Tips for Handling Pacing in a Thriller Novel

I’ve been asked to write a feature on tips for handling pacing in a thriller novel, and I’m all over it. Excited to do so. With one minor caveat: I have no idea how to define pacing in a thriller novel. Not a clue. (Dark Secrets and Dastardly Lies: Ramping Up a Killer Plot) I’ve … Read more

David Koepp: On Finding Hope in the Hopeless

David Koepp has written more than two dozen feature films in a wide variety of genres, including the first two Jurassic Park films, Death Becomes Her, Carlito’s Way, The Paper, Mission: Impossible, Spider-Man, Panic Room, War of the Worlds, Angels and Demons, and Inferno. Some of the films he’s both written and directed are Stir … Read more

Dark Secrets and Dastardly Lies: Ramping Up a Killer Plot

Secrets and the lies required to keep them are incredibly destructive in real life, but they are the stuff mystery fiction is made of, the raw materials of the genre. Mysteries involve crime—usually murder—and the stories begin by posing a simple question: Who killed the victim and why? Naturally, the killer doesn’t want that secret … Read more

What Book or Short Story With a Sinister Tone Has Had a Lasting Impact on You as a Reader or Writer?: From Our Readers (Comment for a Chance at Publication)

Our formal question: What book or short story with a sinister tone has had a lasting impact on you as a reader or writer? Listen, if you know anything about me, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of horror. So, when I hear the word “sinister”? I don’t think about Marvel comic villains or … Read more

4 Things Every Military/Espionage Thriller Writer Should Know

So, you want to write an espionage or military thriller? Fantastic! While many of today’s writers have backgrounds that lend themselves to working in this genre, I’m here to tell you that intelligence or military experience is not necessary to succeed. For every former special operations officer like New York Times bestselling author Brad Taylor, … Read more

A Conversation With J.T. Ellison on Voice: Hamburgers or Coq au Vin (Killer Writers)

I was talking with New York Times and USA Today bestselling author JT Ellison about the best transcription apps for interviews when the subject changed to hamburgers and coq au vin, which is super appropriate because JT knows more about wines than anyone I know. Which led us to a discussion of writing. Too much … Read more

Ron Corbett: On the Way Characters Can Surprise Us

Ron Corbett He is a writer, journalist, broadcaster, and cofounder of Ottawa Press and Publishing. A lifelong resident of Ottawa, Ron’s writing has won numerous awards, including two National Newspaper Awards. He has been a full-time columnist with both the Ottawa Citizen and the Ottawa Sun. He is the author of seven nonfiction books, including … Read more

Blending Mystery and Romance in Fiction

I’m often asked how and why I blend mystery and romance in my Lady Darby historical mystery series. Perhaps the plainest reason why I do so is because they’re natural parts of humanity. My books may be shelved in the mystery section, but at their heart they are really about the people that populate them. … Read more

Laure Van Rensburg: On Fresh Takes on Old Tropes in Thriller Novels

Laure Van Rensburg is a French writer living in the UK and an Ink Academy alumna. Her stories have appeared in online magazines and anthologies such as Litro Magazine, Storgy Magazine, The Real Jazz Baby (2020 Best Anthology, Saboteur Awards 2020), and FIVE:2:ONE. She has also placed in competitions including the 2018 & 2019 Bath … Read more

A Thriller Writer’s Guide to TV/Movie Viewing

(Editor’s Note: Below are spoilers for “Succession,” Silence of the Lambs, True Romance“Bo Burnham: Make Happy,” and Se7en.) I get asked a lot about from what other writers I draw inspiration. Sure, I always have my go-to answers (Stephen King, I’m looking at you), but I never get asked about which TV shows or movies … Read more