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Guest Blogger: KJ Howe: THE FREEDOM BROKER, SKYJACK—FULL IMMERSION IN THE DARK WORLD OF KIDNAP AND RANSOM

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Do you ever wonder how well you would cope if you were kidnapped?  This question burned in my mind, so I started digging, and my fascination with this dark world led me down a rabbit hole that has truly changed my life.  

For the last five years, in preparation for writing The Freedom Broker series, I have interviewed kidnap negotiators, former hostages, reintegration experts, psychiatrists who specialize in the captive’s mindset, K&R insurance executives, and the special forces soldiers who deliver ransoms and execute rescues. This monumental journey has been both inspiring and heartbreaking.  Captivity is a form of purgatory.  Hostages are alive, but they aren’t really living, dependent on their kidnappers for everything, all freedoms snatched away the moment they are taken. 

Worldwide, more than 40,000 people are kidnapped every year, and this staggering number only reflects the incidents that have been reported. The actual number is much higher, as kidnapping has become an international crisis, especially in certain politically unstable parts of the globe. Why?  In some cases, displaced military and police turn their security skills to kidnap-and-ransom to put food on the table; criminal organizations of all kinds and sizes abduct locals and tourists for quick cash; and terrorist organizations carry out kidnappings not just as a fundraising mechanism, but also as propaganda stunts. With little to no threat of punishment in some regions, these individuals and organizations can often kidnap at will.

Only around twenty-five to thirty people work as full-time crisis response consultants, the industry term for elite kidnap negotiators—and that number is also growing. Response consultants work for private companies, counseling their clients on travel safety.  And when the worst happens, they offer support and guidance to hostages and their families while negotiating for the release of the captives. Responders travel all over the world and risk their lives to help others. I created Thea Paris, an elite kidnap negotiator who has very personal motivations for following this challenging career.

These kidnap specialists are patient, tactical, and brilliant at making decisions under enormous duress. They are usually fluent in at least one other language (and sometimes many more), as linguistic nuance can be critical in life-and-death negotiations. The backgrounds of these elite negotiators vary, but most have experience in the security arena, with résumés that include jobs at such organizations as MI6 or the FBI.

I had the privilege of getting to know Peter Moore, the longest-held hostage in Iraq—almost 1,000 days—and his story touched me deeply. Peter was taken with four British military soldiers, and he is the only one who made it home alive. He spent many months blindfolded and chained. To keep himself occupied, he caught mosquitos between his cuffed hands, trying to beat his daily record to keep his mind engaged. When the blindfold was removed, Peter spent endless hours staring at the cracks on the wall, designing an entire train system in his mind, which he was able to reproduce on paper after returning home. He also tried to befriend his captors so he could negotiate for small luxuries, like toothpaste and toilet paper.

I hope that the intensive research I’ve done and the novels I’ve brought into the world, The Freedom Broker and Skyjack, help to raise awareness for people fortunate enough that kidnapping remains an experience that happens only to characters in the books they read.  For an in-depth map of the kidnap hot zones of the world, please visit my website at http://www.kjhowe.com

Join Kim Thursday 4-29 at 7 pm at Book Soup in LA and Saturday 4-21 at 3 pm at Book Carnival in Orange.

http://www.booksoup.com

https://www.annesbookcarnival.com

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Posted by on April 19, 2018 in Guest Blogger, Writing

 

Guest Blogger: Gayle Lynds: It’s Good Fortune To Marry a Writer

It is with great pleasure that I welcome my friend Gayle Lynds as she tells us about her life with the late Dennis Lynds. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to know him. He was a character–in the truest sense of the word—and an iconic writer. Thank you. Gayle, for sharing with us.

Gayle & Den on SB wharf

Gayle and Dennis Lynds

 

It’s Good Fortune To Marry a Writer

Who knew falling in love with an author could lead to such adventure — in fact, to bigamy. I had a lot of fun being married to mystery novelist Dennis Lynds, who died in 2005 after we’d been together more than twenty good years. He was 81 and still young. Iconoclastic, witty, and generous, he’s credited with bringing the detective novel into the modern age.

