Both Gut & Brain: The Top Suspense Group Speaks Out

“Suspense,” says novelist and screenwriter Stephen Gallagher, “is the engine of any good tale, in any genre.”  Susupense is the question asked, the answer delayed, and all the anticipation in between.  To find out more about suspense—what it is and how to create it—I got in touch with the masters: the members of Top Suspense Group..

The Top Suspense Group is an organization of writers from across the genres whom have joined up to make it easier for readers to find high quality e-books.  These are award-winning writers like Max Allan Collins, Bill Crider, Ed Gorman, Vicki Hendricks, and Lee Goldberg.

Through the Group’s site you can find a selection of e-books, reprints and originals, in a variety of formats.  The group’s first anthology Top Suspense: 13 Classic Stories is due out tomorrow (April 1st) and it includes stories from most of the group’s members.
Continue reading

Florid Descriptions & Dry Humor: Jesse Bullington on Style, Pace, & Spirit of Art

Jesse Bullington, the mad prophet of the North Florida woods, has done it again.  The Enterprise of Death, the follow-up to Bullington’s debut The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart, has finally hit the shelves in all its lush, folkloric perversity. 

If you’re not familiar with Bullington’s work think… Jim Thompson egging a young Cormac McCarthy to write novels set in Renaissance Europe.  By the time you get the novels home from the bookshop, the pages are still wet with ink, sweat, and gore.
Continue reading

Live in the Future: J. M. McDermott on Pre-Writing

Novelist J. M. McDermott lives in the future.  He writes on his smart-phone, archives his work across multiple e-mail addresses, and he use electronic spreadsheets to pre-write in various ways.  Yet, there is nothing mechanical or digital-feeling or… cold about his recently reprinted novel, Last Dragon.  If anything, McDermott’s prose is as tactile as silk and spider-webs, cured bamboo and tempered steel, flesh and bone.  You can hear the brush moving ink across the page:

Esumi, my love, come to me.  I will take care of you…  I will hold you close.  I touch this vellum parchment and remember your rough skin.  My stylus scratches into the page, and I remember my fingernails across your back.

Last Dragon is the intricate story of revenge and justice–character-rich fantasy that is both hard to categorize and harder-still to put down.  Originally printed in Wizards of the Coast’s now-defunct hardback Discoveries line in 2008, the novel has been rescued from the limbo of Wizards’ dead line by Apex Book Company and Jason Sizemore.
Continue reading

Stumping Up & Tending: Ken Hite on Freelancing

Kenneth Hite’s living the dream.  He stays up all night.  Wakes at 1 PM.  Only wears pants when—if–he leaves the house.  Of course, he’s also written about 60 books, so it’s not as though he’s slacking. 

As a full-time freelancer, Hite is almost constantly stumping new clients, tending to current clients, and playing whack-a-mole with deadlines.  Spend 20 minutes talking to Hite and you won’t know whether you should take notes or run screaming into the night.  Or both.

Continue reading