Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
2007.01.29 : Shots Magazine Piece
On Not Shooting From the Hip

The following excerpted piece appears in full in Shots, The Crime and Thriller E-Zine.


On Not Shooting From the Hip
by Michael Stephen Fuchs

When I wrote my first novel, I knew I wanted to include an awful lot of gunplay – including complex shootouts, a variety of weapons, and exacting tactical details. Luckily, I had an unfair advantage in this: I was American, and I owned guns myself. In the end, I simply gave my two main protagonists handguns that I myself already had. This made it awfully easy getting the details about them right. I also hope it gave the guns, the shooters, and the shootouts an authenticity that would otherwise be lacking.

With American crime and action writers – if you know what to listen for, at any rate – it’s easy to get a sense that they are writing from first-hand experience. With Brits, it’s equivalently easy to get a sense they are writing straight from research. This is because, generally, at some point in the book, the British writer will let slip one small but enormously glaring boner about the makeup or operations of firearms. When this happens, it’s like getting a brief glimpse around the edge of the cardboard building facade in a Hollywood set: nothing else has changed, all the other details are still right. But, suddenly, the whole thing just looks irretrievably fake.

read the full article . . .



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about
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

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