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Dean Koontz’s newest novel, Ashley Bell * A Review

Koontz.new book.._AA160_Ashley Bell‘ by Dean Koontz **   A Review reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing

Every time I begin a new Dean Koontz novel (and I’ve read them all!) a few chapters in I say to myself, ‘this is the best one ever’. And it is. Just a few pages into this story, imagine my delight when a golden retriever, Olaf, appears in Bibi’s life.  Why? you might ask?

Dean Koontz and I have had a ‘doggy’ friendship for close to 20 years.  Over those years, he and I have coincidentally adopted rescue/service Golden Retrievers.

Dean Koontz and Trixie

Dean and his beloved Trixie

I’m on my fourth. Dean’s latest is lovely Anna. (for more about this read my interview with Dean).

Gus.Rocky.byebye

Gus & Rocky

I challenge any reader to not be totally enchanted by the third…no…the first chapter of Ashley Bell.  Dean writes what I call poetry-fiction…prose. Writing about a foggy coastal night:  “…those fumes were only slithers of mist seeping through the screen that covered the attic vents. As though the ocean of fog outside possessed curiosity about the contents of the houses currently submerged in it…” The imagery he creates makes me weep, as a writer. The characters draw you in and leave you rooting for them, hoping nothing bad happens, wanting a happy ending for someone besides yourself. more »

Interview with author, Mike Wells (part 2)

Mike.hat.-Q. How long after that were you published?

A. If you mean traditionally published, I was never published that way. I had four different NYC and London agents over the years, and had the opportunity several times, but at the end of the day I am too much of a control freak. I can’t stand the idea of letting other people title my books, write my blurbs, jacket copy, design my covers, and generally market and distribute the book. To me, a book is one entity, and all those things are part of it. Different facets of the final product. As soon as I start writing a new book I start thinking about the title, the cover image, the blurb, the synopsis, and I often stop and work on these things in the middle of the book. This helps me focus. This is the reason I self-published and probably will always self-publish. It’s impossible to have any control over those things in traditional publishing.

Q. What makes a writer great?

A. Lots of readers who think so. Full stop. Writing (fiction writing) is art, and all art is subjective. There is no absolute standard to judge it by. Plenty of experts even think Shakespeare was a “bad” writer.

Mike.Toga_n

A Greek God? Beach in Cyprus.

Q. and the all important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like?

A. It’s quite a mess, honestly. more »

Interview with successful self-published Author, Mike Wells

Mike. HeadshotAn Interview with Mike Wells *** ‘Unputdownable Thrillers’

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing?

A. I like to write outside if the weather is warm enough, which is one reason I live most of the year in Cyprus. I usually write on our veranda, or at an outdoor cafe by the beach. I like to move around to different places, keeps things stirred up.

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

A. No. Those kinds of things (IMO) can turn into excuses not to write, I broke myself of anything like that a long time ago. I’m generally a very flexible and adaptable person, don’t get dependent much on physical elements like that.

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

A. I can’t throw up. more »

Saturday is the BIG Day….an Interview with Dean Koontz!

dean_photo_1FANS will not want to miss this exciting, in-depth interview with Dean Koontz, master of the suspense thriller for three decades!  Just in time to also announce the release of his latest book,  “The City”  July 1st.

‘Here is the riveting, soul-stirring story of Jonah Kirk, son of an exceptional singer, grandson of a formidable “piano man,” a musical prodigy beginning to explore his own gifts when he crosses a group of extremely dangerous people, with shattering consequences. Set in a more innocent time not so long ago, The City encompasses a lifetime but unfolds over three extraordinary, heart-racing years of tribulation and triumph, in which Jonah first grasps the electrifying power of music and art, of enduring friendship, of everyday heroes.

The unforgettable saga of a young man coming of age within a remarkable family, and a shimmering portrait of the world that shaped him, The City is a novel that speaks to everyone, a dazzling realization of the evergreen dreams we all share.

Brilliantly illumined by magic dark and light, it’s a place where enchantment and malice entwine, courage and honor are found in the most unexpected quarters, and the way forward lies buried deep inside the heart.’  (courtesy of amazon.com)

The New York Times has called his writing “psychologically complex, masterly and satisfying.” The New Orleans Times-Picayune said Koontz is, “at times lyrical without ever being naive or romantic. [He creates] a grotesque world, much like that of Flannery O’Conner or Walker Percy … scary, worthwhile reading.” Rolling Stone has hailed him as “America’s most popular suspense novelist.”

A two part Interview June 28th and July 1st.  Don’t Miss It!!

‘What does No Book to Finished book Look Like? Part 3 with Raymond Benson, Author

My Interview with best-selling author, Raymond Benson (part 3).  It’s always a thrill for me when busy, well-known authors are so generous with their answers that I must serialize the interview.  Don’t miss Part 1 or 2.

Q. and the all important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like? 

Raymond at the keyboard

Raymond at the keyboard

A. There is no set in stone process that writers should follow except the process they fashion themselves—the process that works for them. As I said (see Part 2), I happen to outline, it’s part of my process. I know writers who don’t outline, and that’s part of their processes. Everyone is different. That said, you do have to develop a process, and it must be a productive one, for the most important thing about writing a finished book is to indeed finish it.

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters ?

A. My books tend to be plot-driven—I think of the storyline before I cast it with characters. They develop with the story, usually. This hasn’t always been the case. With The Black Stiletto, the character came first. My literary manager and I were having lunch one day, and he advised me to create something women would like, since the vast majority of book-buyers were women. I facetiously suggested creating a female superhero, and we laughed for a minute. And then he said, “You know, that’s not a bad idea.” At the same time, I already had a story brewing in my mind about a grown man who discovers some dark secret about his dying mother (who has Alzheimer’s). I didn’t know what that secret was yet. more »

A Chat with Raymond Benson, Author (part 2)

Raymond at the Spy Museum

Raymond at the Spy Museum

TS. ‘This photo speaks loudly about the rewards of overcoming procrastination, doesn’t it??’

Part 2 of 3 ** My Interview with Raymond Benson

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

A. If you don’t have a real deadline from an employer, then make one for yourself. Just tell yourself, “I’m going to finish this by the holidays,” or whatever, and stick to it. It takes discipline, and you might have to work at it, but hey, being a writer is, after all, a job.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing and for how long?

A. Never, because I take care of all the instances of getting lost during the Outline phase. I’m a firm believer in outlining a novel prior to writing it. I know many writers don’t, and that works for them, but for me, I find it to be an invaluable tool. I spend a month or two on it, and it’s in that document I work out the plot, the twists and turns, the red herrings, and I structure the story into a dramatic piece, the entirety of which I can look at with a bird’s-eye view. It’s like doing a prose storyboard for the novel. Believe me, it’s easier to throw out a few paragraphs of an outline when you don’t like the way the story is going, than it is to throw out two or three chapters. So I do all of my hair-pulling and angst-spouting during the Outline phase, which then makes the longer, more tedious phase of Writing much easier. more »

Don’t Miss my Interview with Author, Raymond Benson this Tuesday!

Raymond and Black Stilleto

Raymond and Black Stiletto

Raymond Benson has been an award-winning and best-selling author, composer, computer game designer, stage director, film historian, and film genres instructor for over thirty years. He is also the fourth official author of the James Bond 007 novels.

Step inside and find out why Lee Child describes Raymond as “a top class thriller craftsman” and David Morrell calls him “one of the best thriller writers in the business.”

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