Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Patrick McLaw

Fiction Writers’ Alert ~ Your Words May Be Seen As A Threat . . .

The headlines themselves seem like fiction:

Fiction Writer Arrested

Image courtesy of Michal Zacharzewski ~

In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment for a Novelist

Eastern Shore teacher removed for troubling writing

District suspends ‘dangerous’ teacher for writing scifi novel about school shooting in 2902

This teacher’s novel, The Insurrectionist, was published in 2011…

Recently, he was suspended from work and made to undergo mental evaluation…

It’s not clear if he’s been arrested…

They say it wasn’t the novel alone that drew their suspicions—he’d written a letter to someone that seemed to them “suicidal”…

Yes, the teacher/writer worked at a school…

Yes, there have been many school shootings in the USA…

But, the book came out three years ago and depicts events that happen some 900 years in the future…

Yes, the suspect had built a model of his school in his backyard…

Still, the authorities are not being completely forthcoming…

What’s Really happening?

How much of our lives these days seem like some weird novel?

Where is the line between fiction and reality; and, is there a “line” or some unclear fringe of overlap?

When should the authorities be troubled by a writer’s fiction?

Should the authorities be troubled by fiction?

Shades of 1984

I have no idea what was happening in Patrick McLaw’s life as he wrote The Insurrectionist

Orwell was in his death throes as he wrote 1984

When his publisher received the manuscript, he said it was “amongst the most terrifying books I have ever read”.

He wrote an in-house memo saying, “if we can’t sell 15 to 20 thousand copies we ought to be shot”.

If you’re a creative writer, do you have a story inside you that you fear could bring the authorities’ power to bear on your life?

Will there be a day when life is so cleanly lived that the authorities don’t question what is fact and what is fiction??
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