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Re: TLW and JP and the accuracy of authors

Derek Tearne wrote:
> At 08:26 -0500 10/9/97, Harold Hutchison wrote:
> >  Folks,
> >       Fair enough.  Sorry, I'm used to the level of research that
> >  Tom Clancy has done for his books.  Guess Spielberg is not up to   > >  
> > that standard. 

Just for the recored --- Clancy...author.  Spielberg...director.  

When did Steven Spielberg EVER pretend to be a writer?  If you want to
shoot at someone, shoot at David Koepp, the screenwriter.  But...before
you do, there is one more important distinction to follow.

> >From what people who know the subject areas of Clancy's novels say,
> > Clancy is even worse with respect to accuracy than Spielberg 

Wait, wait, wait.  Clancy is a friend of mine and although I can't be
certain, not being an expert in military didley-bobs, it is my
understanding that the man busts his ass to research his books (so says
Colin Powell, if that's a military name you can trust).  

Now, for that OTHER distinction I warned you about.  It is important to
remember that Clancy (and Crichton and King and Grisham) writes FICTION
FICTION FICTION FICTION FICTION!  He's allowed to suspend the truth in
the interest of good story telling. And you are allowed to NOT buy his
books.  Nice balance to that equation.

Lessem, Gillette, yours truly, others...we write NONFICTION.  So string
us up when we're blatantly wrong...with clear conscience.  But be sure
you have all the facts before you do.  

I can't speak for Don or David, or the zillion other writers of
nonfiction out there, but I can tell you MY editors are a stubborn lot,
and they very often play it a little loose with my "facts" once the
checks are issued.  It isn't always OUR fault things get distorted.   

Fact is, I'm a single mom, responsible for feeding two kids.  I'm
assuming others have bills to pay too.  I do my very best to do good,
thorough work and PRESS my editors to honor those accurate reports.  But
again, once I cash the check, the ball is out of my court.  

Fact is, if an editor wants to say dinosaurs live and breath in the
Congo, and attribute that statement to me, I have very few financially
realistic options beyond taking cover and hoping for the best.

So take that two cents worth, for what it's worth. Just a little
writerly insight.