Dogs With a Badge: Writing stories about K9s

Dogs With a Badge: Writing Stories About K9s

Dogs With a Badge: Writing Stories About K9s   A few years ago, I was asked by my publisher to write a suspense story with a K9 dog as one of the main characters. I was excited and a bit intimidated by the task but I accepted the offer with anticipation. As a dog lover […]

Ah, The Wonderful vices Crime Writers Indulge In

Ah, The Wonderful Vices Crime Writers Indulge In…

Ah, The Wonderful Vices Crime Writers Indulge In…   When you become a crime writer, even an aspiring one, there are a bunch of behaviors that are suddenly excused by your vocation that non-crime lovers might find… odd. Gone are the days that an entire weekend might be considered “wasted” lying on the couch letting […]

The Ten Scariest Books of All Time…

The Ten Scariest Books of All Time…

The Ten Scariest Books of All Time… As a seasoned horror author, I’m often asked not only what books I find the scariest, but also what novels have inspired me the most. Without further ado, I give you a handful of my favorites, though, when I say favorites, there are a few selections here that […]

The Top Five Heist Novels of All Time.

The Top Five Heist Novels of All Time

The Top Five Heist Novels of All Time Gary Phillips’ Picks   Asphalt Jungle by W.R. Burnett Not remembered as well as he should be these days, William Riley Burnett was an agile crime fiction writer from Little Caesar to High Sierra to one of my favorites by him, the Asphalt Jungle.  What always struck me about his work was how the flaws of […]

Ten Mathematical Mystery-Suspense Novels

Ten Mathematical Mystery-Suspense Novels

Ten Mathematical Mystery-Suspense Novels If mathematics is a universal language—“the language God talks,” as physicist Richard Feynman said—it’s not surprising that these ten mathematical stories should come from a culturally far-flung group. This list includes British, American, Argentinian, Japanese, and Greek authors; mathematicians and laypeople; contemporary and period fiction. Of course, we all know that […]

What’s at Stake? Creating Conflict in your Books

  What’s at Stake? Creating a serious edge-of-the-seat conflict in books… There’s a tongue-in-cheek saying in higher education circles that academic politics are so nasty because the stakes are so low. It’s another way of saying that the intensity of a conflict should match what’s at stake. This is particularly true in thrillers. Who’d want […]

The Things That Scare Me 

The Things That Scare Me 

The Things That Scare Me  I get asked about going to dark places in my books. Or about my childhood, and what exactly happened to make me the way I am. More than a handful of people have assured me they’d love to buy my books, but they can’t handle anything scary (to which I […]

5 Literary Classics Bound to Keep you Up

5 Literary Classics That Won’t Send you to Sleep (and 5 that might)   I grew up in rural Dorset, England, in the 1980s and let me tell you, it was dull. The choices were: watch one of the three TV channels, stare at the ceiling, or trudge through muddy fields with a stick. And […]

Six Reasons Near-History Creates Great Mystery

Six Reasons Near-History Creates Great Mystery The majority of contemporary thrillers are set in the present day. But there are valid reasons to forgo that convention and set the story in an earlier timeframe, such as near-history (roughly defined as the middle part of the twentieth century). A few advantages of near-history mystery: 1) Technology […]

British Crime Favorites: Spies, Inspectors, Historical Figures, Serial Killers, and People with Serious Issues!

British Crime Fiction Favorites

British Crime Fiction Favorites Spies, Inspectors, Historical Figures, Serial Killers, and People with Serious Issues!   British crime fiction can carry some weak connotations across the pond. I mean, the police there don’t even carry guns, and our last execution was in the same year that Ian Fleming died (he wasn’t the one hanged, I […]