I’ll never forget the day I started reading Musashi, the samurai novel described as the Japanese Gone with the Wind. The story came alive in my imagination and I felt like I was walking in the shoes of the great warrior, going on adventures with him and seeing the world through his Zen-like eyes. I’ve since read the story half a dozen times and each time, I feel like Musashi’s imperious spirit is with me, and I am a better person for it.
Years later, when I read my first Lee Child novel Die Trying and discovered Jack Reacher, I felt that in the page-turning thriller genre I’d finally found a home for my own fiction. Reacher, a wondering samurai for the twenty first century, was my kind of guy and the novel was entertaining, emotionally engaging and uplifting.
Both these characters touched something deep inside me. They lived by their own code and made decisions based on their core values regardless of the personal consequences. When under great pressure, they stepped up and delivered. Out of these stories, my debut novel, No Man’s Land and the main character Russell Carter were born.