The Strange True Stories Behind The Girl in the Mirror

  Why do we read novels? We all know they aren’t true, but we allow ourselves to believe, to get caught up as though in a dream. Readers’ willingness to suspend disbelief is perhaps one of the strangest things about fiction. However, there are limits. Some readers will happily swallow stories with fanciful creatures, sci-fi […]

The Writer Inside Me

    Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me (1952) established him as one of the preeminent practitioners of hardboiled crime fiction. A first-person confession of a small town deputy sheriff going on a murder spree, it is a frightening and gripping novel that earned Thompson the sobriquet “Dimestore Dostoevsky.” Stanley Kubrick, who directed two Jim […]

Leon Turrou: The Greatest Detective of them All?

by Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones   Look at the FBI’s official website, and you’ll find a reference to one of America’s greatest detectives, Leon Turrou. The website explains that in 1938 Turrou was the Bureau’s lead investigator into a German spy ring. However, this official FBI narrative observes that his “background simply did not prepare him for […]

An Exclusive with Colleen Coble

Strand Magazine Interview – Colleen Coble Best-selling romantic suspense author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 4 million books […]

An Exclusive with Siri Mitchell

Strand Magazine Interview – Siri Mitchell   Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and […]

Optimize Us by Maria Kelson

Story of the Month: Optimize Us by Maria Kelson

  The Strand’s Story of the Month for April is Optimize Us by Maria Kelson, featured in Down to the River, a new anthology of crime fiction from Down and Out Books. With classic elements of suspense and a twist of android fiction, Kelson will have you guessing until the end.   Optimize Us by Maria Kelson I […]

harlan-coben

Crafting Parallel Narratives: An Interview With Harlan Coben

  For the past 28 years, Harlan Coben has been providing readers with a welcome mix of suspense, humor, and razor-sharp storytelling. His newest novel, Run Away, revolves around Simon Greene, a Wall Street financial advisor who hasn’t seen his drug-addicted daughter, Paige, in six months. When he finally finds her again, she’s nearly unrecognizable, […]

suspense tree

Joseph Finder on the Element of Surprise

Joseph Finder on the Element of Surprise Suspense writer Joseph Finder examines the art of twists and shocking endings as he discusses the element of surprise in five novels with endings he never saw coming.   There’s a paradox to being a suspense writer. We writers get into this business because we love reading—but the […]

bible of bad men william boyle

A Bible of Bad Men and Other Mob Tales

After growing up hearing mob tales and names from the Five Families, William Boyle reflects on what drew him to the mob genre and inspired some of his projects, such as his newest novel A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself. I grew up on the border of Bensonhurst and Gravesend in Brooklyn, and the […]

fiction writing photo

Can Good Writing Be Taught?

To celebrate the release of her newest novel, Last Night, Karen Ellis reflects on what makes great fiction writing and how to discover and unleash the voice within. It’s an old question and generally the answer is “No.” And yet I’ve been teaching creative writing for twenty-five years—teaching, or leading, workshops in basic fiction writing, suspense, […]

true event fiction

A True Event Can Make Riveting Fiction

A True Event Can Make Riveting Fiction  Glen David Gold’s novel Carter Beats the Devil (2001) opens with President Warren G. Harding gamely getting up on stage in a San Francisco theater to participate in a conjuring trick. Hours later, he’s dead. Were the two events connected? Suddenly the conjurer—the real-life Joseph Carter, a household name in […]