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In the process, he enriched the world with some 60 books and 200 short stories.

Dan Fortune Speaks

Here’s where my bigamy comes in: Den wrote under a dozen pseudonyms, many of them his own. For instance, I was married to Mark Sadler, John Crowe, and William Arden. He also wrote as the Shadow, Mike Shayne, and Nick Carter, to name a few more.

When we met, I was at the beginning of my career, publishing literary short stories. He was an award-winning author a couple of well-preserved decades older than me.

“You should write mystery novels,” he advised me.

“My brain doesn’t work that way,” I advised him. “I want to write thrillers.”

“You can do a lot with mysteries,” he insisted. He discussed each alias’s social themes, first person versus third person, setting choices, and favorite characters.

“Yes, but I figure I can do a lot with thrillers, too,” I insisted back.

den in office with sunglasses

He was not impressed, but he humored me. Thus began our life together, with the push-pull of two authors working in similar fields. The marriage was smooth sailing. The only times we disagreed (well, figure passionately disagreed) was over our books. It was incredibly fun, and an opportunity for growth for me, and an opportunity for him to discover he wasn’t the only workaholic. And yes, he grew, too. It’s inevitable with a fine writer.

Of all his novels, my favorites are those in the Dan Fortune series, written as Michael Collins. Dan is iconic, the much beloved main character of one of America’s longest-running detective series.

I particularly enjoy how evocative the stories are of the eras in which they were written. For instance, in Act of Fear, the first Dan Fortune mystery, New York City is alive on the pages.

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Back in the 1970s, Chelsea was colorful, with characters straight out of a Damon Runyon tale. It’s here that Dan Fortune grew up.  His best friend was Andy Pappas. They were poor kids, and Dan and Andy broke into ships together, stealing cargo.  Then Dan lost his arm in a failed robbery, and he decided it was time to put out his shingle: Dan Fortune, Private Detective.  But Andy was good at crime. Taking over the docks, he became boss of bosses, a vicious racketeer. Still, he’d let Dan be familiar, call him by his first name, even give him crap – until now….

What a story it is. In fact, Act of Fear, won the Edgar. Our family is proud to finally be able to republish all of the Dan Fortunes, for the first time in eBooks and in trade paperback.  I hope you’ll consider trying just one.

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For links and more information, please visit www.DennisLynds.com

New York Times bestseller Gayle Lynds is the award-winning author of 10 international spy novels, including The Assassins, The Book of Spies, and The Last Spymaster. Her books have won numerous awards.  Library Journal hails her as “the reigning queen of espionage fiction.” Associated Press calls her “a master of the Modern Cold War spy thriller.” Her novel, Masquerade, was named by Publishers Weekly as one of the top 10 spy novels of all time.  With Robert Ludlum, she created the Covert-One series. A member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, she is co-founder (with David Morrell) of International Thriller Writers. Please visit her at www.GayleLynds.com and read her blog posts at www.RogueWomenWriters.com

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2018 in Writing

 

Guest Blogger: Lisa Black: Predators and Prey

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PREDATORS AND PREY

When my husband and I were buying our second home, the bank we went to suggested an adjustable-rate mortgage. It had a nice rate, much lower than the 30-year fixed, which “couldn’t go up more than 2% per year,” and we “could lock it in at any time.” Period. For some reason I cannot recall, something made me check into this further. I was not good at math and certainly had no head for business, which had always bored me silly, but I did have a job as a secretary, which meant I had a phone, an office in which to use it all day long, and time. I wound up talking to four different people at three different banks before I got the situation clear. The rate that could be “locked in” was a completely different rate—not the adjustable rate at all, but the prime rate plus whatever the bank currently tacked on, a rate that was already higher than the 30-year fixed. When we met with the loan officer I reconfirmed this, and she said only, “But the adjustable rate might go down.” (As it turned out, it did, but still—I’m going to base thirty years of payments on “might”? I don’t think so.)

We passed on the ARM.

