Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Some Good News and Some Sad News

The words just keep on coming. I’m well into the first third of my new Sharon O’Mara thriller, almost 30,000 words. I know I get some grief about citing word count, writers know what it means but readers want page count, so maybe a hundred pages. My little sojourn to London was as much a vacation as research, somewhere in these forthcoming pages will be some sinister and exciting action that deals with London. Maybe at Buckingham Palace, maybe on the Thames, maybe Portobello Road on market day, then again Borough Market might be cool. Still lots of time to figure it out. But so far the story has Rotterdam, Brussels, Havana, and good old Walnut Creek, California. More to come.

This thing with Edward Snowden would make an incredible John le Carre novel. It has it all: espionage, CIA, NSA, Russia, America, presidents yelling at each other, China (as inscrutable as ever), Hong Kong, secret flights to God knows where (and he’s not telling), and lastly the perpetrator has disappeared. Considering all the surveillance (i.e. the underlying reason for all this messing around), I’d like to know how he did it. That is, got away. You would think the NSA would have tapped into the cameras at Moscow Airport and done that face recognition thing and had Jack Reacher go in and “extract” the guy. Sometimes, and almost always, fact is stranger than fiction. Now I wish I’d written the book, I think I’ll call it: The Falcon and the Snowden. Like it?

At the end of July I’ll be attending the Mystery Writers Conference at Book Passage in Corte Madera, California. This is always the high point of the year for many of us West Coast writers. Great speakers and conversations about all things sinister and murderous. There’s classes on weapons and explosives (no live fire exercises), plot and story construction, how to make your characters come alive and how to make others very dead. So cool, three and a half days of just neat stuff – and I call myself a writer, but it is true. Some of the speakers are Jacqueline Winspear, John Lescroart, David Corbett, and the “everything happens in Paris” mystery writer, Cara Black. Can’t wait. Go here for more information: Mystery Writers Conference.

Vince Flynn (1966-2013)
The sad news is that one of the young great thriller writers, Vince Flynn, passed away last week after a two year battle with prostate cancer. The lad was only 47 and left a wife and three children. His pen will be missed and so will his tortured hero Mitch Rapp. From his first book that he fought to find a publisher, Term Limits to his final book The Last Man he has been an inspiration to writers with his strong characters, pacing, and technical detail. His life story is that of many writers who come to this art form in bizarre and unexpected ways. He’s an inspiration to all of us. I wish I had known him, but through his stories I think I have a good idea about the man and his sense of right and wrong and justice. More Here.

More Later . . . . . . .

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