I just returned from my annual pilgrimage – ThrillerFest. I only attended for a couple of days this year, focusing on CraftFest – some top-notch lectures to help me improve my craft of thriller writing.
James Bruno gave a great talk on “Writing About the White House, President & Secret Service in Thriller Fiction”. Mr. Bruno served as a diplomat with the U.S. Dept of State for 23 years, and is a member of the Diplomatic Readiness Reserve. He holds M.A’s from the U.S. Naval War College and Columbia U., and a B.A. from George Washington U. (http://jameslbruno.blogspot.com ). James covered specifics about The Situation Room, the President’s Daily Brief, Air Force-1, Marine One, The “Beast” (presidential limo). Great specifics with references and some pretty exciting experience he’s had over the years.
Chris Grall gave informative and entertaining back-to-back talks on “Avoiding Pistol Errors, I & II” (http://tactiquill.com ). If you’re going to include guns in your story and not an expert, I recommend you reach out to Chris. He covered semi-automatics; single action, double action and striker action. He recommends:
• Keep it simple; use common, popular pistols and avoid exotics
• Know your nomenclature and lingo; because some of your readers will
• Know when detail is needed vs when it hurts flow
• Know how the experts “do it”; example – know what bullets can and cannot do
William Bernhardt (http://www.williambernhardt.com ) gave excellent talk on “Essential Elements of a Bestselling Novel”, that include:
• Extreme readability (I couldn’t put it down!)
• Strange new worlds; secret societies, closed worlds, the inside track
• Controversy; The Dysfunctional family or the American dream turned upside down
• Suspense; Serious danger/high stakes, character you care about
• The same, but different; turning a genre inside-out or a character like you’ve never seen before
• Thing Big; major dreams, major stakes, grand scale, characters with super powers (Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Jack Ryan, etc.)
• Emotional Impact; the underdog, the strong-willed heroine
• Life traumas; imprisonment; death of someone close, personal injury
Then there was a close-door Apple iBooks Presentation. You had to sign up before hand and they appeared very secretive, but I guess that’s just the way they roll. The new Apple OS that’s coming out this fall, IOS8 will have iBooks as the default reader app automatically installed. Apple wants to compete more head-to-head with other major ebook vendors. They never mentioned the word, but obviously that would be Amazon.
On July 5, I attended the Literary Links Event at the 39th National Assembly of the Links, Inc. outside of Washington, DC, where I was able to sell and sign copies of The Pharm House. My daughter joined me as my assistant.
Bill Powers is author of The Pharm House a debut suspense/thriller from DonnaInk Publications, L.L.C. Purchase Your Copy of The Pharm House now available in E-book and hard copy format at: http://www.Amazon.com or http://www.DonnaInk.org.
Visit my website at: www.authorbillpowers.com.
For bulk orders, signings and/or interviews contact DonnaInk Publications, L.L.C. Special Markets at email@example.com.