Category: writing

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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Tips for Writers—Using Setting to Improve Story

Of all the various moving parts a writer needs to worry about, setting is probably the least exciting, but one of the most helpful. Action, dialogue, characterization – these are the aspects of storytelling that draw us to the keyboard

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Tips for Writers—Scene Structure

As I mentioned before, this isn’t a writing blog. However, because this blog is about me, and I write books, it is somewhat inevitable that the subject of writing will come up from time to time. Today I’m going to

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

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

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,

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

Tips for Writers—Why I Outline

This week’s blog post is on the short side, but it’s critical advice for writers. If there’s one habit you can adopt to help you write more quickly, craft a more satisfying story, and finish what you start, it’s this:

Tips for Writers—Do Readers Like Your Hero?

I’m sure some of you are writers, and even if you are not, I’ve found that many readers enjoy a glimpse of the processes writers use to create their books. That’s my excuse, anyway, for this series of blog posts

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