If you were to follow this philosophy, the parallels between novelist and consultant are relatively similar. The consultant reads a scope of work, analyzes the data (is there a security program in place, access controls, policies and procedures etc.) and then weaves a solution for the client with a not-one-solution-fits all mentality. The writer conversely, reads a ton of novels, analyzes the data (story – the bad guy is this, the good guy is that etc.) and then weaves a plot to create a story with the same not-one-solution-fits all mentality. This, along with hours and hours of research became my creative writing process. Whether you are a consultant, security practitioner or novelist, research has to be done, but what we do with it is the gauge of success and the real story.
If the above text is a roundabout way of saying how I wrote a fictional book as a security consultant, the next question is why? I wrote a novel because I wanted to bring something new to fiction with a different and unique perspective. I accomplished this by adding a touch of realism to a story’s hero that came from a typical beginning in the field of security. I wanted to create a character that was not born a superhero but could easily be one of us. To that end, I drew on my years of experience in the business by not forgetting where I started from. After leaving the military I became a security guard, then a driver and then on to executive protection. Investigations soon followed then physical security design and finally consulting. Like others, my successes were built over years, not overnight. However, as anyone who reads novels knows, action heroes are supposed to be the Jack Bauer’s or Jason Bourne’s of the world, but why can’t a guy just be a driver and work his way up? I did. Why can’t a former security guard become a successful writer? Stay tuned and ask me in a year.
Today I am still consulting but I am looking to write a second book, the hero in my first book still has a lot to do before he can retire to the PNW to sell seas shells on the sea shore. As I did in The Potential, I will pull from my 20 years plus experience in the security industry to create a plot and storyline worth reading. However, getting the hundreds of ping pong balls that I call ideas out of my brain and on to paper is the hardest thing to do, as I believe that the only story that hasn’t been told is the one still living inside you. The Potential is available on Amazon, Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook.
The Potential is available on Amazon, Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook: