An Interview with author Hy Conrad of Rally ‘Round the Corpse
You can read my review of Rally ‘Round the Corpse. It’s a pretty great book, you can buy it here.
And, I hope you read and enjoy this interview as much as I did!
Adventures Mystery series? (Also, how long can we expect the series to be?)
electronic devices that no longer exist, including Clue VCR, a popular game
back in the mid-80s.
content would be successful. I was asked
by Prodigy (an early version of AOL) to write a mystery serial with a different
chapter every day and a different mystery every month. The result was “Abel Adventures”, with Tom
Abel, a character similar to Amy Abel, who led adventure tours around the world. This idea always stayed with me, even though
the original stories have been lost to time – and a few computer crashes.
concept. But of course it all depends on
the popularity of the first two.
other hand, what is your worst experience as a writer?
spent on “Monk”. To be with great, funny writers every day and
churning out a hit TV show… There’s
nameless, hired me to turn one of their teenage sitcoms into a TV movie. Their style was to ignore all my sincere requests
for feedback and then suddenly micromanage.
“No, that’s not what we wanted.
What made you think that?” I
quit, the only time I quit a job, and went to work for “White Collar” instead.
before it finally got filmed.
to remember” when writing a mystery? What is the biggest mistake, according to
you, that a mystery writer could make?
- Pay attention to
logic. Mystery fans want it to all
- Action isn’t as important
in a book as it is in a movie, e.g. don’t spend ten pages describing a
fight or a car chase.
- Don’t be afraid of atmosphere. There’s a reason why Swedish mysteries
- Give your characters
different voices. They shouldn’t
all talk like you.
- As Elmore Leonard said,
“Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.” How did Cary Grant get off Mount
Rushmore at the end of “North by Northwest”? We don’t know and we don’t care.
outline before starting. If your story
has good bones to begin with, it will tell you where to go next.
genre has evolved over the years?
to be, with great characters and great atmosphere. The detectives are darker and the crimes more
imaginative and gruesome. With the
exception of cozies, it takes itself much more seriously than it used to.
anyone with a murderous thought has a book out there, competing for the same
eyeballs and wallets. Remember, a free
e-book is not free. You pay for it with
wasted hours and annoyance.
Guest Post: Dr. Lesley Phillips (author of The Midas Tree)
Today I’d like to welcome to my blog an author, Dr. Lesley Phillips, who has been kind enough to write a really great article for us on writing!
Dr. Lesley Phillips is a speaker, author, workshop leader, spiritual and meditation teacher based in Vancouver BC, Canada. She is the author of the book “The Midas Tree,” a spiritual adventure story for children of all ages.
The Connection between Intuition and Imagination
writing my book, The Midas Tree, I made an interesting observation. What many
writers call their imagination is what I call my intuition. I am a meditation
teacher and intuitive counselor, and I use my spiritual senses on a daily basis
in my work with students and clients.
I Wrote “The Midas Tree” Using My Intuition
for writing is to enter a meditative state. From this vantage point I am able
to see the story unfold before my eyes as though I were watching a film. I can press
pause, fast forward or rewind and begin watching again whenever I like.
outline was downloaded one sleepless night after a lengthy meditation on
clearing limits The Midas Tree is my first novel. So to stimulate my creative
flow and get started, I meditated on becoming a writer. The approach of connecting
with my higher consciousness and releasing my creative blocks very quickly
resulted in a flood of content.
I had met all the characters of the book and had a very good idea about the
plot, chapter headings and title The
Intuitive Writing is a Common Approach by
absolutely loved the process because it was so effortless. I never experienced
writers block and writing for me was exciting because I was writing and reading
my novel at the same time.
since read that this is the way that many writers approach their craft. For
example this is how J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter. All the characters were
pre-formed and she watched the plot unfold before her eyes without necessarily
being the conscious director of their actions.
speaking with a seasoned author of YA novels, she explained that this was also
the way that she wrote, but that she had always just considered this was how
her imagination worked.
As I am an
experienced intuitive reader, from my perspective this way of writing uses
clairvoyance, which is the ability to see clearly as spirit. What I mean by
spirit is the unseen world, where thoughts have not yet formed into matter. It
is where all material creations come from.
My Previous Writing Experience was
though I found writing “The Midas Tree” easy, my previous writing experience
had been quite different. My background is in science and business and so most
of my prior exposure to writing had been very different. I have written a PhD
thesis, scientific papers, as well as business and marketing plans. I knew how
to research, think logically and weigh up all the pros and cons. Yet here I was
by-passing my intellect completely in order to give birth to a novel.
Now I am
sure that the intellectual approach can work for writing a book as well. After
all there must be as many ways of writing books as there are authors. I have
observed that many aspiring writers do a lot of research, take classes, consult
experts and join writers groups to learn the “correct” way to structure and
write a novel. They decide in advance who their readers will be and they craft
their work to be marketable to that audience.
Taking an Intellectual Approach is also
Common Amongst Writers
had written my book I went to a talk by a famous crime writer. He used to be a
lawyer and wrote his books with great attention to details. He had a clear set
of guidelines that he followed that was his recipe for a successful crime
novel. It even included things like when new characters could be introduced and
what content should be included in the first 60 pages
this approach works for many successful writers. But for me it felt too
limiting because the emphasis is on getting it right and on containing yourself
within a set of pre-determined ideas.
I did not even
know who my readers would be until I had completed the novel. Then I had to
take a step back and see what I had created.
created a Spiritual Adventure Story.
out that The Midas Tree
is a spiritual adventure novel that teaches truths about the nature of reality
through an allegorical fairy tale. The hero battles with his ego on the journey
through the tree, which represents the journey of enlightenment.
also includes the meditation techniques that I teach in my classes. It is
written a way that makes the information available to children and adults
It is my
deepest wish that this book will help children to validate their intuition, as
I did, and use it in the most creative and rewarding way for them.
The Midas Tree is available on Amazon as a paperback or e-book.
And the author can be reached at:-
How do you rate books?
How To Write a Good Book Review
Characters or Plot?
Do you prefer character-driven stories or plot-driven stories?
I always get more involved in a book that has good, engaging characters. But I also don’t like books where you can’t make head or tail of what’s going on, or worse, when nothing really happens. Honestly, neither extreme is desirable. But if I had to give a preference, I’d give it to the characters. A bad story line can’t spoil the book as much as bad characters can.
Authors I would DIE to meet!
If I really think about it, I’d like to meet most of the authors that I read, whether I like the book or not. So it’s tough to list ten.
1. Terry Pratchett (for the Discworld)
Writing about Writing about writing!
Hasn’t every writer written sometime or another, about writing itself. You know, like the art.
Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle (I wasn’t keen on reading it till I read the last word of the title. Do read the article!):