Essays On Writing:

Is it Time to Quit the Day Job to Write Full Time?
Most artists have dreamed of turning their back on the workaday world and throwing their entire being into their writing or singing or painting or… well, you get it. How do you know when it’s time (or if it’s okay) to pull the trigger on a job—or, in my case, on a 35-year career?… Read more

Why I Write Thrillers
Remember that time you were walking across the parking lot and you got a weird vibe from the guy who was approaching from the other direction? You passed without incident, but in the fraction of a second when your last chance to run evaporated, you felt a rush of genuine fear… Read more

Skin Like Leather
We always tell up-and-comers that they’ve got to have a thick skin if they’re ever going to break into the publishing business. As the rejections pile up, it’s hard not to lose faith in your own abilities… Read more

Character Motivation
Someone asked me recently about how I motivate my characters. The person told me that he’d read an article somewhere about writing biographies for your characters, or maybe interviewing them to find out why they do what they do… Read more

The Power of the Pen
An undeniable symptom of my latent dorkdom was—and continues to be—my love of pens. It started with the old reliable clear-barreled Bic… Read more

How I Got Published:

The Query Letter
As an author, you have a commodity to sell—your novel—and the only means readily available to you is direct mail marketing, in the form of a query letter… Read more

The Synopsis: Demystifying The Mystery
This synopsis is word for word what convinced agents to take a look at my manuscript, and to ultimately offer to represent me… Read more

Miscellaneous Writing:

My Cholecystectomy Adventure
In May of 2010, I had an emergency cholecystectomy. That’s what normal people would call the separation of one’s gallbladder from one’s viscera. Mine had decided to die on me, and it turned out it had intentions to take the rest of me with it… Read more

A Moment That Haunts Forever
Write what you know. Good God, how many times have we heard that over the years? As if Jack Ryan was Tom Clancy’s pseudonym, or Lincoln Rhyme Jeffery Deaver’s… Read more