Archive | July, 2013
17 Jul

I just came across this blog, and this quote, which I love, and thought I would share it.

A Small Press Life

“All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.’-Albert Einstein

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Enjoy Lopsided

12 Jul

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Could you live in a lopsided house? We are accustomed to straight lines, parallel sentences, and the value a sense of uniformity. But is this the best way to live, or to write?
Some writers recommend using outlines, and have many valid reasons for doing so. I was always the kind of student who wrote my outline after I finished my research paper or essay. How else would I know what I was going to say until I wrote it down?
As a writer, I am what is know as a “pantser.” I write by the seat of my pants. I have a vague idea where my story is going, but I don’t know for sure until I start writing it. For me, the most fun part of writing is the surprises, when a character jumps into the story when I didn’t know he was going to be there, or when a character encounters a situation that I did not plan, and the writing just seems to flow. That is exciting.
So what would you do with a lopsided house? Straighten it up? Or change your life?
And just so you know, the lopsided house in the photo is a “goblin house” at Tyler Arboretum, outside Philadelphia. It is great fun for the imaginations of children and adults. I play there whenever I have the chance.

Have you read this one? Killer Ambition by Marcia Clark

8 Jul

     Besides writing my own books, I read constantly, both because I have had a life-long love affair with books, and because I like to see what other writers are saying. I review books for Suspense Magazine, which gives me an opportunity to dip into titles that I might not have picked up otherwise. In this process I have discovered some new favorite novelists.

One of my recent favorites is Marcia Clark, best known for her role as a prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson trial. Ms. Clark has authored three legal suspense novels that show not only her legal experience, but also a talent for tense, intriguing suspense dramas.

The following is the review I wrote for her latest, Killer Ambition:

Marcia Clark scores once again with a taut, suspenseful and intelligent legal thriller. In the third Rachel Knight novel, the teenage daughter of wealthy Hollywood director Russell Antonovich is kidnapped. After he delivers the ransom money, one million dollars in cash, the girl is found dead in the trunk of a car at the Los Angeles airport. DA Rachel Knight and her friend Bailey Keller, a detective from the LAPD, believe the case to be a kidnapping gone wrong, until the suspected kidnapper is also found dead in a shallow grave on a remote mountain road.

As the investigation proceeds, the prosecution’s evidence points toward Ian Powers, a former child star, now high profile manager and close family friend of the dead girl, Hayley Antonovich. Although the police find strong forensic evidence, they are unable to identify a motive for the killing, until Rachel and her associates dig deeper into the backgrounds of Antonovich and Powers, as well as the would-be kidnapper and Hayley’s boy friend, Brian Maher.

The criminal trial begins, and Rachel is pitted against a defense attorney who does not hesitate to use any dirty trick available to discredit the prosecution’s evidence. And as well as proving her case, Rachel must deal with the members of the press who hone in on a great celebrity story, no matter who is guilty or innocent. Eventually the truth comes out, illustrating the lengths to which will go in order to achieve success in a cut-throat industry.

Ms. Clark’s strong female characters and insight into both the motivations of the criminals and those who surround them, as well as the lawyers and police who search for the truth, make this an exceptional novel. Her personal experience as a prosecutor make her uniquely qualified to write about the investigations and courtroom proceedings, but her strong writing makes the novel entertaining and satisfying.