But questionable, risky and downright deceptive loaning practices went on, and my hometown, the setting of my books, suffered greatly. As a consumer activist explains to my detectives in Perish:

Perish cover

“If you remember the housing bust, 2008, thirty percent of Slavic village homes went into foreclosure, Cleveland led the country in vacant homes, etcetera etcetera?”

Riley said only, “Yes.”

“Because mortgage originators like Sterling made loans to people they knew bloody well could never pay them. They set it up, collect their fees for doing a little paperwork, the investors get monthly payments, borrowers begin paying off their house, everybody’s happy.”

“So what’s the problem?”

“You know how that Greek guy said everything had to be in moderation?”

“Yeah?”

“When there’s money being made, moderation goes out the window. Even people with bad credit don’t want to pay high rates and, obviously, don’t have the money to pay high payments, so . . . creative math. Adjustable rates that you can ‘lock in’—except the rate you’re locking in is a completely different rate, prime plus whatever the bank feels like tacking on, so from day one this will already be higher than a thirty-year fixed. Low rates with balloon payments, which would work out fine if you know you’re going to win the lottery in three years. Interest-only payments, in which you aren’t paying a penny of the principal until the payment leaps up by one or two hundred percent in, say, seven years.”

“But—” Riley began.

“Exactly. Why make loans you know are going to fail? Because Wall Street compensation is based on that year’s performance. All the higher-ups get bonuses based on a percentage of profit—for CEOs this can be millions, double- and triple-digit millions. So when they will make more in one year than most people could make in several lifetimes, they don’t think in the long run.

“These firms—Ameriquest, Long-Term Capital, Long Beach Mortgage, and now Sterling—they don’t care if they falsify paperwork, whether they let their clients lie about their income, whether they flat out defraud their clients by pretending to sign them up for a fixed rate and then fake the papers to put them in an adjustable rate—because by the time their monthly payment suddenly triples and they default, the original firm is long out of it and the borrower is arguing with a company that never knew them and only knows what the original firm told it.” Ned went on, using both hands for emphasis. “People have to fight back. Cleveland and a bunch of other cities sued the lenders, but the mortgage banker’s association donated a few million to the state political parties and the lawsuits were thrown out. The Federal Reserve, the SEC, Congress threw up their hands and said there was nothing they could do. In 2008 the music finally stopped and some dancers collapsed, the government bailed out the rest, and our lawmakers were supposed to make laws so this couldn’t happen again.”

Jack’s legs twitched, aching to move, to do something.

“Except with caps on their compensation the investment banks and mortgage banks had plenty of money to keep up the kickbacks to the political parties, so the new laws wound up watered down into trickles.”

“Wait,” Jack said. “Are you protesting things that happened ten years ago, or things that are happening now?”

“The past is preface,” Swift said, but wiped away the smug tone when he saw Jack’s lack of appreciation for it. “The behavior I protested in 2008 slunk away for a while, laid low but never went away. Mortgage securities were a cash cow, and just because we slaughtered the cow doesn’t mean people lost their taste for milk. The big firms reined it in because no one, not even them, wants to go through that again, but little places like Joanna’s saw opportunity. Have you noticed commercials for instant credit and cold calls from barely legal sharks offering anyone who answers a no-collateral, pick-a-payment loan? They’re baaack—doing all the bad things they did before, but this time having the sense to get out before someone blows too hard on their house of cards.”

Borrower beware.

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Lisa Black has spent over twenty years in forensic science, first at the coroner’s office in Cleveland Ohio and now as a certified latent print examiner and CSI at a Florida police dept. Her books have been translated into six languages, one reached the NYT Bestseller’s list and one has been optioned for film and a possible TV series.

www.lisa-black.com
@LisaBlackAuthor

 

ITW’s Fifth Annual Online Thriller School

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Last year’s Thriller School was a great success and students came away with many new skills for their writing toolbox. And this year will be just as useful to writers of all skill levels.

This year’s seven-week program begins April 2nd, 2018, and as before the craft of thriller writing will be front and center. Each instructor will teach an aspect of the craft through a real-time, Facebook Live video available exclusively to the students who are registered for the Online Thriller School.

