Mark SaFranko Actually, No Strings existed first as a short story. Each time I revisited it for a revision, I would think to myself, "This would make an interesting novel." I decided to entertain myself with the expansion of the story. Hovering in the background were the likes of such writers as Jim Thompson and James M. Cain, two old favorites. Of course, no novel is merely an exercise in self-entertainment. Something of the writer's real self always makes itself into the book, and I'm sure there's some of the real me in No Strings. I won't say which part, though.