Posts Tagged ‘New York City’

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.


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.

Catherine Coulter is a legend. But I hate saying that word because it makes someone sound old. And she’s not. She’s as sharp as a tack, gracious as ever and has beautiful green eyes. When this woman turns and looks at you, you know it. She doesn’t address you as a fan. She addresses you as if you’re the most important person in the world. Maybe that’s the southern charm in her. I don’t know.


I’m personally not a romance or historical romance reader. But since she’s begun writing suspense thrillers, I’ve become a fan. I read Bomb Shell and was instantly hooked. Now she’s has a co-writer, J.T. Ellison (who’s great in her own right), and they’re putting out excellent thrillers.

I jokingly tease my wife that Catherine is my New York City girlfriend. Somehow I get the pleasure to run into her at ThrillerFest every year. And not just in a classroom or panel session. It’s been in an elevator, in the audience, in a crowded hallway…just saying 🙂

Check out her work:
Catherine Coulter

So I’m mid-stream of editing my second novel and I realize all the ‘tricks’ I’ve learned over the years come from two places: ThrillerFest writing coaches and a book I purchased about 6 years ago – Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Brown and Dave King.
If you can’t attend a high-profile conference in NY like ThrillerFest, a good second place would be to look through this book. It helped me immensely. Renni Brown also started a business called “The Editorial Department” or TED for short. They provide a wide-array of editing services and all other types of author support services like book design and marketing help. It’s been around since 1980, so it is not a run-of-the-mill editing service. It’s an establishment.
I’ve personally used their editing service in the past.
But if you’re stuck with a piece of writing that just doesn’t feel right, or your critique group is just faking a smile when they hand it back to you, check out this little book for help. It’s a great value for the money.
Heck, I’m still getting my money’s worth years later.
Check it out:
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers

David Baldacci

Posted: September 23, 2014 in Writing
Tags: , ,

Peppi Vecchio
Okay. Enough already. I have to talk about the guy who really started it for me. You see I was sketching out something in the lines of a techno-thriller and struggling quite a bit. I hadn’t read a good author in who knows when, and then the exact kind of thriller genre book I needed came from a familiar source, my mom. She said to try this guy, and she handed me a paperback of David Baldacci’s First Family. I was completely sucked in within the first few pages. To date I’ve read most everything he’s written.
What he did for me was make me realize you could write with a very easy and relaxed style, not so laden with descriptions that you wear our your adjective source and still paint a vivid picture and tell a thrilling story. Besides, he made it look easy. Of course, I realized since then that it is not easy to create such wonderful pieces of work, but I endeavor to do so.
Equally impressive is his starting The Wish You Well Foundation which is focused on supporting family literacy. It’s a great cause.
We had hoped to see him at ThrillerFest in NY this past year, but he could not make it. Crossing fingers that he makes it next year.
Check him out:
David Baldacci
The Wish You Well Foundation

ThrillerFest X

Posted: September 15, 2014 in Writing
Tags: ,

Peppi Vecchio
What? Registration for ThrillerFest is already open. I can’t wait to pick and choose what I’m going to do next year. But one thing is for certain, I want to volunteer and help the cause that’s strengthening the thriller genre. All the authors donate their time to talk about the craft of writing and share stories about what works for them. If you’re at all interested in deepening your knowledge of how to write in this genre, then this is certainly the place to be.
Check it out: ThrillerFest

Another fantastic new acquaintance – Robert Dugoni. And silly me forgot to get a selfie with him. 😦 I was chatting with a friend of mine (Todd Gerber) in David Morrell’s MasterClass session at ThrillerFest, and he told me he couldn’t wait to sit in Bob’s session. I was intrigued. Knowing that ThrillerFest was fat with fantastic authors helping/teaching and sharing their knowledge, I looked him up. A New York Times Bestselling author. Okay. Let’s try it. – I was amazed. He was so clear and charismatic. Everything he said made sense to me. Light bulbs and connections in my brain were firing and flashing like mad. It was so helpful I ran up to my room and worked on my own book for the next hour. I felt like I made marked improvements with the new found knowledge. The good news is he was teaching a second class at ThrillerFest.
The lucky dozen – I think there were only 12 of us sitting there at 9 o’clock on a Friday night in New York City, ingesting a wonderful load of ideas and hints. Bob even ran over the time allotted because he cares about writing and teaching. It was soooo worth it.
I had to grab one of his books and found he was every bit of the writer as he was the teacher. His new book comes out Nov. 1st. Check him out:
Robert Dugoni