Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Steve Berry”

An Interview With Best-Selling Author Linda Fairstein

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At ThrillerFest IX I had the pleasure of meeting Linda Fairstein, the best-selling author of the Alexandra Cooper crime novels. The 16th book in the series, Terminal City, is now available and receiving rave reviews so make sure to pick up a copy. Below is my interview with the author where we cover a wide variety of topics – everything from her inspiration for Terminal City to her friendship with Lisa Scottoline. I hope you enjoy it.

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FanFest: A Thriller Reader’s Dream

FanFestLast week I attended ThrillerFest IX in New York City. This annual event is held by the terrific organization International Thriller Writers, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. While at ThrillerFest IX, I had the opportunity to attend FanFest, a portion of the week-long event where fans get to meet and spend time with a multitude of authors over cocktails. Picture it: There’s a large room with Lee Child, Michael Connelly, David Morrell, and countless others at tables waiting to sign your book, take photos with you and chat. It was a great way to cap off my week at ThrillerFest IX. Below are several photos of myself and authors whom I spent time with during the conference or at FanFest.

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ThrillerFest IX: A Writer’s Paradise

ThrillerFest

Last week I attended ThrillerFest IX in New York City. This annual event is held by the terrific organization International Thriller Writers, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. While at ThrillerFest IX, I had the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the best in the business. Friday and Saturday were comprised of panels about a variety of topics. I couldn’t stick around for Saturday but below are photos and highlights from some of the sessions that took place on Friday.

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Summer Thriller List

IMG_4625Summer is almost upon us and it’s one of my favorite seasons. What’s not to love? If you’re a music fan, there are a million concerts to go to. If you’re a foodie, you can eat outdoors at a myriad of restaurants. And, of course, if you’re a book lover there are numerous titles you can read in bed, on the beach or at the airport. To help you decide which books are worth reading, I’m going to share with you a few titles that I’m either currently reading or will be reading very soon.

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ThrillerFest – FanFest

Andrew Gross - ThrillerFest VIII

Hanging out with Andrew Gross at FanFest.

Yesterday was the third day of ThrillerFest, and last night was FanFest – a time for fans to spend time with the authors they love, get books autographed and have drinks. After FanFest, I had the honor of having dinner with one of my favorite authors, Andrew Gross. Below are photos from both events.

Meeting R.L. Stine.

Meeting R.L. Stine.

M.J. Rose

With M.J. Rose.

Spending time with Lincoln Child.

Spending time with Lincoln Child.

Hanging out with Steve Berry.

Meeting Joe Finder.

Spending time with Jon Land.

Spending time with Jon Land.

Having dinner with Andrew Gross.

Having dinner with Andrew Gross.

Dinner with Andrew Gross and fans.

Dinner with Andrew Gross and fans.

ThrillerFest VIII – Day 1

Hanging out with best-selling author Douglas Preston.

Hanging out with best-selling author Douglas Preston.

Today was the start of ThrillerFest, and I had the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the greatest writers in the business. Below are photos and highlights from some of the sessions.

Steve Berry

Steve Berry

Steve Berry – Six “C’s” of Story Structure

  1. Character 
  2. Conflict
  3. Crucible
  4. Complications
  5. Crisis
  6. Conclusion

Act 1

  • “In Act 1 you establish the character and create conflict.”
  • “Then you introduce the crucible – the reason why the character is willing to do something he wouldn’t normally do.”

Act 2

  • “Act 2 is when you introduce complications and focus on no more than two subplots.” 

Act 3

  • “At the start of Act 3 is the crisis point. By the time this takes place, there should only be 50 pages left in the book.” 
  • “After you’ve hit the crisis point, bring it home with a satisfying conclusion.”

Steve Berry – Point of View

  • “When you start your book, you need to decide who’s going to tell the story.” 
  • “Point-of-view characters are precious because they’re the only people’s heads we go into. You have a lot of characters in a novel, but you only go into the heads of a handful of them.”
  • “Some writers don’t feel this is important, but I respectfully disagree.”
  • “First person is the hardest point of view. Don’t even try it until you’ve written a million words; it will put pressure on you and tax your creativity.”
John Sanford

John Sanford

John Sanford – How to Tighten Your Manuscript 

  • “The first and last chapters are the most important ones in your book.”
  • “The first chapter needs to be emotionally engaging. The action needs to start in the first paragraph.”
  • “The last chapter is critical. You want it to go out with a bang and for people to leave with a smile on their face.”
  • “If you make too many unnecessary changes after you’ve finished a book, they’ll come back to bite you in the ass.”
Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly – How to Write a Good Series 

  • “Forget about writing a series. Just write the best book you can write.”
  • “I’m a visual writer. I see scenes in my head and I write them down.”
  • “You want to move forward and backward at the same time. You have to work in the backstory so people know where the character came from.”
  • “I’m writing for the people that have been riding with me.”
  • “I don’t outline, I just write.”
Lincoln Child & Douglas Preston

Lincoln Child & Douglas Preston

Lincoln Child & Douglas Preston – How to Have a Great Collaboration 

  • “A writing partnership is like a marriage. Unfortunately, in our case, the sex is no good.” – Douglas Preston
  • “You need to determine the potential partner’s strengths and weaknesses to see if he or she would be a good fit for you.” – Lincoln Child
  • “Lincoln writes vicious murder scenes. Underneath that white jacket beats a black heart.” – Douglas Preston
  •  “The editing process is like putting a literary zamboni over the manuscript.” – Lincoln Child
  • “I’ll write a series of chapters from one character’s point of view, and Lincoln will write a series of chapters from another character’s point of view, and then we’ll merge them.” Douglas Preston
  • “Writing, by its very definition, is an egotistical act.” – Lincoln Child

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