Don Pendleton's Comments on his Books, Writing, and Life

I am often asked about Don's thoughts on his writings and fictional characters. Many people who were familiar with Don's fiction are often surprised to read his nonfiction, all of which has a metaphysical and spiritual theme. What some readers of his fiction do not realize is that his fiction also has metaphysical flavor. My late husband was a metaphysical scholar and a deep thinker. He considered his Executioner books to be a study in the metaphysics of violence. In other words, the reasons for violence. What he brought to the page with his Mack Bolan character was a true heroic figure and a man with a deep spiritual commitment. Despite the violence in the books, the essence of Bolan is a dedicated man of strong moral fiber and high ideals. The books are stories of good verses evil with Bolan, of course, representing the good.

Don's hard-boiled detective, Joe Copp character also reflects a man with high ideals. Don was able to explore and present more of his metaphysical ideas through his fictional character, Ashton Ford, who had the gift of psychic abilities, and even more so, in his later nonfiction books.

I have put together here some of Don's comments on writing, his works, and on life. I hope this gives you a broader view of not only Don Pendleton, the writer, but of Don Pendleton, the man.

Enjoy,

–Linda Pendleton

"Live Large!"
–Don Pendleton
Mack Bolan theme, The Executioner Series


"When I wrote War Against the Mafia as a Vietnam statement, I didn't expect much to come of it-but quite a bit came and it captured me. I continued the books to feed the obvious hunger that was there for heroic fiction."
–Don Pendleton

"Mack Bolan was simply a man who could command himself."
–Don Pendleton
War Against the Mafia

"Hell was not for the living, it was for the dead, even the hallowed dead. Let the dead rest in peace. Someday Mack Bolan, too, would rest. For now, he had to find his way among the living."
–Don Pendleton
Death Squad

"The big book will say that Mack Bolan fought the good fight. That's the only kind that counts."
–Don Pendleton
War Against the Mafia

"Mack Bolan's last mile was going to be a bloody one. The Executioner would live life to the very end."
–Don Pendleton
Death Squad

"The name of the game is Hit the Mafia. We'll hit them so fast, so often, and from so many directions they'll think hell fell in on them."
–Don Pendleton
Mack Bolan, Death Squad

"The Executioner had learned to live one heartbeat at a time."
–Don Pendleton
Continental Contract

"To be truly alive, you have to be ready to die for something."
–Don Pendleton
Mack Bolan, Continental Contract

"The violence in the Executioner books is merely stage-dressing for dramatizing the commitment and dedication Bolan has to his ideals and the lengths to which he will go to honor them. We can learn this message of love and commitment and carry it into our own lives without the violence and bloodshed, and of course it is this wish that fuels the writing. I do not want my readers to pick up a gun and follow Bolan's example; I want them to be stirred by his commitment and to find ways to meet the same challenges without resort to violent means."
–Don Pendleton

"It always pleases me to find women who like Mack Bolan. These books are not just for men, but it is hard to get that message across to publishers in this day of marketing ‘experts' and sliderule publishing."
–Don Pendleton


"I have always had a special feeling for Bolan in that his story does not portray the human situation in stark shades of black and white.Bolan's quest is every man's quest and the values developed in these books can give us all the courage to be larger than we think we are and to seek eternal values independent of the circumstances of any moment."
–Don Pendleton

"In addition to the original Executioner series I have also written a number of other works with diverse taste, even poetry. None, however, have provided the pleasure of touching so many people from so many lands as have the Executioners."
–Don Pendleton

"Bolan is a very nice man who would never deliberately harm anyone except in a clear response to his sense of duty and overpowering desire to protect and maintain freedom and dignity for all people everywhere."
–Don Pendleton

"Mack Bolan is a classic American hero. Readers like him and I feel very good about that."
–Don Pendleton

"When I hit the typewriter the only thing on my mind is my story and how best to communicate it to my readers. Success for me is to be able to reach out from my typewriter and touch a great many minds."
–Don Pendleton

"The writer is always working from his own individual world view, whatever the subject, so an honest writer cannot conceal himself in the work no matter how hard he may try to do so. So in his essence, Mack Bolan is me, operating from the same world view."
–Don Pendleton

"I am as much in awe of Bolan and his story as is any of the faithful fans who keep my correspondence desk littered with their written reactions to this modern day Quixote."
–Don Pendleton

"Life is often more a sweat than a pleasure but, paradoxically, it is the sweat that gives true meaning to all of life's pleasures. This is the message from Mack Bolan, book after book, and it is the only thing dignifying this type of fiction."
–Don Pendleton

"Writing is a continual and ongoing process of scholarship, of learning about the world and the way it ticks. I study law and medicine, astronomy and astrology, physics and metaphysics, geography and geology, and everything else I can grab with the mind and I do it constantly. The writing itself is like taking final exams, and I get graded by my readers. If I pass, they buy another book; if I fail, they throw my book against the wall and turn to another writer, and I could be digging ditches for a living next year."
–Don Pendleton
Response to young Executioner fan
questioning the need for education.