Students will have an opportunity to ask questions of each week’s instructor either during or immediately after the video presentation. The video will be available for the entire week in case some students are unable to make the live presentation on Monday. Any questions that aren’t answered on Monday of each week will be addressed on Thursday either through a follow-up Facebook Live video or in writing (instructor’s choice).

All videos and Q&As will be available throughout the entire course, and for approximately 6 months thereafter.

Every writer knows that learning to write well is a life-long pursuit and writers must never cease improving their craft. There are many wonderful books, classes, and online sources that will help you improve your storytelling craft, but where can you learn directly from the best? From New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors?

Right here. At ITW’s Fifth Annual Online Thriller School.

We have assembled a cadre of excellent teachers and topics so please join us and let us help you take your writing and storytelling to the next level.

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The Current Class Schedule:

4/2/18: Storytelling: The Art and Craft Of Story—Steven James

4-9: Plot: What’s Happening Here?—Grant Blackwood

4-16: Character: The People Who Drive The Story—F. Paul Wilson

4-23: Point Of View: Whose Eyes Are You Looking Through?—HP Ryan

4-30: Dialog: It’s Not Like Real Conversation==James Scott Bell

5-7: Setting, Mood, Atmosphere: Bringing the Right “Feel” to Your Story?—Gayle Lynds

5-14: Voice: What Does A Good Story “Sound” Like?—DP Lyle

Attendance is limited, and we sold out last year, so register today!

Details: http://thrillerwriters.org/thrillerschool/

Register: http://thrillerwriters.org/thrillerschool/register/

 

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2018 in Writing

 

Guest Blogger: Lance Mason: The Mechanics of Showing

The Mechanics of Showing

This essay was inspired by, and is based on, a discussion with the novelist and teacher Lee Martin at the Vermont College of Fine Art’s 2016 Postgraduate Writers Conference, directed by Ellen Lesser.

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Show, don’t tell is a recognized dictum of the writer’s art and the editor’s science, aimed at a product that breathes on the page.  Yet the vivid pictures that writers must draw when showing are not photographs or etchings, oil paintings or cinema, but mental images conjured from words, so the work at which writers daily pound away will always be an assemblage of written language, and the reason we call it story-telling.  The good telling, though, becomes showing.  This happens when the written form, merging skill, insight, and experience, coaxes the reader out of sentence structure and the alphabet and into the reader’s private imagination.  The writer then helps the reader navigate that place and find—or even create—his/her own bank of images, hoping to ignite those visions for the reader that best capture the intent of the writer’s words.  The writing then burns more brightly when (paraphrasing from Stephen King’s On Writing) the reader reads what’s in the writer’s mind, i.e. what the writer is showing.

Why can this be a vehicle of enjoyment for both reader and writer?  When the work stirs true intimacy in the heart of the reader, he or she feels validated for having the imagination to see what’s in the writer’s creative effort, much as a music buff feels validated in the grasp of Beethoven’s Fifth, or a viewer senses the embrace in Rodin’s The Kiss.  Perhaps this “bridge to intimacy” is why Jane Austen’s writing exerts so much power 200 years on, or why The Iliad does after three millennia.

For the writer, this “image ignition” will prove that his/her invention works, that this “machine of words” does carry to another person the ideas created in the writer’s mind and written on the page.  It has done what its inventor intended: to bring enjoyment, even ecstasy, to the reader.  Seeing the bulb light up is as joyful for the writer as the one that lit up for Thomas Edison in Menlo Park.

Still, this machine and its incandescent bulb are built from words, leaving the writer’s mind and, if stirring enough in efficacy, rising off the page and into the reader’s thoughts and emotions, riding into his/her mind and re-appearing there as pictures that show the writer’s intent.  Yet where does the author find the concoction that will transport to the reader the story-image the writer means to depict?

