The High Window by Raymond Chandler


The High Window, Raymond Chandler, 1942 My favorite quote: “The moonlight was cold and clear, like the justice we dream of but don’t find.” Notable characters: Philip Marlowe, the world’s favorite wise-cracking PI; Elizabeth Bright Murdock, the wealthy widow who hires him to locate a very valuable missing coin; Leslie Murdock, her irritating negative-Nelly sonContinue reading “The High Window by Raymond Chandler”

To Pants or Plot


One thing I’m frequently asked is whether I write an outline for my books, or just fly by the seat of my pants. The short answer is: both. The long answer is a little more complicated. In my experience there are two types of writers: plot-driven writers and character-driven writers. Whereas the strength of plot-drivenContinue reading “To Pants or Plot”

The King of Character: Thorne & Cross on the Work of Stephen King


Vampires hiding in mobile homes. Sentient vehicles with attitude. Characters haunted by ghosts, real or imagined. People tormented by addictions, supernatural powers, even their own sense of right and wrong. Folks fighting inner and outer demons alike, facing corruption by greed or some other deadly sin. Even alien shit-weasels burrowing into the darkest recesses ofContinue reading “The King of Character: Thorne & Cross on the Work of Stephen King”

10 Things I’ve Learned About Writing in the Past 10 Years


I’ve been writing all my life, but it wasn’t until ten years ago that I got serious about it. And I didn’t want to be a hobby-writer, either. I wanted to be a real-life, full-time professional who spends his time writing, editing, marketing, and well … doing it all – because that’s what writers doContinue reading “10 Things I’ve Learned About Writing in the Past 10 Years”

The Art of Blaming the Industry


In 2010, I completed my first novel and the rush it gave me was of greater magnitude than anything else I’d ever experienced. After years of trying, I had finally done it: I had written my very first book. I was elated, bubbling with pride, and eager to get it out into the world whereContinue reading “The Art of Blaming the Industry”

Behind the Book: Sleep Savannah Sleep


One night, days after finishing my novel Dream Reaper, I was in bed, staring at the ceiling, wondering what to write next. I considered going back to the Crimson Cove series but I felt like there was a different story in me trying to get out. The trouble was, I didn’t know anything about itContinue reading “Behind the Book: Sleep Savannah Sleep”

Finishing Books and Listening to Your Characters


On March 5th, I finished The Black Wasp, book 3 in the Vampires of Crimson Cove series, and I’m astounded by the direction these books have taken. This is in so small part due to the Black Wasp herself – a character who showed up in the middle of the previous book, The Silver Dagger.Continue reading “Finishing Books and Listening to Your Characters”

Walking Fine Lines… and Writing Them, Too


Even as a kid, I loved writing and spent hours composing poems, song lyrics, and scribbling out short stories. As I grew older, my interest in the craft continued to build, but none of these formats gave me the room I needed. For me, writing novels was the next logical step. Between 1997 and 2005,Continue reading “Walking Fine Lines… and Writing Them, Too”

On Writing: Extreme Collaborating


A radio interviewer asked Tamara Thorne and me how we write together and that was one of the most eye-opening questions we’ve ever had.  She was amazed when we told her our method and said she’d never heard of anyone writing like that before.  Evidently, many writers split things up with one brainstorming and theContinue reading “On Writing: Extreme Collaborating”