The Care and Feeding of a MacGuffin

The Care and Feeding of a MacGuffin As far as anyone knows Alfred Hitchcock was the first to use the term “MacGuffin.” He said it was “[T]he device, the gimmick, if you will, or the papers the spies are after… The plans, documents or secrets must seem to be of vital importance to the characters. […]

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Eight Great Books About Writing

  My 8 Favorite Books on Writing   Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain It was written all the way back in 1974, but this is my favorite book on the list. So much good advice in here, but the best is: Move a story along quickly by making sure you have two […]

Top 7 Books with Family Secrets Jason Allen

Top 7 Books with Family Secrets

    Secrets and dysfunctional families are the perfect ingredients for some of Jason Allen’s favorite novels. Read on to discover Allen’s favorite tension and conflicts that fuels the narratives in these Top 7 Books with Family Secrets.   Secrecy makes for a riveting story, and family secrets often inform the tension and energy of […]

Karin Slaughter Recommends

Karin Slaughter Recommends   THE FIVE: THE UNTOLD LIVES OF THE WOMEN KILLED BY JACK THE RIPPER by Hallie Rubenhold A fascinating focus on the women who were victimized first by society, then by a fiendish serial killer, then by a blood-thirsty media that glorified how they died instead of the way they were forced […]

Writing Suspense like Alfred Hitchcock

Writing Suspense Like Alfred Hitchcock

  Award-winning documentary filmmaker and author, Tony Lee Moral, offers some advice for aspiring suspense writers as he breaks down a few key techniques for writing suspense like Alfred Hitchcock.        What suspense techniques did Hitchcock use that are applicable for fiction writers? Hitchcock gave the audience more information than the character to […]

Chris Pavone Thriller The Paris Diversion Interview

Chris Pavone discusses upcoming thriller: The Paris Diversion

The Strand had a chance to sit down with Chris Pavone to find out the thought process behind his new thriller novel, The Paris Diversion, released on May 7.   When it comes to accolades, Chris Pavone has experienced a variety of riches. From ranking on the New York Times Bestseller list to being honored with an Edgar […]

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Rob Paulsen and Voice Lessons: Iconic Characters

Over the course of his career, voice actor Rob Paulsen has helped give life to some of television’s most iconic characters. Whether it’s Yakko from Animaniacs, Pinky from Pinky and the Brain, Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or over 250 other characters, odds are you’ve most likely heard his voice at some point. His […]

DVD Review Father Brown Season 6

DVD Review—Father Brown Season Six

Father Brown has been on the rise over the last few seasons, and Chris Chan has his DVD review to let you know if Father Brown Season Six should be added to your queue.   The sixth season of Father Brown shows a notable improvement over the early seasons, as well as the continuation of […]

Abiding Memories of the Long, Dark Road: Top 10 Domestic Thrillers

Abiding Memories of the Long, Dark Road: Top 10 Domestic Thrillers

Celebrate the release of Guilty by Laura Elliot with her some of her favorite psychological thrillers. Get a peek inside Elliot’s memories as she reminisces about a childhood filled with reading and the terror and thrill of the long, dark road.      Childhood memories, by their nature, are fragmented. Flashes of excitement, interludes of boredom, […]

DVD Review—Acquitted, Spring Tide, and Those Who Kill

DVD Review—Acquitted, Spring Tide, and Those Who Kill

Looking for your next binge-worthy show? Why not try one of these Scandinavian crime dramas! Acquitted, Spring Tide, and Those Who Kill have something for every crime drama aficionado, from the classic “whodunnit?” to even more twisted, dark stories.   DVD Review–Acquitted: Seasons One and Two (Norwegian language series), Spring Tide: Season One (Swedish language series), and Those Who Kill (Danish […]