Thursday, February 28, 2013

How do you categorize your thriller?

I'd like to take a moment to call your attention to the blog post labels on the left hand side of this page.  I try to categorize blog posts in ways that make sense so that readers can find the ones that interest them.  You'll recognize some of these labels in the little dictionary I've written here.  In the below post, I attempt to define thriller sub-genres as I see them, although I'm finding they're a lot like porn - easier to recognize than to describe.  I'll also be the first to say that most good thrillers fall into more than one sub-genre.  Please feel free to weigh in.  What do you read?  What do you write?  What do you want to see more of?  And, what am I missing?  

Friday, February 22, 2013

Guest post from William Doonan

It's been a while since a guest post made me giggle as much as this one, while also totally making me want to read the author's books.  Please read the below from William Doonan, professional archeologist, professor, dad and author of American Caliphate (Oak Tree Press) and the Henry Grave series of travel mysteries.

The cover for American Caliphate (right) recently WON Venture Galleries' Best International Thriller Cover Design!  Congrats to William and OTP!

Thanks for having me as a guest on Murder Lab!

My name is William Doonan, and I write mysteries.  I’m also a normal person, who in real life doesn’t strive to figure out new creative ways to get people in trouble or killed.  But that’s a story for another time.  

During the day, I’m an archaeologist and a college professor.  This means that I have the great fortune of spending my day talking about subjects that interest me with people who appreciate them.  I couldn’t be happier.

By night, I’m an intrepid mystery writer..well, after I diaper the kids and play the games that nobody loses, and read countless books.  But then, then, that’s when I start to work on my writing.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Liebster Blog Award! A bit of comic relief

I have been nominated three times in rapid succession for the Liebster Blog Award, an award for new bloggers ("new" meaning you have fewer than 200 followers).  While there doesn't appear to be an actual award associated with the Liebster Blog Award, each step required to participate "goes to eleven" in the spirit of Spinal Tap - so I'll play along on that basis alone.  Here are the steps involved:

1. Tell 11 things about yourself.
2. Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
3. Post 11 questions for those who will be nominated by you.
4. Nominate 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
5. Get in contact with those 11 bloggers in order to inform them that you nominated them.

Here goes:

11 things you probably didn't know about me:

1. I am English, Irish, Scottish, Dutch, French, German and two tribes of Native American.
2. I have six siblings, seven nieces/nephews and three great nieces.
3. I come from a background of special forces Marines, and have always regretted never serving in the military myself.
4. I am married to a Palestinian Christian who owns a Zagat-acclaimed Italian restaurant.
5. I have three step-kids, a step-granddaughter and three big, slobbery dogs.
6. I played lead guitar in a metal/hardcore band for fifteen years and have lost more than 60 decibels of hearing accordingly.  My band, Six Foot Deathtrap, released an album entitled Vindication.
7. I have ridden a camel, a racehorse, a zebra-painted donkey and a bull.  I WON a mechanical bull-riding competition.
8. I have traveled to at least 16 states and 13 countries on three continents, but I have never lived outside of California (not counting a summer abroad in Spain).
9. I speak English and Spanish fluently, basic Italian, am learning Arabic, and have forgotten my Romanian.
10. These days, I read more true history and historical fiction than thrillers (!)
11. I started writing on a dare.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Introducing Novel Travelist - A blog about the settings that move the characters


Does reading motivate you to visit a good setting?  Does writing motivate you to immerse yourself in a protagonist's culture?  Do your travels influence your art?  Does your art influence your travels?  If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you are a novel travelist.

It is my pleasure to introduce a brand new blog.  Novel Travelist is the brainchild of Sara and Wes McBride - whacky adventurers, literary travel buffs, and all-around good peeps.  Like our Murder Lab, their new site is a book blog with a niche.  I have the distinctive honor of being Follower #1.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

What it’s like to be a Seattle Ghostwriter


Do you have a terrific idea for a book, but lack either the patience, the time, the motivation or the skills to flesh it out?  Maybe what you need is a ghostwriter!  Below is a guest post by Karen Cole, owner and president of Ghost Writer, Inc., detailing her experience, skills and services.
Ghostwriter Karen Cole

Sighing languorously into my morning steaming coffee mug, the one with the Chinese splashing scarlet fish on the sides, I gaze lazily out of a broad window. I’m sipping a Starbucks Premium Blend, one of my favorites since the old days of bicycle riding down the Burke-Gilman Trail. I’ve also traversed the extremely long trail near the Green River, site of some of the most horrific murders in US history.