Thursday, September 8, 2016

Why I Fight, Why I Write

The second attack plane approaches

On the morning of September 11th, 2001, I was in the front office of a Newport News, Virginia, insurance broker, where I was employed, when a woman from another firm rushed in through the front door and asked, breathlessly, “Do you have a TV or a radio? There’s something big going on!” One of my coworkers had a radio but there was nothing “big” being reported on it. There was, however, a TV in the conference room. We turned it on to be greeted by shocking footage of one of the World Trade Center towers wrapped in smoke. A plane had crashed into it. As we watched a second plan ploughed into the second tower. The newscaster announced, almost as though the words were escaping his mouth against his will, “It seems we’re under attack!”
Now, at the time I had just signed a book contract for the Sparrowhawk historical series, which dramatizes why the American Revolution happened.  It was not yet finished. The rest of the series had yet to be written. I had invested twelve years of my life in researching and writing it, and would invest three more, all the time without much hope of finding a publisher. But I’d found one. I knew instinctively that this event would change things in this country and around the world. As the details poured into the news, I just assumed that the book project would be cancelled, just when I’d succeeded in accomplishing the impossible. That day, I could no longer work. I went outside, sat on the parking lot curb, and cried. I left the office and drove home, to Yorktown, sobbing as I drove. When I got home, the landlord’s TV was full of more details, showing the collapse of the first tower, and later, the collapse of the second. Horrendous casualties were reported, thousands of people perished.  Cameras caught people jumping to their deaths from eighty floors rather than be burnt or roasted alive by the fierce heat. The various newscasters began to repeat the appraisal that this was worse than was the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941
The complete collapse of the World Trade Center

When I trusted myself to speak without breaking down again, I went to my apartment next door and called the publisher in San Francisco. I asked if, in lieu of this calamitous event, the Sparrowhawk series would still be published. Without missing a beat the publisher calmly and emphatically answered, “Yes!” and that it would debut on schedule. And indeed, Book One: Jack Frake of the series appeared in 2002. I finished the series, and by 2007 the whole series had been published, and to better reviews than I had expected. 

I thought then – and I still think so – that Americans would need the series more than ever given what was now being accepted as a deliberate attack on this country. They would need to know where this country came from and where it could go from here. The 9/11 attack on this country was a personal attack on me, on my values, on my life. I will never change that appraisal.  The attack was a statement that could not be misunderstood  – except by those whose first reaction was to blame America and to treat Islam as a wronged “victim,” – and that statement was: We hate you, and will conquer or destroy you!  We hate you, we envy you, and our souls are nothing but bile. You love life, we love death!
Since then I have written many more novels, and a political column, Rule of Reason ,and my own my blog site, which mirrors Rule of Reason .  I have devoted nearly two million words to discussing the depredations of Islam and the peril Islam poses to Western civilization, in addition to the retreat of our government and most Western governments  as they cravenly retreat from the necessity of answering Islam’s declaration of war with retaliation. For indeed Islam has declared war on the West, and this had been going on for decades before 9/11 (remember horrific incidents such as the plane hijackings of the 1970s and the Munich massacre?)
Sparrowhawk Endures
For as long as I live, I will never forgive Islam – how does one “forgive” a totalitarian philosophy that worships death?—and I can only repeat here what Pamela Geller said at a recent anti-Islamization conference: It’s not the fanaticism of the jihadis that concerns and worries me, but the unwillingness of our “defenders” to identify the enemy and take the proper measures to combat and eradicate it.


  1. Mr. Cline,

    I just this morning finished the Sparrowhawk series.
    I read the entirety of book 6 over just the past two days in long marathons style reading sessions.
    The hours so quickly flew by when I was immersed in the worlds of Jack and Hugh.

    I want to tell you now that more than ever, I am so proud to have those 6 books displayed proudly on my bookshelf next to the works of Ms. Rand. As your magnum opus, as I have seen you call it, is probably the only literary work I have ever read, or am likely to read, that is truly an equal to her own Magnus opus Atlas. I want to simply offer you sincere thanks for its creation. Maybe someday even I shall be able to offer this thanks in person, as I hope to move to the east coast next year.

    While previously before finishing, I had hoped you might be persuaded to right additional books in this series. I see now upon its completion it stopped at the only logical place it could. That said I am left starved for more of its kind. I also own the sparrowhawk companion, and through it have become persuaded to acquire a copy of Ninety-Three by Hugo. But are there any other books, you might recommend worth my time, that have in some ways at least the same spirit behind them as sparrowhawk? I would also appreciate even a suggested starting point of your other novels, though I do believe many of them are detective novels, which has unfortunately never been my personal cup of tea. For you however, I might be willing to make an expectation.

    And on one final note.
    I want to say I have read the post to which I attach this message too, and agree in full.
    The Islamic menace is the great looming threat so many of the regressive left are blind or simply unwilling to see. I have already burned bridges among both friends and families attempting to combat or make other recognize this evil. But reading your words always inspires me, that I am right in doing so, and being true to both myself and reason.

  2. Ed, You brought back so much emotion with this post. Your description of your reaction to 9/11 along with the context of the Sparrowhawk publishing is a powerful image. It was because of a quote from Jack Frake that I first contacted you all those years ago around 1995. If I recall it was an excerpt from a review in the Atlantean Press.

    Thank you again for the fantastic books, and your continued, relentless assault against the irrational, immoral and evil in the world in all its forms. As I sit here onboard a nuclear powered aircraft carrier in the middle of the Pacific with weapons of incredible power all around me, I am reminded that all of it is useless without the will, the courage and the right philosophy.