Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Ache

Book 2 is flowing really well these days. Before most people have even gotten into their cars to head to work, I've already written several pages. I've come to the point where I'm not just seeing 4 or 5 pages ahead, I'm seeing 20 to 30. (Yeah, I'm one of the non-outliner crowd.) This is an exciting point for me in any story, when I'm really starting to feel it. This morning I hit page 170, and by some point next week I'll pass 200 - my unofficial halfway point.

But this is also when I start experiencing a good but at time annoying side effect. I call it the Ache. It grabs me deep down, at my very root.

I'll be sitting at my computer at work or on my couch watching TV or lying in bed getting ready to sleep and it hits me. My characters begin talking to me. Before I even realize it a whole scene is played out in my mind, but almost seems as if it's playing out in front of me. I start speaking in dialogue, rapidly, nearly unable to keep up. Then I repeat it over and over, three, four times. Sometimes making subtle changes, sometimes repeating word for word. I then reach for a pad of paper or open a new document on my computer and I write it down.

That's not the annoying part. The annoyance comes in when I'm not somewhere I can write it down. Perhaps driving down the freeway, maybe sitting in a movie theater, or, like yesterday, while I was walking down the street to pick up lunch. I had nothing to write it down, but that didn't stop me from going over the dialogue over and over. And, yes, every once in a while I found myself talking out loud.

Today was only a minor annoyance. The scene kept playing through my mind as I picked up my food, grabbing on and not letting go. It stayed with me all the way back to the office, so the first thing I did was write it down.

I love the Ache. I just hate it when I don't have an opportunity to write it down. I've lost tons of stuff that way. NEWS FLASH: My memory ain't the best. But when I do keep it, when the Ache translates to words on the page, there is nothing better.

We all get the Ache...but I'm curious where the strangest place was that you got it...

Friday, October 13, 2006

A father's love for his son

There's little I can add to this story, except that it actually made me cry. Not just a little bit, but so much I had to shut the door to my office for a moment.

It's not a sad story. It's story of love.

You can read it here.

And you can see it here:

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

One for Now and One for Your To Be Purchased List

Today marks the paper back release of Tasha Alexander's AND ONLY TO DECEIVE. A turn of the century (well...late 1800s) mystery that sounds just like the type of book I like to sink my teeth into.

From Tasha's site:

"Emily's desire to learn more about her late husband takes her to the quiet corridors of the British Museum, where, amid priceless ancient statues, she uncovers a dark, dangerous secret involving stolen artifacts from the Greco-Roman galleries. To complicate matters, she's juggling two very prominent and wealthy suitors, one of whose intentions may go beyond the marrying kind. Her search to solve the crime leads to surprising discoveries about the man she married and causes her to question the role in Victorian society to which she, as a woman, is relegated."

If it's not in your bookstore, ask them why. If they don't give you a good answser, start yelling and screaming like a madperson...they love that.

I was lucky enough to score an advanced copy of Robert Gregory Browne's KISS HER GOODBYE at Bouchercon. I finished it over the weekend and I have to say this book rocks! It comes out early February, but you can pre-order it now (follow the link on Rob's site.) It is a non-stop, action packed thrill ride that kept me awake longer than I wanted to be up a couple nights!

From Amazon:

"ATF Agent Jack Donovan wants only two things in life: to take down violent cult leader Alexander Gunderson and to reconnect with his estranged daughter Jessie. But none of Donovan’s experience as a top cop or an absent father has prepared him for the unthinkable way in which these two parts of his life are about to collide.
In a desperate act of revenge, Gunderson kidnaps Jessie and buries her alive. And just as Donovan’s team is closing in, fate intervenes in the form of a bullet, and the secret to Jessie’s location is lost forever. Or is it?

With only a few precious hours of oxygen to sustain her, and not a single clue pointing in her direction, Jessie is sure to die — unless Donovan can somehow find her. And he's willing to trade anything to save his little girl. Anything.

Even his own life."

How could you not want to buy a copy?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bouchercon Pictures!!

Madison is a beautiful city. Though I wasn't able to see much, what I did see was worth a trip back someday. The conference hotel was right across the street from the capitol building. On Saturday morning, there was a great farmers market that circled the entire building...vegetables, cheese, bakery goods, you name it. People walked around it counter-clockwise...which, of course, was why I walked in a clockwise direction. Easier to people watch that way.

Proof that I was actually there.

Robert Gregory Browne, Phil Hawley, and Marc Lecard all ready for action

Crimespree Party

Joe Konrath and David Morrell

James Born

Me with fellow Bantam Dell author Sean Doolittle...who is too tall for his own good

Phil Hawley getting in a little "Phil" time

Marcus Sakey explaining the ins and outs of novel writing to Rob F. and Bill Cameron

Rob and I working protection for the lovely and talented Tasha Alexander

Here I am with the nicest person in the wolrd, Shane Gericke

And finally, this one's for Tasha's and my agent Anne. Wish you could have been here!

After looking at these pictures...apparently I have only one expression. Oh, least it's not a frown.

I'll have a few more photos up at the Killer Year Blog on Thursday, if all goes well!