My Writing Philosophy

... or, why are my books worth reading?

I would describe my style as fast paced action littered with stimulating concepts. I often blur the lines between protagonist and antagonist.

1. Moving Away from Good vs. Evil Boredom

It appears that books need conflict to keep interest, but that conflict is all too often a struggle between Good and Evil. Good and Evil are made up in our minds and defined differently by everyone anyway. But it's more than that: When you read such a book what side is going to win in the end? Good. When the protagonist gets into a big fight with Evil in the middle of the book, is he going to die? No. When the book opens does it look like Good is doomed? Yes. B-O-R-I-N-G.

In my books, there are different forces in conflict. They are not really Good and Evil. It may not be at all clear who you are supposed to "root for". The various characters probably all have what you consider to be both admirable qualities and flaws. You may not know what side is going to win. I find that more interesting and I hope you do, too.

2. Creating Uncertainty in the Outcome

When you watch a TV show, when the good guy detective gets into a tight spot, are you sitting there sweating it out wondering if they are about to die? Nope. They can't die. You're not afraid when the detective goes into that apartment to search for clues, they can't die. And you KNOW the detective is going to find a clue, because otherwise they would not even have made the scene. And you KNOW the detective will be caught snooping around, or have a close call and almost get caught, because those are the rules for creating tension. And at the end of the episode, if there was an explosion and it looks like they died, are you afraid they did? No.

Now imagine if the detective only had a random number of episodes to live. Each time they broke into that apartment to find clues, you'd have to wonder: are they about to get shot dead? Why, you'd actually have to watch the show and see what happens. What a novel concept.

In my books, main characters die. Major characters can die in the middle of the book. You have to read it to find out who lives and who dies. In my opinion, this is more entertaining than the cliche, recycled stuff we get day in and day out where you already know what is going to happen.

3. It's Not All Nice and Tidy

There are red herrings in my plots, because that's the way real life is. It is possible no one will ever reach for that shotgun over the fireplace. My characters have to deal with lines of thought that turn out to be dead ends. They have to fear things that might never happen. That's a real adventure in which you don't know what will happen.

My characters can settle for someone not quite right for them in a new relationship, and after it's started maybe their real love walks through the door. Plot lines may be left dangling; maybe no one ever finds out that answer they were seeking and maybe they never find out what happened to old so 'n so. Real life has unfinished business and so do my stories.

If you're looking for themes in my stories, you might as well look for themes in real life, because the only thing you will find is a theme you imagined yourself.