I Just Keep It Simple: Tell the Damn Story (RIP Tom Clancy)

tom-clancy-cover-smallThe writing world lost a legend with the passing of Tom Clancy. From The Hunt for Red October to Clear and Present Danger to Threat Vector, Clancy entertained millions of readers worldwide and redefined the thriller writing genre (and inspired quite a few video games as well). He was dubbed the “father of techno-thrillers,” a term he rejected, saying he “just writes novels.”

To honor the author of the Jack Ryan novels, we dove into our archives and found this wonderful Writer’s Digest Interview with Tom Clancy from 2001 (featured below). My favorite quote from the interview: “I do not over-intellectualize the production process. I just keep it simple: Tell the damn story.” [Click here to Tweet this quote!]

His last novel, Command Authority, is due out in December.

You will be sorely missed, Mr. Clancy.



















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4 thoughts on “I Just Keep It Simple: Tell the Damn Story (RIP Tom Clancy)

  1. smatthews

    I was stationed on the USS LOS ANGELES (SSN688) when The Hunt for Red October came out. Sailors could not stop talking about it. A great read that launched a great writing career.

  2. Mike1950

    I was stationed in Yokosuka, Japan, when Hunt for Red October was published. Only one person at my stattion had a copy. The waiting list to read it included the C.O., X.O., all the rest of the officers and Chief Petty Officers as well as most of the other enlisted rates. I was number six on the list and, even by then, it was dogeared and showing real use. It was one of the grandest novels I’d ever read rivalling even Michener and W. E. B. Griffin.

    Yes, RIP, Tom Clancy

  3. DRoberts

    Hi Brian,

    I wanted to thank you for sharing this article on Tom Clancy. I couldn’t believe it when I heard he had passed away. My brother and I talked about it this evening. We both agreed that he was one of the best authors. He definitely knew how to hold his readers captive with his storytelling.
    The one thing he said in the interview that spoke the loudest to me was how he keeps the writing process simple. “Tell the damned story.” I’ve written this on an index card and placed it on my desk for inspiration.
    Thanks again and I ditto RIP Tom Clancy.


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