Sunday, July 20, 2014


Great Time was Had by All

This was my 5th ThrillerFest and I had a ball!  It really is such a special conference, I can't imagine why any would-be writer wouldn't kill to attend.  Five days at the New York City Grand Hyatt, with nothing but panels on craft and publishing, parties and celebrations of new and accomplished thriller writers.

The goodie bag was packed this year

There were so many panels this year on everything from Unlocking Creativity to The Voices in your Head. This year I moderated a panel on science thrillers, and luckily most of the panelists were friends so I didn't have to be nervous. But I was, so I started with the only half-way decent science joke I could find on the internet.  "A dung beetle walks into a bar and says to the bartender, "Is this stool taken?" Okay, not great. But really, Google science jokes and you won't find much. Had dinner that night with the same bunch of science thriller friends at Artisanal. It's becoming a delicious tradition thanks to Amy Rogers.

There were numerous cocktail parties with some of my favorite authors in the world. Took some selfies with the likes of Michael Connelly, JohnSandford, Jeffrey Deaver,  and Raymond Khoury. I was so excited to finally meet Chris Grall. No, he's not a bestselling author, but he's a weapons expert that's given my advice on both my novels. Great guy.

Had lunch and an interview with Linwood Barclay who is one of the nicest, funniest authors around. His terrifying new book No Safe House is out and Don't Trust Your Eyes (one of my top ten thrillers) has been optioned by Warner Bros. We each had a cup of soup and sandwich and chatted about his books, career and ThrillerFest. He loves the conference but  wanted to know why it's always on the hottest week of the year - goodness sakes, he said, this isn't the beach! He is so right - I didn't go outside much.

All the writers of this year's ITW anthology showed up for the cocktail party.  FACEOFF features a dozen stories, each one teams up two of the worlds greatest thriller characters. For instance, Lee Child's Jack Reacher is teamed up with Joseph Finder's Nick Heller to settle the score with an Albanian Gang on the warpath. I was thrilled to get almost everyone's signature. What a great time - can't wait until next year!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014



Oh Joy!  After two years of writing, editing and working with the publisher on my latest novel, it's finally out.  It's been getting good reviews so far and I'm hoping it does even better than The Colony.

So I had my book signing at B&N. What a great bunch they are, put out a nice spread, had a room big enough to accommodate the 60+ people who showed up.  I had a nice time talking about the book to my friends and community. 

Big surprise of the night - my sister Erika and her family showed up in the middle of my presentation - from California! Wow, wasn't expecting that. It was a definite highlight of the evening. Thanks, Erika! After the signing, we had a nice party at my house with all the friends and family.

I couldn't help thinking how lucky I am to have so many wonderful friends. We laugh, we talk, we hang out with a glass of wine, and we are always there for each other. I love that so many friends came out in the rain to support me. And my family! Al, Rachel and Julia couldn't have been more supportive. I'm so proud and appreciative of them.  I just came back from ThrillerFest (see tomorrow's blog) and it was great being surrounded by all my favorite authors and some that I feel are now good friends. But I'm so much more comfortable, so much more at home right here in my community. It's nice to visit the author world, but it's even better to come back. 

So the book is a wrap, and so far a smashing success.  I have to say, it was a great two years. But now I'm ready to move on. I can't wait to go full swing into my next project.  For today though, I'm just going to reflect on a wonderful event that marks the near-end of my SEEDERS journey.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


On The Seventies, Sexism, and Selling 30 Million Books

Every now and then, I've had the privilege to interview someone truly unique. Karin Slaughter is one of those people. Maybe because she doesn't give in to convention. She really tells it like it is, shining a light on the ugly part of the world, without any pretense.

In our interview she talked about her upcoming book, COP TOWN, and what the 1970's was like for women police officers, when sexism, racism and homophobia was rampant.

Even though I was a fairly young kid in the 70's I do remember my mother talking about feminism, equal rights, marches on Washington. She left a lot of political buttons scattered around our liberal household, and had quite a few friends who were gay and mixed-race. They were mostly artsy-hippy types who would come over for pot-luck dinners and a side of Nixon-bashing.

In my small, suburban, politically-correct town, I never came in contact with prejudice outside of Archie Bunker, who we all thought was hysterical, because of course no one could ever be like him. But they were, and right under my nose. People say things to adults what they don't say to children, and when I grew up I heard a lot. That's what I was thinking about when I read COP TOWN. Why did people put up with it back then? And, why do they now? 

Slaughter had a lot to say about all that, as well as her thoughts on writing. Check out the interview, this month's cover story in The Big Thrill.

Click here for The Big Thrill Interview with Karin Slaughter

Monday, June 30, 2014

Cool Creature of the Day:

The Satanic Leaf Tailed Gekko

This little guy masterfully mimics a dead leaf. Its twisted body, veined skin, and tail look like it's been nibbled at by insects or rotted by decay. Reminds me of the fungus in SEEDERS.


Sunday, June 29, 2014



One of these heads was an inspiration in my new novel SEEDERS. Doll Number Two was the winner in my Facebook survey. I've added a few more to see if it's still the reigning winner of creepy doll heads.  Choose one, or if you can find a scarier head, leave a link.

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Naked Mole Rat

This is the cutest picture I could find of the naked mole rat. Not a beauty pageant winner, but all of  their weird physical characteristics allow them to survive a harsh life underground. They feels no sensation of pain on their skin and those protruding teeth are great for digging. Ick. Just, ick.