William Manchee

Novelist

How I came to write Disillusioned, the 9th Stan Turner Mystery

Like Stan when I was young I was fascinated with politics and thought maybe that would be a career I would enjoy. So, I geared my studies in that direction and went to law school assuming that would be the best route into politics. It seemed to be working out well until I was drafted during the Vietnam War and ended up in the Marine Corps.

Accepting my fate, I reported for officer training school but soon learned a military career wasn't in the cards. On the second day of training I found myself in the hospital with a bleeding kidney. Whether it was a slip on the ice or an overzealous drill sergeant that put me out of commission is impossible to say, but either way my military service was ended in short order. The experience did, however, give me the inspiration for the first Stan Turner Mystery, Undaunted. 

This turn of events was disappointing to me because I thought a stellar military record was an essential ingredient for a career in politics. Of course, we know that's not true today, but back then I thought that it was. After being discharged from the Marine Corps I went to Dallas to continue my legal education at SMU. Still keenly interested in politics I got involved in the Republican Party. It was the minority party at the time and I soon found myself as County Chairman, not because I was a political star, but simply because I was a willing volunteer and had a little credibility because I was in law school. 

These next two years were an exciting adventure, but I soon learned that politics was a dirty business often fueled more by a selfish desire for power and wealth than concern for what was best for the people. More importantly, I learned that politics required a complete and total commitment of time, energy, and talent with nothing left over for friends and family. So, not being willing to make that kind of a sacrifice, I opted out of politics and concentrated on raising a family and building a legal career.

I don't know why I haven't written about law school earlier, but it never quite seemed like the right time until now. So, much of what you will read in Disillusioned, was inspired by actual people and events during this most interesting historical period. Although the story is pure fiction I believe you'll feel the flavor of the times and enjoy Stan's tumultous life as he struggles to right an injustice and finish law school despite many difficult distractions.

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