Rethinking Concepts

It’s been a while since I posted, but I suspect there are very few people that noticed.  I’m okay with talking in an echo chamber for right now.  I’m still figuring stuff out.

Including, it seems, the concept for the new novels.  I’m staring at starting from scratch again.

I need to make a decision and that’s where the problem lies.

I enjoy spy novels.  My favourite authors are mostly spy thriller writers (le Carré, Bagley–sometimes, among others).

On the other hand, I really like damn good caper stories, which have faded away from the scene a lot these days.   I’m thinking of Peter O’Donnell’s Modesty Blaise series of novels in particular, which were all enormous fun to read.  There’s never really been anyone else like him–or Modesty.

I also like a really good hard boiled detective story, and there’s never enough of those around.

I also grew up reading Alistair MacLean.

I’m strongly leaning toward the international spy thriller novel, but the scope is daunting.  Maybe that’s a good thing.

I think I’m suffering from shiny object syndrome.

Time to retest my concept…

Another birthday.

It’s my birthday today.  Yet another one.

I’ve spent the day thinking of and talking to family, of which there are fewer these days than there used to be, and what is left of us is scattered around the world.

I’m more determined than ever to get these thrillers done and published, as they are, indirectly, my acknowledgement of family and those gone.



You’re Really Writing A Book?

From the mailbag:

You’re really writing a book?  How come you don’t talk about it on the blog?  What’s it about?

I’ve had a few emails like this one (which is a paraphrase), so I thought I’d answer the email(s) publically, too.

I’m really writing a book, yes.

In fact, I’m writing three books in a series, to start with.  They are spy thrillers, one of my favourite genres.

The reasons I don’t talk about them very much here on the blog are:

I don’t want to bore or irritate you.

Writers waffling about their work-in-progress can be incredibly frustrating for me as a reader.  If the story they’re talking about sounds interesting, then I want to read the damn thing now.  I’ll even settle for a few weeks/months, if the book is on pre-order.

But dangling it now, when the writer hasn’t even finished the book yet, is just cruel and unusual.  What if the author doesn’t even finish the book?  Because that has never happened…

On the other hand, most authors are shitty at describing their own story in a way that intrigues readers–not off the cuff in a blog post.  They have to work their blurbs into an enticing description.  I include myself among those authors…and I don’t want to have you give up on the book before it’s even finished.

I’m still working on it.

Related to the first reason, but not exactly the same.

I’m still actually working on the concept and outlines for the series.  I have a name for my primary character, but the rest of the story is in flux and inclined to shift every time I work on it.

I don’t want to risk telling you about a story that you won’t recognize when you get to reading it.

I have limited time.

Like a huge number of other fiction authors, I have a day job.  I’m writing the thrillers in my spare time.  That means I can’t be certain how long it will take me to finish them, and therefore, what the release date will be.

Once I have the outline nailed down, I will be in a position to talk more about my stories as well as everyone else’s.

I’ll also be deep diving into the research by then, too, and reporting back on some of the cooler factoid I unearth.

Stay tuned.

The Perfect Place for A Spy Thriller

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned in any of my posts yet that I’m in the process of writing my first spy thriller series.

I would have mentioned it on the about page, and there’s already a yawningly empty book page for the said books to show up when they’re done.  I just don’t think I’ve actively talked about the series in posts, yet.

Mostly what I talk about in posts are items I come across through my research and reading.

But yes, I’m writing a spy thriller series.  To be exact, I’m still plotting it, although that’s an improvement on where I was when I started this blog.  I didn’t even have a concept worked out, then.

Now I’m actually plotting and the details are coming together very nicely.  The books and the characters are taking shape and starting to talk back, which is always a great place to reach when building a new story.

It’s taking more time than I’m used to because I’m writing it in my spare time.  That means there’s a lot of “think” time in between plotting sessions, which helps the boys in the basement offer up some peripheral and quite interesting lateral suggestions.

I’m not quite ready to share anything yet, except to say that the first book will open in Morocco, which is a slight and deliberate tip of the hat to Peter O’Donnell’s Modesty Blaise series of books, which are still among my favourites.

Morocoo is a fascinating country.   Here’s one of the odd contrasts that demonstrates the country’s bipolar character:  There are great surfing beaches up and down the coast, while people go snow skiing in the High Atlas Mountains just to the east.  At the foot of those mountains, the Sahara desert begins.

Boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

That Morocco in a nutshell.


Only a Week Away

The holiday break and 2018 are swiftly approaching.  Normally, I like the fresh-slate feel of the new year, which reeks of hope and good intentions (which, sadly, grow stale for most people by mid-February).

If nothing else, the new year is a time for some wild speculation and what-if…? questions that stimulate the imagination of more people than just authors.

This year, though, the first day of the new year represents a different landmark for me.

I’ll be moving on to new territory.  This territory, in fact, as represented by the blog.  I will be building the concept and premise and structuring the stories for a three book spy thriller series.

I’ve been thinking about the concept a lot, and researching thrillers in general.  I’ve read ’em all my life and love them, but reading them and writing them takes different mind muscles.

I’m looking forward to the mental stretching.

What big goals are you going for in 2018?