For Openers: Great First Lines of Legendary Novels

For Openers: Great First Lines of Legendary Novels   “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” “I still remember the day my father took me to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books for the first time.” “It was a dark and stormy night.” Well, hello! And count me in. With these concisely atmospheric opening […]

Excerpt From “LOST OASIS” by R Lawson Gamble

Excerpt From “LOST OASIS” by R Lawson Gamble After digging into steaming heaped plates of tangy soul-satisfying Mexican food, the friends leaned back in their chairs to contemplate the possibility of dessert. Zack sipped the dregs of his margarita and eyed his friend. “What else did you learn today? I’ve heard nothing to suggest a reason for […]

Punching Up Your Action Thriller By Glen Erik Hamilton, June 2021

Punching Up Your Action Thriller By Glen Erik Hamilton, June 2021 Labeling your novel an “action thriller” may seem limiting, or even redundant. Doesn’t every thriller novel have at least one fight or chase scene these days? And isn’t the action genre more suited to movies, where character development often takes a back seat to spectacle? While […]

Top 10 Reasons to Make a Fairy Garden

Top 10 Reasons to Make a Fairy Garden Do you know what a fairy garden is? They’re gardens where fairies exist or may come to visit. They can be on a grand scale or a very small scale, even nestled in a teacup. No matter where you find them, they are filled with good vibes. […]

Deadpool co-creator publishes 1st novel, 25 years in the making

Fabian Nicieza, a writer in the comic book medium best known for co-creating Deadpool, made two projects a reality this year – after a quarter-century. The first is his debut novel called Suburban Dicks (G.P. Putnam’s Sons $27), a mystery that occurs in suburban New Jersey where ex-FBI profiler Andrea Stern (who’s seven months pregnant […]

Are Judges Really That Awful?  Yes!

Are Judges Really That Awful?  Yes!   Judges are the kings and queens of the legal system, literally looking at the populace they rule over from perches high up on a mahogany dais.  Referred to as “Your Honor,” they demand constant verbal genuflection and scurrying about in response their commands that is the equivalent of […]

The Docu-novel

The Docu-novel     L.R. Dorn is the pen name for Matt Dorff and Suzanne Dunn. Their debut novel, “The Anatomy of Desire,” is being published by William Morrow.   What do the novels Dangerous Liaisons (1782), Dracula (1899), The Screwtape Letters (1942), Bridget Jones Diary (1996), and Daisy Jones and the Six (2019) all […]

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.” […]