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A GLAWS Special Speaker Event

David Morrell

Marty and Alice Massoglia speak at the Greater Los Angeles Writers SocietyThe Greater Los Angeles Writers Society was proud to present a rare personal appearance by best-selling author and educator David Morrell in July 2009, at the Palms-Rancho Park Library in the Ray Bradbury Room.

David Morrell is the award-winning author of First Blood, the novel in which Rambo was created. In 1966, the work of another writer (Hemingway scholar Philip Young) prompted Morrell to move to the United States, where he studied with Young at Penn State and received his M.A. and Ph.D. in American literature. There, he also met the distinguished fiction writer William Tenn (real name Philip Klass), who taught Morrell the basics of fiction writing. The result was First Blood, a novel about a returned Vietnam veteran suffering from post-trauma stress disorder who comes into conflict with a small-town police chief and fights his own version of the Vietnam War.

That "father" of all modern action novels was published in 1972 while Morrell was a professor in the English department at the University of Iowa. He taught there from 1970 to 1986, simultaneously writing other novels, many of them national bestsellers, such as The Brotherhood of the Rose (the basis for a highly rated NBC miniseries starring Robert Mitchum). Eventually wearying of two professions, he gave up his tenure in order to write full time.

David Morrell - The ShimmerShortly afterward, his fifteen-year-old son Matthew was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer and died in 1987, a loss that haunts not only Morrell's life but his work, as in his memoir about Matthew, Fireflies, and his novel Desperate Measures, whose main character has lost a son.

"The mild-mannered professor with the bloody-minded visions," as one reviewer called him, Morrell is the author of more than twenty-eight books, including such novels of international intrigue as The Fifth Profession, Assumed Identity, and Extreme Denial (set in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he now lives with his wife, Donna). His most recent publication, the dark-suspense thriller, The Shimmer, was available for sale and autograph. [ more »

David MorrellThe Successful Novelist is an important book on the craft of writing. Previously released as Lessons From a Lifetime of Writing, it pulls no punches -- Morrell shares everything he knows about writing a novel with honesty and wit. With unique insights that illuminate the craft and business of writing, he examines everything from motivation and focus to the building blocks of good fiction: plot, character, dialogue, description, and more. It's your chance to hear the truth about writing from an author who sits atop the best-seller mountain, providing the perspective you need to write successful fiction that sells. If you are serious about the craft of writing, you must have this book. [ more »

Morrell is the co-founder of the International Thriller Writers organization. Noted for his research, he is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School for wilderness survival as well as the G. Gordon Liddy Academy of Corporate Security. He is also an honorary lifetime member of the Special Operations Association and the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. He has been trained in firearms, hostage negotiation, assuming identities, executive protection, and anti-terrorist driving, among numerous other action skills that he describes in his novels. With more than eighteen million copies in print, his work has been translated into twenty-six languages.



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