Perhaps I should rephrase that. What am I good at?
It's difficult to be objective about your own work. For that reason, it's useful to keep your eyes open to feedback from readers, reviewers, etc.
I recently heard from a person who felt I didn't describe my characters well enough. She'd read one of my more recent Brad Frame stories and didn't feel as if she could picture Brad or Sharon very well. I probably took more care to offer description of those characters in the early books of the series, but now that I'm working on Brad Frame mystery #7, I don't think about it as strongly. The flip side of me not describing the characters sufficiently is that the reader can engage their imagination, perhaps conjuring up a vision of themselves one of my story heroes. I once read that Erle Stanley Ga...
The guy pictured to the left is famed mystery/suspense writer David Baldacci. He served as Keynote Speaker for the annual SleuthFest conference sponsored by the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. The conference was held at the end of February in Boca Raton, Florida. I attended along with several hundred other mystery authors and writers.
Gathering with colleagues to help improve your craft is always a great experience. While the conference is still fresh in my mind, I want to share a few observations.
I first started writing in 1987. I joined a local writers group and nearly every week I could be found browsing the shelves of the writing section at my local bookstore. I would swap books on writing with other writers, and share stories of best practices. Not long after I joined...
I've begun working on my latest Brad Frame novel. For fans of the series, this story precedes all the others. It occurs in the fall of 2001, at a time when Brad was the only person working in his agency (aside from his mentor, Nick Argostino). He hadn't quite become a household name in the Philadelphia area, and he's not quite as experienced.
Might we see a few rough edges as he attempts to solve this case? Perhaps. I'll leave that to your reflection after you get a chance to read it later this year.
I usually tell Brad's story in third person, and augment with Sharon's first person accounts. YARD GOAT is in Brad's first person point of view.
About the title... yes, it's an odd one, but relevant to Brad. He has a fascination with trains, real as well as the model railroad in...
My latest suspense novel was published right before Christmas. A few people have had time to read and provide comments. I'm pleased to share a few reactions:
"Great read! The storyline is relevant to our times and the characters are quite engaging. I would love to see more works with these characters in the future!"
"Flynt’s narrative moves along smoothly, interweaving Ryan’s reporting with his classes and student life. Ryan’s life is slightly shadowed by his military experiences, as he has nightmares and occasionally hears from fellow veterans, but his character also combines curiosity and the kind of dogged chasing down of leads one imagines typical of a reporter. His healthy cynicism allows him to resist attempts by various presidential candidates to influence him, but isn’t strong enou...
I'm fascinated by the ads that offer to determine your ancestry by testing your DNA. If I ever get extra money, I may invest in such a test.
Based on what I know of my grandparents, my ancestry is firmly in the British Isles. Flynt is a Welsh name (the spelling has varied, and there is a county in Wales named Flint). My mother's maiden name is McBride. My great grandmother emigrated from Ireland (her family name was Kelly) and she married a McBride. Doesn't get much more Irish than Kelly/McBride.
When I look at other grandparents, I find the names Haines and Kirkwood, both decidedly English in origin. Another great grandparent had the surname of Yohe, also English, though there may be Germanic roots to that family as well.
As the saying goes, we all came from somewhere. The Flynt fa...