Stretch the reader’s credulity, his sense of logic, to the upmost—it is quite elastic—but don’t break it. In this way, you will write something new, surprising and entertaining to both yourself and the reader.
If you’ve read Highsmith’s, The Talented Mr. Ripley, or, Strangers on the Train, by Dan Mallory, you’ll understand exactly what Patricia Highsmith means. In these two stories our imagination gets pushed into and beyond what we would normally accept as feasible. Dan Mallory, who was a senior book editor at William Marrow publishers, now turned author, evidently has taken Highsmith’s words as his mantra, bringing him a two-book, two-million-dollar deal in 2019.
Mallory published his novel, The Woman in the Window, under the pseudonym A.J. Finn. This author uses some of the same traits as the fictional Mr.Tom Ripley, the protagonist of The Talented Mr. Ripley, who is the ultimate impostor.
The Passive Voice, a blog written by a lawyer about his thoughts on authors, self-publishing, and traditional publishing talks about Mallory in his blog: A Suspense Novelist’s Trail of Deception. http://www.thepassivevoice.com/a-suspense-novelists-trail-of-deceptions/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ThePassiveVoice+%28The+Passive+Voice%29
According to The Passive Voice, Mallory, among other fictional activities, has falsely claimed teaching at and receiving a doctorate degree from Oxford. As a graduate student at Oxford, Mallory concentrated his thesis on Highsmith’s fiction, The Talented Mr. Ripley.
Mr. Ripley, unsettling as it may be, became an embezzler as well as a shrewd multiple murderer. What’s worrisome is that most who encountered the fictional Ripley found him to be charming and brilliant; not realizing he also was a most clever impostor.
It seems where ever Mallory goes, if he wants something, and it serves his purpose, he’ll leave a trail of deception, often including sympathetic stories about death and diseases. However, most who encounter Mallory describes him as charming and brilliant.