Sunday, May 25, 2014

Ex-Navy Seal Goes After Serial Killer in Beat the Devil

I recently tweaked the cover for my latest novel, Beat the Devil. If you like over-the-top action, you might want to check it out.

John Childress is an ex-Navy SEAL who gets recruited by a newly-formed government agency to track down and kill an escaped serial killer.

I have plans for additional Childress books down the line.

Beat the Devil is available here:



Barnes and Noble

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Spilling Blood on the Page

Every once in a while I gear up to write a scene that I know is going to be unsettling. I tend to stall for time, checking Facebook or my Amazon sales page before writing such a scene. It's typically something that might be painful or disturbing. Or it could be hitting a nerve on something in my past. What's the saying about writing? Just sit down and open a vein?

The scene in question involves the disappearance of two middle school kids. It's for my latest novel, Killer on the Road. It wasn't easy to write. I hope the reader will find it as unsettling as I did. Our main job as fiction writers is to tell a story, but it's also to evoke an emotion in the reader. Stephen King once said that you need to hurt the reader a little. Not much. But just a little.

I think good writing is unflinching. King never flinches. Certainly not when it comes to gore, but more importantly, not when it comes to his characters. He shows us every wart, every raw emotion, every thought and action they wouldn't necessarily want the world to see.

My advice? When you come to something uncomfortable in your writing, get it on the page. Expose it, even if it hurts a little. If you think you shouldn't "go there," go anyway. Spill some blood on the page. Your story will be richer for it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Passage of Time

When the third Dead Land book is complete, this will mark my tenth novel. I'm also working on the draft of an eleventh. It's been almost ten years since I got the call from an editor at Kensington telling me they wanted to buy Cruel Winter. The years have flown. My youngest son is twelve. My oldest just attended his junior prom (and nearly brought his mom to tears by asking for a dance - we were chaperones).  This year my wife and I will celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary.

I'm not where I want to be in terms of a writing career, but I'll get there. Might not be this book or the next. Or the one after that. But I'll keep writing them because I can't stop. At 41, the knees aren't what they used to be, I have gray in my beard, and some nights making it to ten o'clock without dozing in my chair is a Herculean task. But I'm okay with that. I like to think as time has gone by I've become slightly wiser, and a better writer, as well.

Saw A Quiet Place II This Weekend

Jenn and I went for lunch yesterday, then saw A Quiet Place II at the Aurora Theater. The Aurora is a great little theater. One screen, and...