The Death of Secrets

“Over the long run, nothing is secret.” This quote comes from Jack Legare, the hero of my thriller in progress. He was talking about Wall Street. He could have been discussing “DarkLeaks.” Huh? I first learned about DarkLeaks through Hacker News. Think of it as a 24/7 auction for secrets that could belong to anyone or anything. Facebook’s quarterly earning are secret before they’re announced. The formula for Coke is kept under lock and key. So is bad behavior if and when it exists inside Continue reading →

MYSTERIES and THRILLERS – THE DIFFERENCES*

     Some twenty years ago, while I was Showrunner and Head Writer on the CBS Series, MURDER, SHE WROTE, I was also struggling with my first attempt at novel-writing.      One of my co-Producers was Angela Lansbury’s brother, Bruce. We’d been friends and had occasionally worked together for more than a decade. A witty, charming and very talented guy, back when I was getting established in the business, Bruce had been Showrunner on WONDER WOMAN, for which he gave me one of my early script Continue reading →

How can it be 15 years?

On February 19, 2000 at 11:30 in the morning I was packing for a conference in Reno when the phone call came: “I’m sorry to tell you, your daughter has been murdered.” Just like that. No softening words—how can you soften that blow anyway? Maybe the detective could have asked whether I was alone, whether I was driving. It would not have helped. I knew at once that Jennifer’s killer was her live-in boyfriend, Tom Schnaible. What I did not immediately understand was that he had Continue reading →

WRITING RULES

One of my favorite writing rules comes from Dwight V. Swain from his wise and practical book TECHNIQUES OF THE SELLING WRITER (University of Oklahoma Press): ” 1) Separate creative impulse from critical judgement. The first and most essential step is to recognize the human tendency to mix the two. Then, walk wise around it. To that end, adopt a working rule of “Create now….correct later.” Promise yourself the privilege of being as critical as you like, as soon as the first draft of a Continue reading →