The cheap answer is “Many places,” but renowned author, teacher, and novelist Lee Martin (The Bright Forever, Late One Night) espouses three necessary elements for every story: a) the chronology of events, b) the cause-and-effect forces at work, and c) the consequences of (characters’) actions.  The inspiration, imagination, and erudition by which the writer tells these to the reader will determine the efficacy with which he or she shows the story through the images evoked.

Naturally, with someone like Martin campaigning this triumvirate, we all can see its necessity.  Once the master artisan has shown me how to nail on the bootheel, the method is self-evident—no deep mysteries to it, right?  Yet the process is worth a disciplined look because creative eliciting of what I will call Martin’s Triad can put real magic into a story, memoir, or essay.

Chronology is simply the order-in-time of all the events that will be revealed.  The chain of cause-and-effect puts weight into the showing with details of each event’s timing, breadth, and outcomes.  Outcomes (consequences) derive from the intersection of chronology and causes, intended and unintended; they are the penalties or rewards, big or small, final or intermediate, which answer the question, “What happened?”  Without that answer, there is no story, but without Martin’s formula of: a) an orderly chronology plus b) a logical chain of cause and effect, the c) consequences are neither inevitable nor believable.

Of course, a flawless sequence-in-time, an inarguable series of causal links, and a logically connected set of outcomes do not guarantee a wonderful—or even bearable—story.  Lee Martin wouldn’t say so.  However, without them, you almost surely will not have one.  (It should—but doesn’t—go without saying that these three “story struts” must be imbued with conflict, the fuel that makes them glow with energy and emotion.  A train’s timetable, the traction of the locomotive, and the stations on the route are just scribblings on a schedule; but put a bomb on the tracks, a criminal gang in the baggage car, and a Pinkerton Agent in pursuit, and you have a story.)

How, then, do we use these three struts to fashion the story of our dreams?

First, in a seeming contradiction, there is no need to use the Triad logically or sequentially in the storytelling (though we also must not violate them).  The narrative may open with the chronology’s last act, rather than the first.  It may reveal characters’ actions that, initially, have no apparent ties to cause-and-effect.  A consequence may impose itself from an origin nowhere in sight, or in a way that seems illogically rendered.  However, good writing, rewarding to the writer as well as the reader, will execute this apparent jumbling in a way that doesn’t confuse or humble the reader, stint on the action, or, ultimately, violate the chronology, cause-and-effect, and inevitability of the (often unexpected) consequences.

Wonderful writing can cascade from the imaginative disassembly-reassembly of these three components, flowing into a narrative that satisfies the basics of a beginning, a middle, and an end.  Further, if you want to introduce the “Big Five” early (main characters, MCs’ goals and motivations, your “hook,” plot expectations, and launching the story), you may need to defer until later the orderly chronology that will eventually complete the story, and much of the causality tied to that opening.  In addition, we may open with consequences, but give evidence for their cause or justification much later.  Yet, in reassembling the narrative order you choose to use for Martin’s Triad, the ultimate integrity of the three must be protected.  The underlying logic and causes must remain intact and, in fact, be bolstered, even if in ways only gradually revealed.  In the end, the three elements must be resolved and kept whole, for they are the mechanics of the showing.

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BIO: Raised in rural California, Mason worked blue-collar jobs during his studies at UCSB, Loyola (BSc), and UCLA (doctorate).  He has taught at UCLA, the National University in Natal, Brazil, and Otago University in New Zealand; has presented at UCSB’s College of Creative Studies; attended VCFA 2016 Post-grad Writers Conference on scholarship.

Mason’s work has appeared in Upstreet, The Santa Barbara Independent, The Packinghouse Review, Newborders, Solo Novo, Travelers’ Tales, Tales to Go, The Roar, The Evening Street Review, Sport Literate, New Millennium Writing, and several other magazines and professional journals. ]

Pieces of Mason’s nonfiction were selected for 2017’s The Soul of a Great Traveler, an anthology of award-winning travel memoirs; The Best Travel Writing, Vol 11 (2016); Sport Literate’s Best of 2016.  His first publication a piece in Voices Of Survival, (Capra Press, 1986), alongside Arthur C. Clarke, Indira Ghandi, Carl Sagan, and the Pope.  His most recognized short piece is “The Train to Harare,” an African travel memoir with half a dozen awards and honors.

