After a Bestseller, Guaranteed Success?

Editors and agents constantly tell writers to include plenty of conflict in their novels.  For some authors, it’s easy. They lived it. “My career has been one disaster followed by a victory, followed by a disaster. I think that’s true of most writers,” says Gayle Lynds, one of the most popular spy novelists in the […]

Read More

Two Degrees of Separation

Steve Berry, Michael Connelly and James Lee Burke Before he became a New York Times bestselling thriller author, Steve Berry wrote a 170,000-word legal thriller, “which will tell you how bad it was right off the bat,” he says, Yet, “it’s the best thing I ever wrote in my life.” It never sold. The average […]

Read More

Michael Connelly, James Lee Burke share an agent…

…and John D. MacDonald didn’t have a book published in hardback until his 20th novel, so says Philip Spitzer, agent for both Connelly and Burke. I talked with Spitzer while reporting  my story about crime novelist Michael Connelly. Connelly is a former journalist (so there’s hope for me yet) who hit the big time with his […]

Read More