Friday, May 16, 2014

Paying It Forward

Recently another author invited me to participate in a “blog tour” by posting an article in which I answer several questions. Here goes.

My writing time in addition to blog articles is focused on my third novel, A Year Without Killing. This will be volume three in the “Barry-Hixon Conspiracy” series. It is also the sequel to my first book, The Tourist Killer. Writing is not my full time occupation, so it make take a while. If it all works out, maybe AYWK will be available in time for Christmas shopping.

While some books neatly fit into a particular genre, I’m not a big fan of the genre-labeling game. My first book prompted this comment from reviewer, Blaine Coleman, The Tourist Killer is a complex story that’s difficult to pigeonhole into a single category: is it a novel about crime, international intrigue, a psychological thriller, a look into the mind of a paid assassin, or, is it a romance?” You could say that my books are “crossover” in terms of genre and that’s what makes them different.

Dale Carnegie said to speak about something that you have: 1. earned the right to speak about (personal experience) or 2. done extensive research and can speak about with knowledge. Applying his advice to writing, I write about what I know. My wife says I talk too much and she’s probably correct. My editor prefers me to use dialog to drive the story so I put my experience to work. The combination has earned kudos from reviewers for the conversations in my books. From a review of The Presidents Club, “Also intriguing are the elderly men themselves, their histories, and their opinions. Although they are, at times, catty, insulting, and sly, they seem like people we'd want to know (Hey, Louie, bring me a beer.) Etier has captured real conversations as the characters' comments overlap, entertain, and yes zing each other.”

I write for the same reason many readers open a book -- escape.
The time spent with my characters is wonderful and meaningful.
If I can escape and become totally absorbed with my characters in the story, then, perhaps my readers can also.
When I write dialog, it helps to (as they say in the theater), "get into character."
When a few weeks pass without writing, and then I return to it, I'm always surprised at how much I missed being with my literary friends.

When I begin a project, I think about characters and make notes on them. An overall story arc helps and then I write the first and last chapters. At that point, I turn the characters loose and hang on for dear life. It is often surprising what the characters do.
It is never disappointing and that’s why I love writing.

At least three of my writer friends will receive an e-mail from me soon with an invitation to answer the same questions and invite three of their fellow authors.


  1. Ahhh, the escapism that comes with being the creator of stories... so true! You've created incredible atmosphere in The Presidents Club. I like that bar. I can see it, and Louie and company. :-)

    I like this bloghop. It's interesting to read how other writers approach writing. Thanks again for the invitation, Chip. :-)

    1. Thank you, Teresa, for both your comment and your participation in the hop.

  2. Agree with the pigeon hole opinion. Sometimes it difficult to figure out what something really is? And that is something every query to an agent should have. So you have to figure out if it's more of one thing or another. I love your unique club of guys and your female assassin is the coolest. :)