Published in 2016, A Proficiency in Billiards is a book-length collection of essays and memoirs that has met with favorable reviews.  The writer is completing his fifth novel Loan Star, on the power and greed of banking and political corruption in America.  He has also completed The Killing of Chuy Muro, The China Contract, its sequel The Eunuch of Shanghai, and The Brass Ring.  Mason and Gary Byrne, PhD, published The Seven Paths to Poverty, a guide for young adults to avoid financial hardship.

Mason has spent forty years exploring, living, and working overseas, including a half dozen round-the-world trips by every conveyance from boots to bicycle to dugout canoe.  Mason lived in New Zealand for thirteen years, the setting for portions of several long and short works.  Rugby, cycle-racing, live theater, wine, and fishing have all interfered at times with his writing life.

Lance Mason Website: https://lance-mason.com

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Posted by on January 4, 2018 in Writing

 

A-LIST Launch Party

3 Books

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Mystery Ink Bookstore
www.mysteryink.com/mysteryink@hotmail.com
8907 Warner Avenue, #135, Huntington Beach, CA
714 960-4000

Sunday, December 17, 2:00 p.m. – D. P. Lyle, A-LIST Launch Party!
Cake!  Wine & Cheese!
Award-winning author D.P. Lyle will be talking about and signing his latest Jake Longly
thriller, A-LIST.  Jake and Nicole Jemison are off to New Orleans at the behest of Nicole’s uncle, movie producer Charles Balfour, when his megastar, A-list actor, Kirk Ford, awakens in his hotel bed with the body of Kristi Guidry, a local college co-ed. Ford, remembers little of the evening and nothing of the murder. And, to make matters worse, Kristi is the niece of a local mafioso-type who will do whatever is necessary to avenge her death. The clock is ticking as Jake and Nicole struggle to decipher who’s lying, who’s telling the truth, and exactly who schemed to murder Kristi Guidry.

D.P. Lyle, MD, is the Macavity Award winning and Edgar Award nominated author of the nonfiction books FORENSICS: A GUIDE FOR WRITERS and FORENSICS FOR DUMMIES.  He has been the consultant on numerous TV shows including, Law & Order and Monk and is the author of the ROYAL PAINS books based on the TV series. His crime novels include STRESS FRACTION, HOT LIGHTS, COLD STEEL and RUN TO GROUND.  His first novel in his Jake Longly Thriller series is DEEP SIX.

A-LIST INFO: http://www.dplylemd.com/book-details/a-list.html

 

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2017 in Writing

 

A-LIST Review and Interview in ITW’s The Big Thrill

COMING 12-12-17 from Oceanview

FROM THE BIG THRILL 12-1-17:

A-LIST by D.P. LYLE

By R.G. Belsky

Award-winning thriller author D.P. Lyle loves to write about murder – the fictional kind in his novels and the real thing too.

Lyle’s new book A-LIST is about a star actor accused of killing his young girlfriend. It’s the second in the Jake Longly series, featuring an ex-baseball pitcher and somewhat unorthodox private investigator who works (not always well) for his father.

“In this one,” Lyle explains, “Jake and girlfriend Nicole are asked by Nicole’s uncle Charles Balfour—big-time producer and director—to go to New Orleans where Uncle Charles’ franchise A-List actor Kirk Ford has awakened with a dead girl in his bed at the famous Monteleone Hotel. Oh, the girl is a college co-ed who just happens to be the niece of Tony Guidry, a ruthless, mafia-type. Things go sideways in a hurry.”

Lyle says he created the Jake Longly character, who first appeared in Deep Six last year, to make this series comedic as well as a good mystery/thriller.

“I wanted Jake, the protagonist, to have certain qualities. Good-looking, always a hit with the ladies, not overly ambitious, not the smartest guy on the planet but smart in his own way, and likable. I also wanted him to have conflicts with his father who is an entirely different person than Jake. But mainly, I wanted him to be a handsome, ex-jock who more or less skates through life, having fun and avoiding major conflicts.”

