Who Writes Clancy Books?

Here’s something I occasionally wonder about (tho it doesn’t keep me up at nights). The “Op-Center” series of books, and the newer “NetForce” as well, are labeled as being “Created by Tom Clancy and” someotherguy. They are shelved in the library and bookstores with Clancy’s stuff. But nowhere does it actually say who these books are written by! It’s obviously not Clancy, or else it would just say it’s written by Clancy. Is it the other guy listed, or is he just a co-creator? Are these books written by ghost writers who never get any credit? What’s the scoop?

“Credit?” I was only thinking about the dough when I signed the contract.

I think Clancy provides the ‘literary’ side of the work and his co-author is the source for the technical background.

Not sure what you mean, DIF. One of Clancy’s strengths has always been the technical aspects. Also, these things are being churned out at a rate that really doesn’t sound likely if Clancy is doing the writing. Also, like I said, if he was doing any of the writing, why not list him as author instead of just a “creator” of the concept?

If I remember correctly the titles of the book say “Tom Clancy’s Op Center”. This leads me to believe that he has had little or nothing to do with the actual writing of the story. Maybe he just edits or advises on the story line. All I know is that I bought the POLITIKA game for the 'pooter (Tom Clancy’s Politica) and if I were Tom I wouldn’t allow my name on that particular product…but wouldn’t it be nice to see “Tom Clancy’s Minnesota Vikings” ???

You sound reasonable…it must be time to up my medication

I’ve had the same question about stephen King…most of his later works sound like they were written by a computer program.
Seriously, many popular authors begin to assemble staffs of ghostwriters, so they publish at a tremendous rate; like the old master painters, who would frequently have a painting made by their students, and just paint in the main subject themself.

You may have picked up some version that omits this, but Steve Pieczenik gets co-author credit on every one I’ve seen (Net Force and Operation Center).


Jens, that’s just it – it’s not co-author credit, but co-creator credit. For example, here is a line from one of the books I picked out of the site you referenced: “The Op-Center series, created by Clancy and television producer Pieczenik…” See? They say “created by” not “written by.” That’s where my question stems from. Ok, great, they created it. But who the heck is writing them?!

A million monkeys.

This quote from Roland Green’s Review of Net Force, that I got from amazon.com provides a bit of a clue.

I have never read these books, are they like Tom Clancy’s Hardy Boys?


You are correct, David, although at least I contributed a name more recognizable than “some other guy”.

If ghost writers are writing them they are not allowed to say. The best reference I have found is at http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue57/news.html
where they at least CLAIM that “[Jeff] Rovin is the ghost writer who penned the bestselling Tom Clancy Op-Center books”.

Also see http://www.interpages.co.uk/faq/clancy/general.html#jr
which explains that this hypothesis is based on the acknowledgments crediting Mr.Rovin with “invaluable contribution to the preparation of the manuscript” (i.e., WRITING it).