"I have served many long and lonely years aboard ship in war zones, and the only thing that kept me sane during all that enforced loneliness was my access to a good library in which I read, literally, every book on the shelves, even textbooks, and which gave me access to other worlds no way open to me."
–Don Pendleton

"I do believe that I live in a universe of uncommon magic. Everything I have ever written is framed about that central assumption. Life, to me, is a beautiful adventure and a meaningful experience. I am not sure as to exactly what is going on here but that mystery only adds beauty to the game, and it is the mystery of life that fuels my novels. Every book becomes a search, a quest."
–Don Pendleton
The Metaphysics of the Novel

"Along with everything else, I know that there is a beauty in mankind. It is a beauty that no ugliness, no violence, no hatred and no evil can ever completely erase.  I have also learned there is a majesty in mankind. It is a majesty that no sickness, no suffering, no want or lack, no poverty and no pain can ever truly subjugate."
–Don Pendleton
The Metaphysics of the Novel

"There is another reality enfolding ours–as close as our breath!"
–Don Pendleton,  May, 1995


"The only true personal power comes from the mind and that mind has to be developed the same as muscles are developed–through use."
–Don Pendleton

"As you grow older, you will discover that your mind is the only truly limiting factor in your life. With a well developed mind you can go anywhere and do whatever. But nothing comes automatically and the best things don't come easy."
–Don Pendleton
Response to young fan

"Ashton Ford will come as something of a surprise to those of you who have been with me over the years. This is not the same type of fiction that established my success as a novelist; Ford is not a gutbuster and he is not trying to save the world from anything but its own confusion. There are no grenade launchers or rockets to solve his problems and he is more of a lover than a fighter. I have grown, I hope, both as a person and as a writer, and I needed another vehicle to carry the creative quest. Ashton Ford is that vehicle."
–Don Pendleton

"I do not believe that the goal of life is death, not unless we find a new definition for death. The goal of life, as it has been evidenced in the play upon this planet, has been toward an ever-expanding expression of existence, the search for unfoldment, the sheer joy of experience. What we commonly perceive as death need not draw a curtain upon that play–except perhaps to set the stage for a new act and the progressive unfoldment of a brilliantly beautiful story."
–Don Pendleton
Ashton Ford, Eye to Eye

"Indecision immobilizes. A cop really has no choice but to step forward out of the darkness and shake hands with fear. A good cop does something even if through a glass darkly–and hopes that he was right."
–Don Pendleton
Joe Copp, Copp in Shock

"I never met a man I didn't like, until he takes a whack at me. Then I love the bastard, after I whack him back, for reminding me that life ought to be lovelier than it usually is."
–Don Pendleton
Joe Copp, Copp on Fire

"I feel that every search for God is actually a search for the self. We search, I believe, because we all live double lives–one life in the physical world and another in the spiritual world–simultaneously. Our mentality, or what we call our personality, arises from roots in both worlds."
–Don Pendleton

"Poetry can be the bridge, the crossover point in the mind between the physical and the spiritual.  A place where the two can meet."
–Don Pendleton

"We all know who we are, in some primal sense. That awareness of self is but a dim fragment of much more ancient antecedents, however–perhaps as old as all the planets and coexistent with the life impulse itself."
–Don Pendleton

"We soon had to accept the inescapable conclusion that Dr. Peebles was no mere dissociated personalty but is, in fact, a spirit communicating with us through Thomas Jacobson. To Dance With Angels is not the kind of book we would have chosen to write a year ago, but it became a book that had to be written. We could not have kept this information to ourselves."
–Don Pendleton

"Every writer is working from his own individual world view, and that can become

as characteristic as a fingerprint."
–Don Pendleton

"Often while writing I haven't the faintest idea where a line came from, or a character, or an idea. Very often they come while I sleep, in the shower, while shaving, while hurtling along a crowded freeway in my car–and sometimes they come with such force that I am half-crazy until I can get somewhere and write them down. If you don't write them down quickly, you often lose them because they surface very briefly in the shifting seas of consciousness and then disappear back into the chaos. But most often and most routinely these inner movements come to me while I am seated at the keyboard and inviting them to come dance with me."
–Don Pendleton
A Search for Meaning From the Surface
of a Small Planet


Copyright 2015 by Linda Pendleton, All Rights Reserved.