Plenty of people have asked Dan where he gets the ideas for his books. Mostly they've come from his travels—the exotic places, the interesting and sometimes dangerous people, the disturbing chaos of war and upheaval, plus all the bizarre and often unreported doings from behind the scenes. His work as a correspondent for the Baltimore Sun has given him a passport to such places and events, allowing him to be far nosier than most travelers. With that in mind, here is some of his reporting which preceded his books. The first five stories listed below were filed from overseas—Europe, the Middle East and beyond. The sixth one is from Texas, but remains a favorite of the author's because it concerns the bizarre saga of Madalyn Murray O'Hair (written well before the mystery of her disappearance and murder was solved). A close reading will reveal fragments which later emerged in themes or plot elements in his fiction.
Sarajevo's Lost Generation
Death on the Road to Kabul
10 Tired Iraqis Surrender to Reporters
Door to Door in Warsaw
Gaza's Detectives Without a Clue
The Lady Vanishes