Richard Wolkomir & Joyce Rogers Wolkomir

Writers of Fiction & Fact

WHAT THE WALRUS SAID
--Our Authors' Blog--

PARSING A THRILLER

September 2, 2018

Tags: Books, Reading, Stray Thoughts, Writing, Stories


I’ve been thinking: what does a story mean?

It’s because I just published a new novel, Caliban Rising—it’s a thriller, and I hope it means: “Keep turning those pages!”

You sneak onto a mysterious Caribbean island. Nice beaches, but nasty murders. Maybe you get hurled out of a Black Hawk helicopter, or fed to the island’s feral Bengal tiger. Also, there are creepy robots….

Will you survive?

Every thriller, I think, underneath, means just that: danger besets us.

We lead thriller lives.

A young physician we knew walked out of a movie theater, with a bag of popcorn, and collapsed on the sidewalk, dead—peanut allergy. Somehow, that popcorn came in contact with peanut dust.

An SUV (inattentive driver) struck a woman we knew, and killed her, as she crossed a small town’s Main Street. We’ve known decent people, living enthusiastically, brought down by cancer, or Parkinson’s, or ventricular fibrillation.

Sometimes it’s your well-being that’s endangered. We know a hard-working man whose corporation (think Enron) abruptly collapsed. No job. No pension. At age fifty-something, start over, from zero.

Here’s another executive thriller tale: a friend of ours discovered a colleague got hold of his resume, then secretly mailed it to other corporations. This corporate Iago wanted our friend hired away.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

What’s lurking along your own path, or in your blood stream? Every thriller whispers that question. Every thriller asks: how will you cope?

In a novel, at least, courage saves the day, and doing right. Usually. Sort of.

So that feels good.

--Richard

BOOKS & STORIES

Check out our published books
Stories published in literary journals
A "Pleistocene western," published in Reflections Edge magazine
A nonfiction book of stories about disappearing animals, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An award-winning chronicle of life and caring in a small hospital, published in Smithsonian Magazine
Just when a terrifying illness strikes, a self-confident corgi appears on our deck, seeking a new home, and he becomes our guide.