Adding to the fun is Nicole, Jake’s sexy girlfriend and partner on his cases. “Nicole is actually one of my favorite characters,” Lyle says. “She is achingly beautiful but not an airhead. Not even close. She’s focused, smart, sarcastic, and knows how to handle Jake, and just about any other situation. I didn’t want her to be the beautiful sidekick or the victim or any other one-dimensional cutout character. I wanted her to have substance and indeed in the stories, she is often the one who comes up with the solution to the problem—and is instrumental to the resolution.”

But as well-known as Lyle is as a thriller writer (he’s won numerous fiction awards), he’s also renowned for his real-life expertise in medicine and forensics. A practicing cardiologist, Lyle writes popular non-fiction books on the subject of forensic science. And he maintains a unique medical/forensic website – The Crime Fiction Writer’s Forensics Blog – where countless writers come for his advice on how to murder someone in their novels or on screen.

This has included many top-selling thriller authors as well as TV crime shows such as Law & Order; Diagnosis Murder; Monk; Cold Case; CSI: Miami; and Medium.  

“I think I have about 6000 questions on my computer from writers over the past 20 years. I work with both novelists and screenwriters. Most of the questions either have a medical or a forensic science slant such as how poisons work, what various traumas look like, how DNA works, and in each case, the questions are geared toward solving a story problem.

“I’ve been asked some amazing questions over the years including things like would Abraham Lincoln have survived with modern medicine, how did David kill Goliath, what would a corpse look like on Mars, or in a swamp or a freezer, how does vampire blood work, what poison would mimic a heart attack, is there a poison that is untraceable, what happens when someone is hanged, or drowned, or beheaded. The list goes on and on.”

There is even a story about how he once helped novelist and TV writer Lee Goldberg with his plot issues – and also possibly saved his life by diagnosing him with dangerously high cholesterol as a cardiologist.

“I love the guy. Lee and I have worked together on many stories over the years. I helped him with several of his TV scripts as well as the Monk and Diagnosis Murder books he wrote—and a couple of the ones he’s doing with Janet Evanovich now,” Lyle recalls. “As for his cholesterol, we were having dinner one night at a conference many years ago, both of us having steaks, and the subject of cholesterol came up. I asked him when he last had his checked and he gave me a blank stare. I had him tested and we went from there.”

So how did Lyle go from a career in medicine as a cardiologist to becoming a writer?

“I grew up in the South where everyone can tell a story, and I grew up in a family of storytellers. So I could always spin a yarn but I wasn’t sure I could write one. I always said that when I retired I would begin to write. But 20 to 25 years ago now I decided if not now when? I took some night classes at the University of California, Irvine writing program, joined a couple of critique groups, and began writing. I found out that spinning a yarn is an entirely different animal than writing one. But it’s been a fun ride.”

Lyle did two other mystery/thriller series before this one – the Dub Walker and the Samantha Cody series. Walker is a forensic and evidence expert, Cody an ex-cop and ex-professional boxer.

He said he loves both characters, but for now, he’s concentrating on writing Jake Longly and a lot of other new stuff.

“I’m working on the next Jake Longly story. It will be set in Florida with all the craziness that goes on down there. I’m also working on a nonfiction project as well as a couple short stories. In addition, I’m working on another book that has an entirely new main character and will be the beginning of a new series.

“Then of course, there are my ITW (International Thriller Writer) duties—putting together CraftFest, Master CraftFest, and Thriller School—always ongoing projects. So, as usual, lots of balls in the air. But I like it that way. I’m not sure whether Dub or Sam will reappear but it’s entirely possible. If I come across a storyline that best fits them then absolutely. If not, then that’s OK too.”

Original Post: http://www.thebigthrill.org/2017/11/a-list-by-d-p-lyle/

A-LIST Details: http://www.dplylemd.com/book-details/a-list.html

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2017 in Writing

 
 
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