The Hunt For Red In October – Tom Clancy and ‘Life Cycles’

Popular author Tom Clancy, was a household name when it came to novels about spies and the Cold War. Sadly, he departed from us on October 1st, this year. I am going to perform a ‘Life Cycles’ analysis on what I observe to often be the single-most important year in a person’s career and life:- the central age 36, mid-life, ‘Year of Revolution’.

‘Life Cycles’ theory is unique and is the only theory, totally unrelated to the occult, which is based on simple, observable, biographic data. I have pioneered this theory and have much case evidence in support, but of course ‘Life Cycles’ only exists because of the evidence. The symbolic 12 year cycle forms the basis of the theory and is ushered in by a first year, which I call the ‘Year of Revolution’, because it is to do with a new age and direction, often involving stories of success against the odds. mykindredlife

I use the color red, in an icon called ‘the flames’, to denote this year (ie. the ages of birth, 12, 24, 36 etc.) In so many, but by no means all cases I study, the mid-life age of 36, can represent a personal high. Now I have a question for you:- “for what is author Tom Clancy best known?”. The answer would have to be his breakthrough first novel The Hunt For Red October. We are going to investigate events when Clancy was aged 36, ie. April 12th, 1983 and April 12th, 1984. This will be, in effect, a hunt for ‘red’ (ie. revolutionary events) in the publishing of The Hunt For Red October.

In 1982, Tom Clancy worked in a Baltimore insurance agency and wrote The Hunt For Red October in his spare time. As many another unknown author has done, he wrote off to many agents and publishers and was rejected by all, with the exception of a most unlikely publisher, by the name of the Naval Institute Press. They had at that stage, published only a magazine and non-fiction books to do with Naval History and security issues. Clancy had submitted magazine articles to them in the past, so he was known to that extent. and they had recently made a decision to publish novels with a maritime theme, but why would they publish an unknown author? A bit like the Harvard Law Review deciding to publish John Grisham’s first novel.

During 1983 and early 1984, in the very period in fact that we are visiting, an acquisitions editor by the name of Deborah Grosvenor, had become mesmerized by this tale, set during the cold war on a Soviet submarine and full of technologically advanced concepts. However she thought there were too many technical descriptions and asked Clancy to make cuts. He complied and cut 100 pages from the manuscript. In spite of this she still had a hard time convincing her boss to even read it.

Next in the process it was read by two outside experts, both submariners. One of the readers loved the manuscript, but returned it with pages and pages of technical corrections. The other reader, however, came in with a strong recommendation not to publish, because he said there was “classified information” in the book. She asked why they couldn’t simply delete this “classified information,” but he said he was not willing to indicate where it was in the book because it was classified! She was ultimately able to get around this by setting up a meeting with him and Clancy, during which Clancy convinced him that he’d had no access to classified information.

She finally wrote her boss, Tom Epley, a memo saying that they had a potential best-seller here and could lose it to a big house in NY, unless they acted quickly. Her boss then read and loved the book. As he was now fully on board, they put everything they had into the project, including staff, time, marketing; even hiring a New York advertising agency to help in its promotion. diagnozujmy

They paid Clancy $5000 for the manuscript and it was published in 1984. Clancy hoped it would sell just 5,000 copies, but it went on, in the next year or so. to sell 45,000. Once President Reagan read and endorsed it, saying:-“It’s my kind of yarn”; it went on to sell 300,000 in hardback and 2 million in paperback, making it a national best-seller. There is no doubt, however, that the revolutionary events in Tom Clancy’s life, the new age/new direction, that was to create his legacy, had all happened in his central, age 36, ‘Year of Revolution’. We have hunted for the ‘red’ in ‘Red October’, as it was in the month of October when I did my research, and we have our trophy.

The reason I was alerted to this story in the first place, was that his death and career were featured on the CBS morning show, wherein only one date was mentioned in the coverage. They said that 30 years ago, famous author Tom Clancy had risen from obscurity, thanks to an unlikely partnership with the Naval Press, for his first novel. It had, more than any other, managed to create a whole genre of techno-spy thrillers. He would be one of the few authors to claim to have pioneered a new genre. They then told me he died at 66. The rest was straight maths. Now, of course, if this is just some elaborate party trick, or simply a one-off instance of good luck, then I’d very humbly submit it to you as interesting, but very isolated.



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