A New York minute: Shatner, Kill Zone, Book Pod

First, look who I ran into at my publisher’s office: William Shatner. Dutton recently published his memoir Shatner Rules, and while I was signing copies of Ransom River, he peered over my shoulder.

Yes, of course it’s a cardboard cutout. Still: William Shatner.

Second, I’m guest posting at The Kill Zone:

Getting Out of the Protection Racket.

Thrillers toss characters into danger. They force cops to chase maniacs through dark woods. They make covert agents disarm suitcase nukes—while trapped by rising floodwaters and clutching a basket of kittens. The writer’s job is to keep the reader worrying: Who’ll survive? Please let it be the cop. And the kittens… won’t somebody think of the kittens?

But here’s the thing. If your sympathetic characters always survive—the hero, the partner and girlfriend and Fluffy—are you writing a real thriller? Or are you conducting a puppet show?
This raises the question: Should you ever kill a major character?

You can find out what I think at the link.

Finally, The Book Pod, a librarians’ podcast, has reviewed Ransom River. Have a listen: The Book Pod.

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