No Such Thing as a “Minor Character”

When I was 14 my family moved to another state for a single year (my dad was on sabbatical). During that year I went to another school. For that entire twelve months, I felt invisible. I’d left all my friends behind, didn’t know anyone in this new place, and felt like...

A Leadership Parable Disguised as a Crime Novel

“Captain Tom’s leadership sent ripples of pride and quality flowing throughout the ship. He created an esprit de corps that expressed itself on the flight deck, at mess, in the polish and gleam of every passageway. That turned even something as routine and burdensome...

The Anatomy of Suspense

This post is part of an ongoing series on the making of the thriller STEEL FEAR, which goes on sale July 13.  *          *          * “How do you maintain suspense through hundreds of pages?” The first time got that question was in an interview with Publishers...

To Write a Killer

Last two posts I wrote about two key characters in STEEL FEAR: the hero, and the world where the story takes place (since the ship itself practically serves as a character in the story). Now it’s time to address the most challenging character topic of all: the killer....

Anatomy of an Antihero

In this series of posts I promised to share with you some of the key elements of STEEL FEAR, how they came to be and how they work in the story. Last post (“A Strange and Alien Universe”) was about a central “character” in the book: the aircraft carrier itself. This...