Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Confederacy of Hermits

Writing fiction is a solitary pursuit. Even if you write collaboratively the actual creation of the work still originates entirely in your mind. Good writing is an extension of your soul, an intimation of originality, a piece of who you are creatively. Whether literary works that become masterpieces, or thrillers that titillate for a season, the words--and the sweat it takes to create them--are the pound of flesh sacrificed to the art.

Having said that, none of us work in a vacuum. We have experts we consult for depth and accuracy, editors that help show us the error of our ways and shape our words to maximum effect, publishers (for some of us) that help get the words printed and exposed to the reading public and friends and trusted writer friends to act as beta readers. These latter are our best hope of bringing a good story forward, for they tell us the truth, which is far more valuable than the pat on the back from well-meaning relatives.

Here in the Pacific Northwest writers also have another precious resource; other gifted writers who generously share their time, talent and insight with each other. Aspiring and veteran authors alike glean invaluable tips at seminars, trade shows, writers groups and online connections. Smart novices go to group book signings. They introduce themselves and get to know people laboring in the same field. We cheer each other on and rejoice at the success of our compatriots.

If you are a writer, or aspire to become one, come out of your cave once in a while and look around at the resources available to you. Join the Pacific Northwest Writers Association, become a supporter of the Seattle 7 Writers group or the Idaho Authors Association Facebook page. If you can muster the dough, the Idaho group is having a conference May 3-5, and PNWA is having their conference July 19-22. These are fantastic opportunities to meet successful authors, attend rewarding seminars on all aspects of the craft and connect with others at all stages of their careers. I save money all year just so I can attend at least one conference. If you attend the PNWA Conference, look for me, I'll be there and would love to share war stories. The Seattle 7 Writers also sponsor more intimate seminars that focus with laser sharpness on the art and science of writers.

Despite our solitary labor, there is a vibrant community of authors all around us anxious to exchange ideas, commiserate with our woes and urge us on to better writing and greater success. It is this community of hermits that help me thrive, keep me going and applaud my effort even as they temper the steel. I admire the dedication and openness and enjoy my small contributions. In the end we all do what we do to honor the words and the story.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

'The Confession' by Robert Dugoni Book Review

          The jury is back and the verdict is unanimous. Robert Dugoni is not the ‘next’ anyone in legal thrillers, he’s the new standard against which others will now be judged. If Murder One was his Master’s thesis, then his latest David Sloane thriller, The Conviction, is his PhD; a dissertation in deception.
Sloane, the lawyer that never loses, finds himself reliving a horror from his recent past through the behavior of his step-son, who is suffering his own crisis of self-destruction brought on by witnessing his mother’s brutal murder and coming perilously close to his own. In a last ditch effort to reconnect—and keep Jake out of jail—Sloane accepts an invitation to go camping with an old friend and his son.
Jake, reluctantly followed by the younger boy, runs afoul of local law enforcement in a small town in California’s Gold Country. Whisked away, tried and convicted in a kangaroo court, the boys find themselves on the way to a juvenile detention center from Hell before the dads fully realize they are missing.
          Now, the law Sloane has manipulated to his advantage for so long, becomes a ponderous impediment, and he must decide if he can do whatever it takes—legal or not—to rescue the boys before time runs out.
          The Conviction, due out June 12th from Touchstone, is a taut, riveting Tilt-A-Wheel ride that builds to a white-knuckle climax for readers. Dugoni is fully in command of his craft and does not disappoint. This book makes a compelling case that Robert Dugoni deserves a place atop the bestseller throne. All hail the new King of legal thrillers!

Robert Dugoni
The Conviction   ISBN: 978-1-4516-0672-0
Touchstone  Due for release June 12, 2012

R L Pace received an advance copy of this book, gratis, for review purposes, but purchased a pre-release copy at full price before reading ‘The Confession’ or writing this review.