Yes. The formalities. Peter James is an international bestselling author. To date, he has 26 novels as a crime fiction writer. Many of which are fueled by his legendary character Roy Grace. He’s sold 15 million copies of Roy Grace adventures alone!

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Impressed? I am. But not just about his writing skills. Peter is also active in the film industry. He even did some work in my hometown Orlando!

But Peter is also a very helpful writing teacher. I always swerve my firehose drinking mentality towards his classes at ThrillerFest.

And if you didn’t know, I’ll tell you a secret about him. A personal nugget that you wouldn’t know unless you’ve actually encountered him in real life.

He’s genuine. Polite. Down to earth. I’m lucky enough to catch him sometimes before and after his classes. And we don’t talk about writing. We talk about other things. And I really appreciate that because he’s a man. Not just a photo on a book cover. But a very polite, engaging person.

Did you know he’s the son of a glovemaker to the Queen? A racing aficionado? Yes, I get that he’s a great writer. But he’s equally as fun as a person. And so accommodating. He kindly poses for our now annual picture at ThrillerFest.

So do yourself a favor. Pick up a Peter James book. You won’t be let down.

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Great news. With eBooks and print-on-demand paper books, I’ll never sell out. So to honor this I’m running a summer special – $0.99 eBook download!

Download The Carrington Event now…

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What drives me to write the next book in this series? Well, mostly because I LOVE to write. But secondly because I get emails, reviews and friends asking, no, pestering me when the next one will come out.

So bring it on! It’s less than a dollar for cryin’ out loud. Download it and crack it open this summer. Then gimme hell when you want more. Why? Because I know something. I know that the next book is a page-turner too. I’m deep in the world of the next book and it’s fun…

Love ya.
Mean it.
Out.

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Joanna Penn is not only an amazing author, but she is also extremely passionate about helping others in their quest to write and publish. She is the single reason I am an author with a published book on amazon and not just stacking manuscripts on my desk. She is smart and witty, and fun and energetic. She loves what she’s doing and it shows. She is a bundle of motivation and has somehow talked me into expanding my brand to include my American Ninja Warrior training.

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And I consider her a friend. Meeting her at ThrillerFest last year was luck. We sat in David Morrell’s 10 hour Master CraftFest session and came out alive (I also learned a great deal from David’s class). She’s ever helpful and full of ideas.

Visit her website at The Creative Penn. If you’re a writer looking to better your writing, your marketing or some other detail that’s not easily googled, then scan through her site and you’ll probably find the answers you’re looking for. She podcasts, she interviews other authors, she writes books that help you write better and don’t forget…she writes great books too.

Hands down, one of my favorite authors. And apparently, I’m not the only one. New York Times and #1 International Bestseller, Steve has sold over 19 million books in 51 countries in 40 languages.

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Like other authors, I really enjoy when he puts something in his books that I learn from. His historical facts, blended with fiction make it a frictionless learning tool. He not only takes his history seriously, he also takes historic preservation just as seriously.

You can read more about that here: History Matters

I think I enjoy his writing because it’s not just another ‘make a hero, put him in peril and then get him out of danger’ kind of books. It’s more than entertainment. He takes you on journeys through ancient lands, climbing over legends and facts, twisted to make the story even more interesting.

But aside from great writing and an even greater sense of doing good for the world, Steve is a great writing teacher. If you’ve never heard him speak on writing, check here and check it out. Search for his name in the right-hand column and purchase one of his classes. They’re only $10. If you’re a writer in need of a little ‘push’, a little help with something to make you better, go get it. Now.

As many of you read of my exploits in New York City, meeting some great authors in the Thriller genre, I’m sure you wish you could listen to these authors yourself. But they happened in the past.

What if you could go back in time? What if I told you it IS possible?

You want to hear Steve Berry himself, tell you how he stays in the point of view of the main character. How he keeps you in their skin as his masterful story unfolds. Or you want to hear Gayle Lynds secrets of creating a bestselling novel. Or Brenda Novak’s secrets to emotion and how to keep it tight in your book.

Oh, the list goes on.

So here’s how you do it.

Go to this site: ThrillerFest

Here you can order CD’s or MP3’s of most all of those tracks. I just order several tracks I did not get to attend but wanted to.

And yet…there’s more.

From here you can look at previous ThrillerFest conferences dating back to 2008. Perhaps your favorite author was in there somewhere. Wouldn’t you love to hear his words describe something important to him when he’s writing that latest Bestseller? And better yet, they’re typically $10 a session. You don’t have to pay airfare. You don’t have to pay NYC hotel rates. You just need to click, buy and listen.

What a great service provided by International Thriller Writers (ITW).

Thank you ITW.

It’s time you know this author. Most of my friends know he co-wrote six Bestselling thrillers with Master James Patterson, but did you know he’s done an amazing amount of work on his own for the last 10 years! Eight Bestselling novels and his latest (making it nine) just came out last April.

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His latest adventure is One Mile Under. This brings Ty Hauck back into action.

Buy his book (click here). You won’t be disappointed.

Andrew’s class at ThrillerFest was about outlining. He’s a big advocate and had many great reason why and how to do it.

And how does that help you? Did you travel to New York earlier this month? I did, but I can’t regurgitate everything I learned. So we have a better option. Let’s get the recordings of the sessions.

Try one and see if you like it. Then try another. I bet you will. I’m actually buying some of the classes I attended because I found holes in my notes.

Check this out:
ThrillerFest recorded

More than just a bestselling author, James Scott Bell is an excellent writing teacher. He’s penned the infamous (if you’re a writer) bestselling book Plot and Structure.

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I had the opportunity to catch James at the 10th annual ThrillerFest this year. His class was amazing. I took so many notes this year because the authors were just pouring out nuggets of writing gold. Reviewing my notebook showed I took three pages of notes for James’ 50 minute class.

James’ writing help is all over the internet. Just Google his name and you’ll find him on a myriad of writing/coaching sites. He’s also an electric speaker. A former trial lawyer, he’s in command of the room and does an unbelievable job of keeping everyone focused on the writing tips he’s teaching.

Notes:

He talked about the three death types that work in thrillers:
Psychological – someone can be defeated mentally
Professional – someone’s career can be shattered
Physical – someone can be maimed or killed

As your hero and villain battle, they’ll typically be fighting over one of these. But not necessarily all three.

He talked about the “middle”. aka the “muddle”. This could/should be the “mirror moment”. The spot in the book where your hero figuratively (and sometimes literally) looks in the mirror and realizes they’ve changed and there’s no going back. It’s the big transformational moment. How will they, or will they change? And if not, what will happen to them?

James made some humorous references from movies where he moved the DVR right to the very middle of the movie and in some cases they actually had the hero look in the mirror for that moment! But the takeaway is that it’s a very common and useful device if done properly.

To add spice to the mix, make sure your main character has a moral flaw. Don’t make them always perfect. Perfect is not real and we can’t relate to someone unbelievable.

I can’t relay all that I’ve learned from James. A great deal of it was just making mental connections in my own writing head. But search for his name on the Internet. You’ll find he’s an amazing resource for writing help. (oh, and pick up one of his books. he’s an excellent writer – BTW)