What Does it Mean to be “Based On a True Story”?

I have always been somewhat amused by the phrase ‘Based on a True Story’ that I see on book covers and movie screens. The line is of course a marketing strategy to connect potential readers or viewers with what is essentially a fictional interpretation of an authentic, perhaps remembered, contemporary or historical event or situation, […]

Warren Adler on #WhyWritersMatter

I’ve been a member of the Authors Guild for decades and I am proud to share my reflection for the #WhyWritersMatter campaign from The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC). Does writing matter? It does. Especially to the writer who draws stories from the raw material of their observations and transforms them into reflections fueled by […]

The Writer’s Dilemma: How Much Physical Description is Enough in the Characters We Create?

One of the imponderables of the fiction writing trade is just how much physical description is enough in order to fully flesh out a character’s identity. In years past many novels contained illustrations that purported to show images of the characters as conceived by the author. A prime example would be the work of Hablot Knight […]

Why I Write: A Novelist’s Reflection on the 70th Anniversary of George Orwell’s Pivotal Essay

People often ask, and I ask myself on a daily basis, why I have spent more than six decades writing novels, short stories, essays, poems, plays and occasional reportage, continuing to ply this obsession into the cusp of my dotage. My answer to others and especially to myself never seems quite adequate. Whether I take […]

The Banality of Evil: My Encounters with Dictators and the Inspiration Behind the Villains in My Novels

Villains abound in my novels, especially those that deal with historical events where national power is the ultimate intoxicant. Most of the time my research into the past is deliberate and painstaking. A historian’s accuracy is necessary for creating reasonably believable historical characters. But there are times when a live, chance encounter falls into a […]

Why I Went Independent As An Author

I went into the e-book and Print on Demand mode in the nineties convinced that the new technology would radically change the future of book publishing, and would allow an author a chance to control his own destiny. By then I had published 27 novels with major traditional publishers; many had been translated and published […]