Last year was my first crack at the A-Z Blogging Challenge, a blogging phenomenon created by the amazing Arlee Bird. The object is to blog every day of the month of April (except Sundays), and to increase the challenge, to blog thematically from A to Z. No sweat, right? Last year, I blogged about music with Jessica Bell. This year, I'm heading back to my roots and blogging about all things thriller. Join me?
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I couldn't possibly write a "B" blog post about the thriller industry without including the two thriller authors who have mentored me over the past few years - Gary Braver and Steve Berry.
Yeah, I know I mentioned them in my A post, but it's not a cheat to mention them again. Not when each has been so instrumental in driving my career forward. If not for Gary, and his incredible patience, encouragement and sheer talent, I may not have continued striving for a career in writing.
And, over the past couple of years, Steve's firm craft lessons have taught me how to write tight and write well - his succinct, but always bang on, advice has made me a better writer.
If you've never heard of Gary Braver before, look him up now. Right now. In some ways, he's one of the most under appreciated thriller writers in the industry. Gary writes medical thrillers that make me squirm. His premises are brilliant - and frightening - and the execution of his words is, frankly, mind boggling.
The first book I read of Gary's was GRAY MATTER, and while there have been some thrilling books before and after this one, it remains my favorite. With just the right blend of science and fiction, Gray Matter is creeptastic! Medical thrillers have never been my genre of choice - Gary makes me question that, though. He's amazing!
And Steve. A multi New York Times Bestselling author, blending history was seat-of-your-pants thrilling action. Dialogue that drives the plot forward. Characters that leap from the page. Tight, tight writing that propels each and every story forward. There's a reason Steve Berry is one of the industry's top selling authors. And yet, he remains such a humble man. I adore him. Steve's road to publishing hasn't been easy, but he's making the most of it now. What an inspiration!
Looking for a great Steve Berry book? I've read (and loved) them all - but The Charlemagne Pursuit may still be my favorite.
Who are your mentors and how have they helped you get to where you are today?
PS - I would be remiss not to mention Sandra Brown in the B category. While Steve and Gary have mentored me, I have always aspired to be like Sandra Brown. One of my favorite writers ever - and a master of the thriller genre.