A few months ago, Joe Finder wrote a marvelConcerned Giantous piece in the Algonkian Author Salon that he titled Thrillers to Learn From. In it Joe listed eighteen works of fiction by title and author in the thriller genre. All works the world knows well.

Joe has very good taste as I’ve read most and those that remain will soon be devoured by this un-knighted thriller author. But that is not why I felt compelled to bring this list to your attention. Click the link and gaze upon a list of Masters of the Craft. No, really, do it. I’ll wait.

Are you back? What did you see? Now this is going to be a bit tricky unless you studied the list thoroughly. As I said earlier, I’m not at all sure of what it means, but on this list are master writers of highly rated thrillers with stellar sales success. This is what I observed;

  1. They are all male. That was easy and y’all caught that one
  2. Exactly half–fifty percent of these authors have consecutive double letters in their name. Nine world-famous writers at the peak of publishing’s pride all have double letters. Let’s call that phenomenon DLG for Double Letter Guys.

So, what does it mean? Is there some magic attraction to DLG by the book buying brigade? Is this coincidental or have people like Lee Child, Nelson DeMille, Ken Follett, William Goldman, Robert Harris, Thomas Harris, John le Carre, David Morrell and Scott Turow learned a secret something? Does Joe know?

Surely there must be a statistical correlation between DLG and selling a ton of books. I, for one would like to know this trick or whatever. I’m all for changing my name to Walter Dannlley, if that is what it takes to be a Best Selling Author.  My kids won’t mind if the name gets modified. Call it progress.

And what of the other genres? Who are the DLG’s of Romance, Paranormal, Dystopian, and yes, dare I say it, Westerns? And what of writers from decades past? Who of us would say that Edgar Allan Poe could not have belonged to this secret society of sophisticated solvent somnolent sirs?

I confess to an inability to personally undertake this research project. The financial, intellectual and time commitments is beyond most people. Well, I guess Donald Trump would want to take it on. Yet, it must be done if we are to know the secret of several seriously successful scribes. The scope of the suggested scheme should comprise scribblers since the dawn of the written word. Criteria for a participation profile should plainly be pondered by present-day publishing proponents. Particularly since a study of this importance should find a permanent place in the halls of academia.

A Harvard or Yale commission would seem appropriate. Any of the Ivy League institutions would be honored to further the fiscal well-being of one of the oldest professions known to mankind. I guess writing follows right after prostitution, then. Perhaps persistent prattle that the University of Phoenix purportedly is pondering the pitfalls predominantly protruding perpendicularly per this prime project. I hear Pepperdine passed, possible per the prior passing of Prince. Plenty other possibilities persist in perpetuity, probably.

As the famous ragtime pianist, Fats Waller would say, “One never knows, now, do one?” If any of you choose to take a leadership role for this challenge, please keep me informed. Thank you for your attention,

Walter Danley
Author of the
Wainwright Mystery series

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