May 19, 2024

The Next Tom Clancy Might Be From St. Mary’s

Posted by Dorsey Law Firm
Pax II

A Prayer for the Devil Final Cover JpgThis is a story about a writer’s dream come true for a Great Mills High School graduate who landed a publishing contract with his first novel.

Except it wasn’t his dream. He isn’t actually a writer. Nor did he exactly intend to write a novel. He wrote stories on planes since he traveled so much in his various senior roles in Fortune 500 companies. The writing helped pass the time.

Nor did he intent to submit any story for publication. Friends and family coerced him. And he didn’t respond typically when Emerald Book Company called to accept his unsolicited manuscript.

Alan Napier recalls offering a semi-apology to the caller from Emerald explaining that he was very new to the notion of manuscript submissions and book publishing. He started to better grasp the situation when the publisher’s response was, “this is about a one in a million” phone call.

The thriller, A Prayer for the Devil, continues on its good fortune road winning rave reviews and comparisons to  James Patterson, Nelson DeMille, John Grisham and David Balducci.

Mr. Napier even had to develop a pen name,  Dale Allan, because his given name was the same as the British actor who played the butler in the 1960s “Batman” television series.

Thus continues the new life of extraordinary good fortune of Dale Allan and A Prayer for the Devil.

Mr. Napier moved to Maryland when he was 12 years old. “My step-father worked for Grumman and was transferred to work on the F14 project.  We spent the first few months living in the Belvedere Motel before settling down in Town Creek.  I still maintain a residence in Hollywood and travel between New York and Maryland on a regular basis.”

Asked if anyone in St. Mary’s inspired his writing career, Mr. Napier grins and drops a few well known names, but not necessarily in an expected context.

“My karate teacher, Fred Sypher, and his sister Jane had tremendous influence on my life.  Also, I will never forget two of my teachers from Great Mills High School: Mrs. Levay and Mrs. Siemasko, they taught me the value of hard work.”

The topic of terrorism plays significantly in the fast-paced murder mystery, which takes readers through unexpected and imaginative twists and turns. “Readers have told me that they really like the various characters and have felt connected to them. I recently had a reader send me a note commenting that A Prayer For The Devil, was ‘Better than Patterson’…that was a tremendous compliment!

When Mr. Napier was young his father was murdered. A letter he had written his father only a few weeks prior had been repeatedly re-read by his father, his uncle told him, and was ultimately buried with him.

“I truly understood the power of writing,” the author says and years later in college took  a creative writing course.  His first assignment brought a conference with the instructor who encouraged him to consider a career in writing.

In addition to finding writing pleasurable, Mr. Napier prides himself of his research. “I prefer to discuss topics with actual subject matter experts.  When you’re sitting face to face with someone, you can see their emotions and conviction as they discuss a controversial subject.  I met with several priests and law enforcement members while researching A Prayer for the Devil.”

Working at night he completed the novel in a year and spent the year after its acceptance editing, formatting, proof-reading, etc.

Mr. Napier has completed a second novel, It Could Happen To You, about an innocent Good Samaritan who is unexpectedly thrust into the national spotlight after a chance encounter with diplomat’s criminal son. “My third novel is well-underway, with about twenty five chapters already completed, and it too is going to be a real page-turner! Readers can go to my web site to see the excerpts and prologues.”

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