Where I’ve Been…

Actually, nowhere.

That's right, I've had my you-know-what stuck in my favorite writing chair while Thaddeus drives me nuts with Book 5. I may have to take a rest from the guy after this one, you know? Maybe give someone else a chance at discoverability.

Whatever, it's been a wild ride. People seem to love Thaddeus. He sells thousands of books each month, and the way it's going, sales have literally been doubling every month, and he's barely seven months old. The books are fun for me to write, and I seriously doubt that Thaddeus and I will part ways before he makes several more appearances.

The secret to a good book (meaning what I like to read) requires two things: First, there has to be something for me to learn about. Something I wouldn't have known about if I hadn't read your book. Case-in-point: in Attorney At Large there is a quite lengthy scene where the key character is counting cards. In order to write that scene I had to really go to school on card counting. I read several books about it, went to casinos and talked to dealers and pit bosses, and even was allowed to watch from overhead, the eye-in-the-sky view. When it was all said and done, it boiled down to maybe 20 pages in the book, but it took hundreds of hours in the preparation. But that's what I mean: I like to read stuff like that because I learn something off the beaten path.

The second thing a good book needs to give me is action. Action of all types. My books aren't necessarily about car chases or run-downs from behind type action, but courtroom drama, if you've been to a lot of trials (I have, hundreds) you already know trials have a type of pace and excitement that oftentimes the jury only senses but the lawyers understand and the judge gets to watch as a referee. Witnesses come and go, your belief in one side or the other waxes and wanes, and it all comes down to that climatic moment, that reveal, when the judge says, “Madam foreman, has the jury reached a verdict?”

In the hundreds–maybe thousands–of cases I tried over the years it never failed to take my breath away when the jury was about to announce its decision. I've stood at those times beside men who were perhaps going to the gas chamber, and beside women who were looking at twenty-five years in maximum security for totally awful crimes, and on and on. And even though I was never the one at risk, I always felt as if I were. That's the kind of action I try to capture for my books. Someday, if I'm lucky and keep at it hard enough, I just might run one of those beasts to the ground and bring it back to show you.

In fact, Thaddeus 5 just might have that very kind of thing going for it. Look for it in September! The title is Defending Turquoise and she will steal your heart.

Thanks for reading.

John

  • August 26, 2014
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