Tag: #thrillerwriters

#thrillerwriters

Pay No Attention To My Browsing History…

I’m a mystery writer, not a murderer. Though, anyone looking through a record of my Web searches during the past year could be forgiven for assuming that I’m a human trafficker, drug dealer or worse. Here are a smattering of my searches for The Widower’s Wife: “How many people can squeeze onto a go-fast boat?” “What quantity of drugs have been seized from cigarette boats?” “What is the distance between the Bahamas and Miami?” (follow up)  “How does immigration check passports on day cruises?” “How to sneak into the Miami without documents?” “Average life insurance premiums for a thirty-one year old woman?” I am always surprised by the answers I find to these questions. Thanks to Google’s endless archiving of news articles, there always seems to be a story exploring the very topic in which I am interested, regardless of how lurid. For example, in response to one of these searches, I found a 1994 New York Times Special Report on undocumented immigration that detailed how would-be Americans would sneak aboard day cruise ships and walk into the U.S. without ever showing anyone a passport, Visa or any other kind of documentation. Having spent most of my adult life in a Post-9/11 America where border security has been a chief public […]

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The Readers in My Head

I write for me. But editing that way would be too selfish.  At night, when I pour over whatever I penned earlier in the day, I try to wrest myself from my characters’ heads and my own mind and place myself in the heads of three people: my dad, my closest friend from elementary school, and my agent. Each person is very different. And, if I can please these imagined readers, I feel good about continuing my story.  My father is the critic. A sixty-six-year-old, soon-to-be retired accountant, my father scrutinizes stories like a balance sheet, searching for mistakes and plot failings. He wants to point out that something didn’t make sense or that a character’s actions were “unbelievable.” He refuses to allow well-crafted sentences to seduce him into an easy suspension of disbelief. Reading with my father in mind forces me to constantly ask myself whether or not I’ve done enough work to make my characters’ actions natural. If my fiction doesn’t feel truthful, my dad’s voice will accuse me of lying with all the venom of a parent thinking of a punishment for breaking curfew. I’ll need to go back to the drawing board.  My closest friend from elementary school is probably the person in this world most similar to me. […]

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