Tag Archives: Writing

Coming up: Bouchercon 2018

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This coming week, September 5-8, I’ll be at Bouchercon 2018 in Tampa. Here’s my official schedule:

A Martini with a Twist of Plot: Thrillers
Thursday, September 6
2:00-2:45 PM

Women Who Thrill
Saturday, September 8
10:00-10:50 AM

Interview: International Guest of Honor Sean Chercover
Saturday, September 8
3-3:50 PM

I’ll also be crossing my fingers for UNSUB, which is nominated for a Barry Award. I hope I’ll see some of you in Florida!

Thanks, Deadly Ink!

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I spent the weekend as the Guest of Honor at the Deadly Ink mystery conference in New Jersey. I had a blast, felt very honored, and got to enjoy a huge weather show on the flight back to Austin.

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Now I’m diving deep into finishing the first draft of my next novel. Even while I was at 36,000 feet, I was digging through the manuscript word by word.

Yep, UNSUB 3 is coming. Catch you again when I come up for air.

Deadly Ink: August 10-12

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The weekend of August 10-12 I’ll be at the Deadly Ink mystery conference in New Jersey. I’m delighted, and excited, to be this year’s Guest of Honor.

I’ll be speaking on several panels, talking about thriller writing, and generally hanging out with folks who adore crime novels as much as I do. And I’ll be crossing my fingers for UNSUB, which is nominated for Deadly Ink’s David Award along with a host of wonderful novels.

I hope I’ll see some of you there.

Thriller Time: New York Times Book Review & Book Podcast

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I’m pretty excited — okay, very excited — to be included in the New York Times Book Review and Book Podcast this week. When I was in NYC for Thrillerfest, I was interviewed by Tina Jordan about writing thrillers. It’s a joy to be included in the podcast with Lee Child, Megan Abbott, Lisa Gardner, and Lisa Scottoline. Check it out:

Making a Killing: Top Thriller Writers Talk about Their Craft

And this weekend’s NYT Book Review includes Into the Black Nowhere in “It’s Thriller Time / Lights Out!”

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The Times says: “We’re hereby calling the next title trend: thrillers that stoke our fear of the dark with titles that play on words like ‘black’ or ‘night.'”

Yeah, pretty excited.

Reminder: Writing requires more than inspiration

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Once, at a book event, a man asked me how long a novel takes to write.

I told him that for most of my career I’ve written one novel a year.

He stepped back like I’d hit him in the forehead with a spitball. “No way. A book every year? That’s impossible.”

I assured him it was extremely possible. “Deadlines are fantastically motivating.”

He frowned and shook his head. “You can’t write to a schedule.”

“Professional writers do it all the time.”

His expression shifted toward disdain. “But you can’t schedule inspiration.”

As I started to reply, he went on. Writing regularly? Ridiculous. “That’s not how inspiration works,” he said. The idea that I would deliberately sit down to write, when inspiration hadn’t driven me to the keyboard… His lips pursed.

I realized: He thinks I’m a hack.

He thought that to have imaginative value, every word an author writes must originate in an ineffable bolt of creative lightning. Unplanned. Uncontrollable. That crafting a piece of writing renders it crass and somehow inauthentic. He was a businessman, not a novelist; he admitted that the writing process was entirely foreign to him. But no matter how I explained it, he couldn’t abandon the idea that I was doing writing wrong.

I’d been invited to this event to give a speech. I’d been flown across half a continent, actually, to tell an audience of 500 people how I came to be an author with more than a dozen published novels to my credit. By pure coincidence my talk, which I gave shortly after this conversation, discussed the interplay between inspiration and craft. Inspiration is wonderful, I said. But when you’re in the trenches writing a novel, constant inspiration is neither necessary nor sufficient. Grab it when it strikes. But when it doesn’t? That’s when experience, and discipline, and a knowledge of dramatic structure, along with an understanding of plot and character and suspense — in other words, craft — will carry you across the finish line. Then you can recharge. And revise.

Inspiration, I said, looks a lot like work.

I don’t know if the man who challenged me heard the speech. Our conversation had wrapped up when he commented that he guessed publishing is a business, so he supposed that writers need to supply it with material. Then he shrugged.

“What do I know about it? I don’t read.”

My AMAfeed event: read my answers

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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!

May 21: Ask Me Anything at AMAfeed

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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!