Genre Benders: 5 Books that Use Elements of Genre to Tell Big, Bold, Beautiful Human Stories

Genre Benders 5 Books that Use Elements of Genre to Tell Big, Bold, Beautiful Human Stories   The literary world often draws a distinction between what is considered “genre” – plot-driven fiction that exists for the purpose of entertainment – and “literary” – character-driven fiction that exists to reflect our lives back to us in […]

How being a psychotherapist helped me become a better writer

How being a psychotherapist helped me become a better writer

How being a psychotherapist helped me become a better writer   I must admit, I’ve had an interesting career journey. For many years, I was a Hollywood screenwriter, after which I became a licensed psychotherapist specializing in treating creative types in the entertainment community. Now, after 28 years of listening to hundreds of people’s most […]

Ten Writings Tips From a Thriller Author

Ten Writings Tips From a Thriller Author

Ten Writings Tips From a Thriller Author I write legal thrillers and addition to writing thrillers, I read them. I’m a huge fan of the mystery/suspense/thriller genre, and my experience as a writer and reader has taught me the wisdom of some writing rules. #1: If you write a chapter that doesn’t advance the plot, […]

ten thrilling reads from history

Ten Thrilling Reads Drawn From History

Ten Thrilling Reads Drawn From History When I was a paperboy for Newsday on Long Island, I’d look through the change I collected on Saturdays for old coins. And they’d be in there—pennies or nickels that were older than my father. I’d hold them in my hand and I would think about my grandparents and […]

A Mid-Winter’s Reading List

A Mid-Winter’s Reading List I live in Honolulu, where it occasionally dips below 80 degrees in the wintertime. Unless I’m traveling, I have to experience seasons vicariously by reading Icelandic noir and the kind of nonfiction in which the narrator inevitably loses either his fingers or his nose to the cold. But it occurs to […]

Nonfiction Authors Thriller Writers Should Read

Eight Nonfiction Authors Thriller Writers Should Read

Eight Nonfiction Authors Thriller Writers Should Read I write political thrillers and my books also tend to feature the large, complex, secretive institutions in Washington such as Congress, the Pentagon, CIA, FBI, and NSA, and because of this, I’ve had to do a fair amount of research on their operations, history, and machinations. Below is […]

Lyndsay Faye on Sherlock Holmes: "He's an outsider, a Bohemian, someone who doesn't fit into a neat and clean box for people to categorize."

Book Review of the Week: Unquiet Spirits by Bonnie MacBird

Book Review of the Week: Unquiet Spirits by Bonnie MacBird   In October 2015, Bonnie MacBird published her first Sherlock Holmes pastiche, Art in the Blood (not to be confused with the similarly named 2008 Holmes novel by Rainer Jaeger). It was an intriguing tale of Holmes’s investigation into missing children and missing art, and […]

The 5 Best Techno-thrillers

The 5 Best Techno-thrillers

The 5 Best Techno-thrillers   Defining books as techno-thrillers can sometimes be difficult. As a genre, techno-thrillers often draw subject matter from a variety of sources, whether it’s science fiction, war, or espionage. But techno-thrillers often have in common fast-paced thriller writing and a focus on the inner workings of technology. When I wrote my […]

How to Create a Believable Police Procedural

How to Create a Believable Police Procedural

How to Create a Believable Police Procedural   Feeling daunted about writing a police procedural because you’ve never worked in law enforcement? Don’t be. With a few notable exceptions (Joseph Wambaugh comes to mind), the vast majority of authors writing police procedurals have never worn a gun or badge. Ed McBain did it for over […]

I, Antihero

I, Antihero

I, Antihero “I often looked at myself with furious discontent, which verged on loathing, and so I inwardly attributed the same feeling to everyone.” ―Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground   In college, I signed up for a literature course entitled “Dostoevsky and Existentialism.” The class was memorable for two reasons. First, the room was small […]

Most Important Spies in US History

Most Important Spies in US History A few years back during a university lecture, I asked the students to name the US traitor whose espionage had done the most damage to our country; one the most important spies in US History. I was expecting them to name Edward Snowden. After a bit of thought one […]

FIVE FEARSOME FAMILIES IN LITERATURE

FIVE FEARSOME FAMILIES IN LITERATURE

  FIVE FEARSOME FAMILIES IN LITERATURE   Fearsome families! There’s something about them that holds us in awe. We can’t believe the things they do! But at the same time, we have to read on. Why? This is my theory: families are meant to love and support one another from birth to death—not live in […]