Archive for the ‘Thrillers’ Category

I remember the lazy summers of my youth. Road trips with my family. Playing Freeze Tag. Barbeques and just having fun. Those days are gone. As a writer, my summers have become a time to meet and connect with my readers and fans.

Me, looking rather dorky, reading from my second novel, "Deadly Cult".

Me, looking rather dorky, reading from my second novel, “Deadly Cult”.

Last weekend, I had the joy of attending the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans. For four days each spring, the festival features panel discussions and master classes for authors, editors and publishers of LGBT literature. I was lucky enough to participate on the panel: RETURN ENGAGEMENT: THE ART OF THE SEQUEL, which delved into the art of writing a series.

On a special side note, I’d like to mention that my editor and fellow Sister-in-Crime member Greg Herren was inducted into this year’s Saints and Sinners Hall of Fame.

But the summer fun doesn’t end there. On June 21 and 22 I’ll be shaking hands at the Denver Pride Festival. My publisher, Bold Strokes Books, is sponsoring a booth with lots of swag. Pride officials are estimating over 350,000 people will be attending, so I’m sure my arm will get tired!

And on Saturday, July 12 from 1:00 pm – 1:50 pm, I’ll be at Thriller Fest, participating on the panel “HOW DO YOU CREATE VISUAL NOVELS? Secrets Borrowed From Film” with Panel Master Lorenzo Carcaterra. I’ll also be signing books that afternoon from 5:00 pm – 5:30 pm.

I’m sure more activities will pop up throughout the summer, especially with such an active Sisters-In-Crime membership! Be sure to log into our page frequently for the latest information!

 

Last weekend, I had the joy of attending the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans.

Held over 4 days each Spring, the festival features panel discussions and master classes around literary topics that provide a forum for authors, editors and publishers to talk about their work for the benefit of emerging writers and the enjoyment of fans of LGBT literature.

The event lives up to its promise. I participated in on the panel: RETURN ENGAGEMENT: THE ART OF THE SEQUEL, which attempted to answer the burning questions of How much information and story does the author need to repeat with a sequel? How should characters change and evolve through an ongoing series of works? When is the story complete? And how does a writer engage readers without leaving them wanting more? Joining me were fellow Panelists Michael Thomas Ford, William Holden, Doreen Perrine, and moderator Jim Provenzano.

Me reading from my second novel, "Deadly Cult".

Me reading from my second novel, “Deadly Cult”.

panel

SASFEST-2014-COVERAre you a saint or a sinner? I don’t know, but I’ll be at the literary festival in New Orleans next week, beginning on Thursday evening, May 15 through Sunday, May 18. On Saturday, I’ll be reading from my newest novel, Deadly Cult. On Sunday, I’ll participate on the panel Return Engagement, The Art of the Sequel. If you’re in NOLA, I hope to see you!

dialogue-tags-1024x402A great piece by Lynette Noni! The He-Said-She-Said Of Dialogue Tags.

Deadly Cult CoverI’ve got a confession. I’m gay. Okay, perhaps not a big deal today, but growing up in the 1970s it was. I also had a double-whammy. My father was a minister, which made me the preacher’s gay kid. Check out the piece I wrote for Bold Strokes Books’ Author Blog

Bold Strokes Books Authors

Bold Strokes Books table at the Rainbow Book Fair

I Googled Connect Author Reader and received over 81,000,000 hits, with most of them touting social media. This weekend I attended the Rainbow Book Fair in New York with fellow Bold Strokes Books authors, and we met lots of our readers in person. Perhaps we didn’t receive as many hits as a FaceBook post, but I’d bet the connections we made will go deeper than any electronic post could.

In a March 20 New York Times Sunday Book Review, Harlan Coben: By the Book, Coben said, “I’m not big on the term ‘genre’, though that complaint may sound self-serving. I look at it not as a “genre” but as a form, like a haiku or sonata, where you can still have large themes and move people with language and story, and play with their expectations. Certain forms are wonderful because they compel you to tell a story and not get too lost in your own genius. This is often a healthy thing for a novelist.”

The Power of MythThe form that many thriller writers use to “stay on course” comes from Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces, which was synthesized by Christopher Vogel into the very readable The Writer’s Journey.  At least I do.

Campbell identified seventeen stages of the hero’s journey, which Vogel distilled into twelve. They are:

  1. Ordinary World: This step refers to the hero’s normal life at the start of the story, before the adventure begins.
  2. Call to Adventure: The hero is faced with something that makes him begin his adventure. This might be a problem or a challenge he needs to overcome.
  3. Refusal of the Call: The hero attempts to refuse the adventure because he is afraid.
  4. Meeting with the Mentor: The hero encounters someone who can give him advice and ready him for the journey ahead.
  5. Crossing the First Threshold: The hero leaves his ordinary world for the first time and crosses the threshold into adventure.
  6. Tests, Allies, Enemies: The hero learns the rules of his new world. During this time, he endures tests of strength of will, meets friends, and comes face to face with foes.
  7. Approach: Setbacks occur, sometimes causing the hero to try a new approach or adopt new ideas.
  8. Ordeal: The hero experiences a major hurdle or obstacle, such as a life or death crisis.
  9. Reward: After surviving death, the hero earns his reward or accomplishes his goal.
  10. The Road Back: The hero begins his journey back to his ordinary life.
  11. Resurrection Hero – The hero faces a final test where everything is at stake and he must use everything he has learned.
  12. Return with Elixir:  The hero brings his knowledge or the “elixir” back to the ordinary world, where he applies it to help all who remain there.

I’ll be periodically reviewing these stages. But I must warn you:  I don’t always follow Campbell’s path.  (Why don’t I? Well, as Campbell once said, “If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”