Mystery/Thriller / 12 posts found

Using Real-Life Details to Ground Your Thriller Novel

If you are a writer or even an aspiring writer, you’ve almost certainly heard the phrase, “Write what you know.” And while I’m here to support that phrase, I’d also like to wallop it upside the head so it can stop being misinterpreted and overthought. (10 Myths of Writing About Crime) “Write what you know” is way too freaking broad, and it results in aspiring authors delving into extended detail of specific workplaces or unique life actions that people simply don’t want to read about. I don’t think “write what you know” should apply to your job. Very few readers […]

Carole Lawrence: On the Vast Canvas of New York City History

Carole Lawrence is an award-winning novelist, poet, composer, and playwright. In addition to Edinburgh Twilight, Edinburgh Dusk, and Edinburgh Midnight in the Ian Hamilton Mysteries series, she has authored novellas, short stories, and poems―many of them translated internationally. She is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee for poetry and has won the Euphoria Poetry Prize, the Eve of St. Agnes Poetry Award, the Maxim Mazumdar playwriting prize, the Jerry Jazz Musician award for short fiction, and the Chronogram Literary Fiction Award. Her plays and musicals have been produced in several countries, as well as on NPR; her physics play, Strings, nominated […]

Gilly Macmillan: On the Thrill of Letter Writing

Gilly Macmillan is the internationally bestselling author of several critically acclaimed, fan favorites, including What She Knew, The Perfect Girl, The Nanny, To Tell You the Truth, and more. She lives in Bristol, England. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Gilly Macmillan Photo by Celine Nieszawer Leextra In this post, Gilly discusses how a movie from the 1940s inspired her new thriller novel, The Long Weekend, how she navigated writing and researching a novel during a pandemic, and more! Name: Gilly MacmillanLiterary agent: Helen HellerBook title: The Long WeekendPublisher: William MorrowRelease date: March 29, 2022Genre/category: ThrillerPrevious titles: What She […]

10 Myths of Writing About Crime

So, you wanna be a crime writer? (Ron Franscell: On the Secret to His Writing Success) Between your gullibility, urban legends, and Hollywood, you’ve swallowed a lot of, um, bunk about crime, cops, and courts. You’ve consumed so much crapola that I’m surprised you aren’t already on Ducky’s slab. Fabrications, fables, and fairy tales about forensics and felonious foolishness (not to mention wrongful alliteration) abound. You’ve probably accepted them as gospel since the first season of “Starsky and Hutch.” So whether you intend to write the Great American Crime Novel or a true crime that actually rings true, you should […]

5 Tips for Writing a Revenge Story

Oh, sweet revenge. There’s nothing like a well-executed plan to get the blood pumping and the pages turning. That feeling when a character finally doles out their death punch, or sneaks that drop of poison into their enemy’s cup is one of the most rewarding experiences a reader can have. As a longtime fan of revenge stories, that feeling I get when things fall into place never fails to bring a bigger smile to my face than a first kiss in a romcom. But the thing with revenge stories is that unless all the pieces are there, a protagonist’s final […]

Lynn Hightower: On Being a Thriller Writer

Lynn Hightower is the author of numerous thrillers, including the Sonora Blair and Lena Padget detective series. Her internationally bestselling novels have been included in the New York Times List of Notable Books, the London Times’ bestseller lists, the WH Smith Fresh Talent Awards, and the Shamus award. Also, Lynn teaches Master Novel classes in the UCLA Extension Writing Program, and works as a manuscript consultant/writing coach for novelists. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Lynn Hightower In this post, Lynn discusses the curiosity that led her to write her new paranormal thriller, The Enlightenment Project, her advice for […]

Ron Franscell: On the Secret to His Writing Success

Ron Franscell is the acclaimed author of 18 books and has been hailed as one of America’s most respected narrative nonfiction writers. Although he has covered war and natural disasters abroad as a journalist, he authored the international true-crime bestsellers The Darkest Night and the 2017 Edgar finalist Morgue: A Life in Death. His debut book Angel Fire—a USA Today bestselling literary novel about two brothers’ necessary relationship and the wounds of war—was listed by the San Francisco Chronicle among the 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century West. Find him on Twitter and Facebook. Ron Franscell Photo by Ashley […]

Green Herring: How to Camouflage a Villain in a Mystery Novel

I can see you frown: “Wait a minute. Green herring? Are you sure? Shouldn’t it be red herring?” Nope! There’s no mistake in the title. The herring in this case is really supposed to be green, and that’s what makes it so much fun for me to write about! But let’s start with a quick refresher on the more familiar red herring. A “red herring” is a form of misdirection, and one of the time-tested ways to create such a misdirection in a mystery story, or in a story that uses mystery elements in its plot. As you probably know, […]

Writing Dark Fiction

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People seem to like their content with a healthy side of darkness if you go by the books that linger at the top of bestseller lists and the TV shows that consistently draw big audiences. Personally, I am way too soft for actual horror (no thank you Stephen King or Stranger Things,) but I am attracted to stories that have an undercurrent of something frightening or shocking and, possibly, just a bit evil—especially if there are real people involved. Devil In the White City, The Girls, Dr. Death. (5 Tips for Writing a Domestic Thriller) When I first told the […]

Try One More Thing: An Award-Winning Fairytale

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Once upon a time, there was a writer staring at computer screen and an open email message for the Sisters In Crime Eleanor Taylor Bland Award for Emerging Writers of Color selection committee. (Rachel Howzell Hall and Alex Segura Discuss the Eleanor Taylor Bland Award for Emerging Writers of Color Award.) A million thoughts went through the writer’s mind. What was she doing? Why was she sending this email? Did she really think she could win? No, she didn’t think she would win because until now, every attempt she’d made to query her story about a Ghanaian female assassin—really a […]
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