Yesterday I did an Ask Me Anything event at AMAfeed.com. I answered questions about writing, writer’s block, story structure, characters, research, talent, and the worst review I ever received. Head on over and check it out.
Meg Gardiner — award winning thriller writer. Ask me anything!
Monday, May 21, I’ll be hosting an AMA event on AMAfeed.com. That means you can head over and ask me anything. You can even ask your question right now. When the event goes live, I’ll reply.
Meg Gardiner — Ask Me Anything
May 21, 2018
2 P.M. Eastern
Check it out!
In the next few months I have a number of events — a mix of talks, book signings, workshops, seminars, and conferences. Check ’em out.
David Ricciardi in conversation with Meg Gardiner
April 20, 2018
Murder by the Book
Books on the Lake
In support of the Grosse Pointe Library Foundation
May 5, 2018
Noon – 3 PM
Grosse Pointe, Michigan
Texas Writes at the Bonham, Texas, Public Library
May 19, 2018
10 a.m. — 1 p.m.
Writing seminar and panel discussion with Meg Gardiner and David Eric Tomlinson. Free and open to the public.
July 10-14, 2018
Grand Hyatt, New York City
I’ll be teaching at Master Craftfest and Craftfest, and speaking at Thrillerfest.
September 6-9, 2018
St. Petersburg, Florida
I hope I’ll have a chance to see some of you along the way!
As part of the launch of Into the Black Nowhere, I did a bunch of talking. To readers, radio hosts, and magazines. Here’s a roundup. Just in case you want to know more about the novel, or my writing process, or which tunes I listen to when I write. Bonus: click through to enough articles, and you’ll see what I look like when I go axe throwing.
Meg Gardiner’s Dark Past — Texas Monthly
How Author Meg Gardiner Gets Into the Mind of a Killer — Austin Monthly
The Quintessential Interview: Meg Gardiner — Seattle Review of Books
Tracking the Darkness — The Big Thrill
The Kindle Chronicles Podcast
A while back I gave a talk to Creative Mornings, “a breakfast lecture series for the creative community.” Every month Creative Mornings picks a topic, and groups in 183 cities around the globe bring in local speakers to lecture on it. Earlier, I posted some of the artwork that people drew at the talk.
I spoke to Creative Mornings/Austin on the topic of Mystery. The video of my talk is now online. Here you go.
Y’all know I don’t just love to write. I love to talk about writing, and teach writing, and write about writing.
When UNSUB was published a few months ago, I wrote an article for Signature, the Penguin Random House online magazine. “Writing a New Series: A Guide to Creating a World from Scratch.” Now Signature has included the article in its annual writing guide — which you can download for free.
Signature’s 2017 Ultimate Writing Guide includes writing advice from twenty-two authors, including Jill Santopolo, Ammon Shea, Jan Karon, Tess Gerritsen, and me. It includes articles about how to:
- Banish writer’s block,
- Revise a draft without losing your mind,
- Turn off your internal editor while writing,
- Craft a believable world,
- And much more.
The guide is cosponsored by Merriam-Webster. What are you waiting for? Download it now.
My next novel, Into the Black Nowhere, will be published in early 2018. It’s almost ready to go. I spent this week proofreading the “first pass” of the typeset pages.
Editing, like everything else in writing, is a process. It’s a back-and-forth: between me and my ideas; with my agent and editor; with the copyeditor and proofreader; and, finally, with my own judgment that the novel in its entirety — the story, structure, characters, suspense, pacing, voice, and wording of every sentence — is the best I can make it.
Each step in the process comes with its own challenges. And each version of the story I write gets comments. For this novel — the sequel to UNSUB — here’s how the notes and editorial suggestions I’ve received have evolved.
- This novel is a cat-and-mouse thriller in which Caitlin Hendrix pursues a charming, devious killer across the western US. Why do you insert a convoluted subplot about one victim’s greedy grandparents attempting to steal an inheritance?
- The mid-novel murder is dramatic, splashy, and completely predictable. What if you flipped the situation on its head?
(Me: If I do that… hey! A whole fresh, unexpected plot line appears.)
- The pace in the first half is, to put it kindly, leisurely. Okay, it’s slow. Remember the reviews you got for UNSUB, which praised its tautness and drive? Yeah, do that again.
- The ending needs more brains, less brawn. For instance: Why is Caitlin clinging to the roof rack of a careening SUV? Get her off of there. Now.
- So many cops! So many FBI agents! New ones seem to pop up every few pages. They roam the novel in groups, holding constant conversations. Send some of them home.
- Why does one character describe a life-and-death struggle after the fact, through dialogue? You’re missing a chance to show a badass fight. WRITE THE SCENE.
- Does this scene take place on Wednesday? (Me: Yes. Obviously.)
- Are you positive this scene takes place on Wednesday? (Me: Completely.)
- Then why is it still Tuesday? (Me: GAH.)
First pass pages:
- Me: Delete “fast.” Insert “quick.”
- Me: Delete “printout.” Insert “documents.”
- Me: Delete “asshole.” Insert: “jackass.”
As I said, it’s a process.
And, if you want to see how I put all these suggestions into practice, you can preorder the novel.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound