What Makes Thriller Writers Tick


“What’s the best way to assassinate someone and make it look like an accident?” “How about poisons—which are undetectable in an autopsy?” In most circles, these types of questions would be cause for alarm—and notification of the authorities. Not so at Thrillerfest, the premiere writer’s conference for thriller writers where talk about death, murder, and conspiracies abound. There, I can share my ideas without anyone raising an eyebrow. The running joke is that our Google histories have landed us all on a watch list. Continue reading “What Makes Thriller Writers Tick” »

Writing Advice: Take it or Toss it?

Thrillerfest Panel – Are you a Blue Blood? Portraying Accurate Police Work


Every July, I spend four days in New York with the best of the best in the thriller game. Last year was my fifth Thrillerfest conference, and once again, it was illuminating, informative, and inspirational. The hardest decision to make during those action packed days is what sessions to take when all the options are equally compelling. Continue reading “Writing Advice: Take it or Toss it?” »

Show, Don’t Tell


A familiar axiom of writing is “show, don’t tell”.  We hear it everywhere: from teachers, in articles, in writing workshops. For a long time, I had no idea what it actually meant. What do you mean, don’t tell? Aren’t we storytellers? My natural inclination was to sit down and tell what happened; hovering above my characters like an omniscient narrator explaining exactly how they felt and why they felt it. After all, how would the reader know if I didn’t tell her? Many terrible drafts later, I have come to learn a little bit about point of view, the embodied experience, and how to let the reader feel what is happening along with the character. Continue reading “Show, Don’t Tell” »