The Ten Best Poems of All Time

The Ten Best Poems of All Time   What is poetry and how do we define what makes a poem great? According to Merriam-Webster, poetry is “writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm.”    National Poetry Month […]

A Thriller Writer’s Guide to Effective Newsletters

  “Newsletters suck. Mine doesn’t.” That’s the copy on the little pop-up you see when visiting my website. Accompanying that message is a picture of a forlorn kitten, along with a promise of said kitten not getting its next meal unless you sign up for my newsletter. But a gimmicky signup form does not a […]

Technology and The Modern Novel

Technology and The Modern Novel My next novel, The Sacrifice of Lester Yates, will be released April 27, 2021. However, its foundation is firmly ensconced in the 1980s. In those days, I was the senior reporter on the investigative team for the Columbus Dispatch and working on a series about wrongful convictions. During the exploratory […]

 Fabulism Unbound: Neil Gaiman, Gabriel García Márquez, Alice Hoffman, Charles de Lint, and Haruki Murakami And The Books That Should Be On Every Bookshelf

 Fabulism Unbound: Neil Gaiman, Gabriel García Márquez, Alice Hoffman, Charles de Lint, and Haruki Murakami And The Books That Should Be On Every Bookshelf   I’ve always loved fabulism—fiction that is firmly grounded in everyday life but with elements of magic. My favorite authors play with our notions of realism, and understand that as much […]

Confessions of a Type Cast Writer

Confessions of a Type Cast Writer   I like to admit it or not, I think I’ve been type cast. Not that I’m bothered, mind you, because there are a lot worse things than having your series labeled by The New York Times as, “thoughtful police procedurals set in picturesque but not untroubled Greek locales.” […]

Marketing Is More Than Saying “Buy My Book!”

Marketing Is More Than Saying “Buy My Book!”   Writing the words in your story is just where it begins.   There is more. So much more. That is, if you are a novelist who isn’t just writing for yourself (a noble calling) and who wants anyone other than your family and neighbors (if even […]

Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson Author Q&A

TSM: How did your own passion for mysteries and reading help you develop the protagonist of Eight Perfect Murders, Malcolm Kershaw? PS: Mal’s passion for reading is very autobiographical. If he likes a book, it means I liked that book. The similarities between us stop there! TSM: Is the list of Eight Perfect Murders that […]

Excerpt from Nadine Matheson’s THE JIGSAW MAN

  Chapter 16 Henley watched Olivier through the shatterproof window. He spoke to one officer while another officer inserted a key into the handcuffs around Olivier’s wrists. Olivier said something, and the short Asian officer shook his head and laughed. Ol­ivier placed his hand on the second officer’s arm, and Henley flinched. The cuffs were […]

Author Q&A with Andy McNab

TSM: SAS: Red Notice was recently adapted into a major film starring Sam Heughan, Tom Wilkinson, and Andy Serkis. Is this your first adaptation and how was that experience for you? AM: My first adaptation was the 2-part TV series that was made from BRAVO TWO ZERO, my very first book. It starred British actor Sean […]

Washington in Philadelphia: Birthplace of American Espionage

George Washington’s name brings to mind the image of a confident General crossing the Delaware River or an older, dignified President captured in his official portrait. Both portrayals, composed with the benefit of hindsight, reflect the victorious military commander and wise statesman. That history, however, was not assured when the Second Continental Congress appointed Washington […]

Seven Tips for Rediscovering Your Love of Reading

  While some writers have been writing stories since they could hold a pencil, that wasn’t my experience. I was a reader first. For thirty-five years I fell into books, crawled into stories, and lived there as often as possible. Then one day the stories in my head tumbled onto a page. I started writing, […]