What Should Journalism Be? A look back at my book The Holy Fool

That’s what fiction is for. It’s for getting at the truth when the truth isn’t sufficient for the truth.

Tim O’Brien

Artists use lies to tell the truth. Yes, I created a lie. But because you believed it, you found something true about yourself.

Alan Moore, V For Vendetta

It might seem a bit navel-gazing to undertake any sort of analysis of my own fiction. However, with the upcoming approach of my new book getting published, and with some of the writers I have gotten to know and/or reunite with, especially on Substack, this subject presented itself.

When I finally decided to get off my rear and begin writing my first book, I wasn’t planning on creating something complicated.

I sure wasn’t trying to plan for a massive bestseller by finding the new hot trend in fiction and following it. I certainly wouldn’t have chosen “journalism thriller” as my genre, and I sure as hell wasn’t keeping marketing in mind when I decided to call it The Holy Fool: A Journalist’s Revolt.

As with nearly all of the times I ever got the urge to write something, it was something that profoundly moved me. In this case, it was my relationship with journalism that started generating the story idea. Although at the time, the story seemed quite straightforward to me, I was also trying to work out how I felt about the profession in the book as well.

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