About Ian

Author of the award-winning Declan McIver thriller series featuring former IRA volunteer turned American patriot, Declan McIver. visit www.iangrahamthrillers.com for more

R.I.P. Chief :(

Clancy 1

I was shocked this morning to learn of the death of Tom Clancy. Especially so soon after the loss of Vince Flynn, another giant of the political thriller genre. I can’t overstate the influence that both of these men are to me and to many of my friends who also write in the genre. Personally, I feel connected to both as we share very similar backgrounds. Tom was an insurance agent before giving it up to write his thrillers. Vince worked as a salesman for Kraft foods for a number of years before finally deciding to pursue his dream of writing a novel. Me, I’m an auto glass installer and small business owner with the same dream.

How does this connect us? For starters, we all have business backgrounds and none of us had notable careers in the military or any government agencies, simply a love for politics, history and the other elements that combine to make a globe-trotting adventure. When I first decided to write a political thriller with the goal of publishing it for readers, patriot gamesI was sure that it would be quite impossible without a background in intelligence or military tradecraft. I wasn’t familiar with either Tom’s or Vince’s backgrounds, but I felt sure that it had to have been in those arenas. I was shocked and inspired to learn that wasn’t the case and that in fact both men were very similar to me. Tom and Vince have produced books that are considered to be the most realistic political thrillers on the market and have left a permanent mark on the genre. I’ve been told that my own contribution to the genre stacks up as well and I couldn’t be happier about that.

While I haven’t reached their level yet, I’m hopeful for the future and I have two great examples to follow. Losing both in one year is sad and shocking. Tonight, I’ll be raising a glass to friends I’ve never met, but friends none the less.

This is a photo of my favorite writing spot. From the image, you can see why I chose it and why I like it. Both the works of the late Vince Flynn and now the late Tom Clancy are visible…instant inspiration.

writing place photo

~ Ian

A welcoming, family-friendly event…NOT!

flag waving

This past Friday marked the celebration of what is referred to as THE TWELFTH, ORANGEMEN’S DAY, ORANGE DAY or even THE GLORIOUS TWELFTH. Whatever you choose to call it, it is a yearly celebration by Protestants in Northern Ireland commemorating the victory of the Protestant King William of Orange (William II or III depending on which kingdom is referring to him) over the Catholic King James (James II or IIV) in 1690. The victory had disastrous implications for Catholics throughout England, Scotland and Ireland. Among other things, Catholics were forbidden to hold public office, vote, or serve as commissioned officers in the Armed Forces. parade

While many of the anti-Catholic decrees were repealed during the 230 year (1690 – 1922) union of the three kingdoms, the heavy colonization of Protestants in the six northernmost counties of Ireland (known as Ulster) led to a partition of the island in 1922 after the Irish War of Independence came to a political stalemate. Twenty-six counties became what is known today as the Republic of Ireland, and the six counties of Ulster remained a part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

Within the six counties of Ulster, which became known as Northern Ireland, many of the anti-Catholic sentiments continued throughout the first 2/3rds of the 20th century. These sentiments and their political repercussions were a major contributing factor (perhaps the sole factor) to the thirty-year ethnic conflict known as The Troubles , which saw Irish nationalist paramilitaries battling frequently with Loyalist unionist paramilitaries, who were aided at times by British authorities, and eventually led to a tit-for-tat campaign of bombings, assassinations and riots. During this period Protestants continued to celebrate THE TWELFTH with celebrations often leading to violence as they purposely paraded past Catholic areas and neighborhoods.

With The Troubles officially ending in 1998 at the signing of the Belfast “Good Friday” Agreement, attempts have been made to reshape the image of THE TWELFTH as a celebration that welcomes everyone, a celebration more akin to the FOURTH OF JULY or INDEPENDENCE DAY in America. However, this reshaping has not been particularly successful and bigoted displays have been frequent throughout recent parades. Below is a link to a video taken Friday of a Loyalist riot, complete with the burning of the Irish flag, that occurred after marchers learned they would not be allowed to parade past certain “sensitive” areas. Three days of riots have ensued and dozens of police officers have been injured .

The peace in Northern Ireland has been described many times as “uneasy” and celebrations like this do nothing to make it any easier. As the riots that resulted from the banning of certain parade routes show, there are many in the Protestant community that see the celebration as a chance to enflame tensions in Northern Ireland. Economics (Catholic unemployment and workplace discrimination) were also a key factor in The Troubles and right now times are hard all over the world, the last thing we need is for people to be stoking centuries old conflicts.

VIDEO LINK – http://tinyurl.com/nn5yu6o

loyalist riot

The Troubles in Northern Ireland is a cornerstone for the Black Shuck thriller series with many regular characters having lived through the conflict and baring the scars of it. Want to receive more posts like this? Sign up for the Black Shuck Newsletter or follow this blog on WordPress.

Here’s more on this year’s Twelfth celebrations from the Belfast Telegraph and the BBC.

~ Ian

US aid to Egypt in danger of being suspended due to Military coup?

 While, as a conservative-libertarian, I amislamist mob no fan of Foreign Aid, I believe in this case that suspending it would be a grave error. Denying the Egyptian military as much as 20% of their annual budget may well be the difference between seeing the country fall to Islamist rule and seeing Egypt continue as an integral, democratic partner in the Middle East. We CANNOT afford to cede another country to Islamist rule.

While this might seem to be a political flip-flop on the part of myself (and many other conservatives), I believe it actually shows the importance of governing on a situation-by-situation basis. Adhering to uncle samblanket ideologies has no place in the real world, whether you’re running a business or a country.

Where most real world conservatives have a problem with foreign aid is in its year-after-year dole out. Personally I hate the idea of sending billions to countries all over the planet regardless of whether or not there is anything going on there that is important to either the US Economy or National Security. But I have a lot less of a problem with sending money temporarily to a country that is clearly dealing with a threat that DOES effect our national security. Strategic alliances have a long tradition in the world. France, Spain and the Netherlands all supported us during the American Revolution and America may never have been without those alliances.

Islamists have the potential to start World War III, and if we continue to placate them and even help to put them in power, we are going to be dealing with an unparalleled global crisis and we will have no one to blame but ourselves. Here’s more on this from THE DAILY CALLER.

~ Ian