Category: Books

Redemption—My Favorite Character Arc

A character arc is the inner journey of a character, beginning in the opening chapters of a story and ending at the climax, in which the character changes in some profound way. My favorite character arc is what I call

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The End—Thoughts on Thriller Endings

Today I’m going to talk about endings—specifically, what makes a good one. We’ve all had the experience of reading a great book, only to be let down by a mediocre finale. Similarly, we’ve all read and suffered through mediocre books,

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What makes a good plot twist?

I don’t just write thrillers. I am also a voracious reader of them. There is a lot to love about the genre—fast-paced stories, larger-than-life characters, sky-high stakes. But one of my favorite things about a good thriller is a perfectly

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Thoughts on the Fatal Defense book launch

Fatal Defense, the new book in the Jessie Black Legal Thriller series, launched on Friday, April 7. It’s still a little early to evaluate the success of the launch, but I thought it might be interesting to share some of

Posted in Books, Fatal Defense, Jessie Black Legal Thrillers

Two good reasons you should post book reviews

If you’ve read my books, you know that at the end of each book, I ask readers to post an honest review on Amazon. I make this request because reviews can be critically important to a book’s success. Here are

Posted in Books, Reviews

Quick Update

I’m currently neck-deep in the final edits to the next Jessie Black book, so I don’t have time for a full-length blog post this week. However, I wanted to check in, if for no other reason than to maintain my

Posted in Blogging, Books, Jessie Black Legal Thrillers, writing

The Pain and the Glory of Editing

Forgive me the melodramatic blog title. I’ve been editing the fourth Jessie Black legal thriller since December of 2016, when I finished the first draft. At this point, I’m a little punch-drunk. Does over three months of editing seem like a

Posted in Books, Jessie Black Legal Thrillers, writing

Tips for Writers—How to Use Weather to Enhance a Story

Here on the east coast, Winter Storm Stella poured over a foot of snow onto my town yesterday. We had impassable roads, blizzard conditions, accumulating ice, and intense winds. The governor declared a state of emergency, so most businesses closed,

Posted in Books, writing

Nervous Laughter—Humor in Thriller Novels

One reason thrillers are often compared to roller coaster rides is that a great thriller grabs hold of your heart and mind and rockets you through many emotions at a whiplash-inducing pace. A great thriller hits several emotions at once—excitement,

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A Thriller Writer’s Thoughts on Book Series

I’ve written both series and standalone books. The series books are more popular. A quick look at Amazon shows that this is a general trend. The bestseller charts are dominated by series books across most genres, including romance, mystery/thriller, and

Posted in Books, Jessie Black Legal Thrillers, writing