Finding a hero in the midst of becoming a better writer is gold.

David Morrell, a top best-selling New York Times author, took the audience into his hands, as he described his personal journey in writing, how he wrote for years, sought people to show him how to become a better writer, then finally righted his rudder and sailed into publishing. He is the father of “Rambo.”

I wish I could reiterate his complete spiel at Genre Fest in Westminster, Colorado at the Front Range Community College where he took the microphone and literally mesmerized the audience with how to continue learning about our craft, how to deal with personal tragedy and the importance of caring about our work.

Morrell’s commitment over his lifetime was the most impressive of all. He held the audience in his grip, left us laughing and clamoring for more. It was the second time I’d had a chance to shake his hand and express my gratitude for his assisting me in my journey. The first time was at the Hillerman Conference in Santa Fe this past November.

Here are a few jewels he gave us, but of course, this does not do the man justice. He was incredible and if any of you ever get a chance to hear him – make sure you don’t miss that opportunity!


Morrell alerted the attendees to not follow the market. Not follow the trends. “Don’t chase the market – you’ll always see the backside…” Simply because the trend by the time you get your book out, will probably have changed. So stick to what you want to write.

“Every plot I ever had came from a daydream.” Morrell said that daydreams are spontaneous and personality specific, adding that most people dismiss daydreams. Some people never have them.

He reminded the crowd that you should pay attention to you, not mimic anyone. “You,” he told the audience, “are miracles of uniqueness.”

Before he begins each book, he writes a letter to himself. “Why is this book important enough to take a year or two or three to write?”

“Reading my books in order, you are reading the autobiography of my soul.” Check out his website at http://davidmorrell.net.

Thanks to the Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and Colorado Authors League for sponsoring Genre Fest.

7 thoughts on “I NEED A HERO …. !

  1. Benjie Blase April 13, 2015 / 8:58 am

    It sounds like it was an inspiring event!

    • Darla Bartos April 13, 2015 / 10:43 am

      That’s what all writers hope for — to hear someone who gets what you’re trying to do and who can give advice on how to do it better! Fantastic event!

  2. Rebecca Grace April 13, 2015 / 9:02 am

    Darla, What a great session that was. You know I’m a fan and I could listen to him any time, any day and still find new inspiration to take from his comments. You’ve done a great job of giving the basics of his talk. He has a lot to say to writers and I echo your thoughts on hearing him whenever possible.

    • Darla Bartos April 13, 2015 / 10:42 am

      Now I know why you always raved about David Morrell. What inspiration!

  3. b bartos April 13, 2015 / 4:38 pm

    What a great message, for writers and people of other trades as well. Thanks!

  4. Anne-Marie Braga April 20, 2015 / 9:55 pm

    Wow! I had no idea that the guy who wrote “Rambo” would be so inspirational! Thanks for sharing!!

  5. Henri Farmer November 3, 2016 / 6:53 am

    Mr. Morrell’s comments certainly apply to my life. Constantly I overload my schedule because I have not learned to say “NO.” Heeding his advice in the future will prompt me to ask if a project is worthy of the time commitment.

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