About the Author
Maynard Allington was born in Santa Cruz, California, and grew up in Redwood City. After high school he entered the Air Force where he subsequently completed Officer Candidate School and was awarded the military honors for his class. He served two combat tours in Vietnam, first as Operations Officer with an experimental ranger-type unit, and later as an advisor to the South Vietnamese on air base defense. His final field assignment was as Director of Security Police at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Law Enforcement and Corrections from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Retirement at a young age afforded him the opportunity to pursue a second career as a novelist. Allington has described this experience as follows. . .
I had won first place in several short story contests and imagined writing novels would be easy. Literary history, of course, is rife with this sort of brash naiveté. Starting out, one is always cavalier. Humility comes in doses of failure, and each rejection slip is a receipt.
In five years I wrote five novels, all rejected. During this period I focused only on writing clear narrative prose and intelligent dialogue. One day, out of the blue, it struck me that there was a whole other dimension to the process that I knew virtually nothing about. It had to do with the architecture of a novel. How do you choreograph a story? What are the elements that give form and energy to what Truman Capote has called the “great demanding arc” of beginning, middle and end?
The answer came to me in a lightning flash of insight, and I was shaken by the realization that I knew so little. Yet, suddenly I knew a great deal. In other words, I had discovered the black hole in my own writing universe. The simple truth is, you cannot write five novels and fail to internalize something from the process.
What is writing? In the end, it is a trip to the temple of the sun where the writer walks among sun gods and chariots carved out of sunlight, and drinks golden beams from a chalice of reflections. Eternity is put into his eyes, and blinding visions flash there – but only for an instant. It is the fire, stolen by Prometheus, poured out of a crucible into one’s head where the flames burn themselves out in words. . .