Friday, January 31, 2014

The Vesuvius Isotope Photo Tour


Here's The Vesuvius Isotope photo tour, which I'll be showing live at some of my upcoming events. This is literally a trip through the novel from beginning to end, excluding the Black's Beach footage to keep it rated PG. No spoilers here, but I'm hoping that you'll look at these and wonder what the heck all of those pics have to do with the story! Enjoy...




Purchase the novel here!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What is the Future of Bookstores?


Can bookstores survive in the era of ebooks and ecommerce?

Dramatic changes in the publishing industry have impacted the way authors get their books to readers. Traditional book publishing and retail models have been battered by the rise of online retailers. The ebook revolution has given us more books to choose from, but all too often good books are lost in the virtual churn.

Many brick-and-mortar bookstores, including the US-based Borders chain, have closed in recent years, unable to compete or adjust. Will we see more closings in the years to come, or will bookstores innovate in order to stay relevant and solvent?

My friend Carmen Amato has been asking this question of authors, book bloggers, store owners and publishers. Carmen has now published the first in a 5-part series featuring responses from each group. The next article, with blogger responses, will be published in February 2014.

To see the full article including responses of the 25 authors, visit Carmen's website here!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Setting the Scene

I've heard it said that it's always a good idea to start a new story or segment with a one- or two-line intro to who is where. As a thriller writer, I have to disagree.

Consider these two approaches to the same passage:

Approach 1:
By the time they caught up with him, he had forgotten to keep running. Lawrence Naden was incoherent and scarcely recognizable—the sloughed, discarded skin of a human being. 
It had been a rainy week in Tijuana. A small river of brown water carried trash along the gutters of the squalid street. Piles of refuse collected in rough areas, generating dams that would eventually break with the weight of the water and garbage behind them.
A burst of static preceded the heavily accented warning from the megaphone. “You’ve got nowhere to go, Naden!” 
Approach 2:
It had been a rainy week in Tijuana. A small river of brown water carried trash along the gutters of the squalid street. 
Except for a handful of onlookers, most of them ragged children, the street was abandoned. The regular residents had fled at the first rumor of approaching law enforcement. This time, however, drugs were only a secondary concern; the federales were looking for a single individual. 
A burst of static preceded the heavily accented warning from the megaphone. “You’ve got nowhere to go, Naden!”
The first starts with action and a character. The second begins by setting the scene. Which is better? I favor the first, but then again, I wrote it. So I already know where the scene is set. As a reader, do you find the first approach jarring? Is it easier to follow the second? Which approach does a better job of pulling you in?

Authors: how do you tackle setting the scene? Do you tend to start with action, or with a short description? Readers: which do you prefer to read?