IN APPRECIATION OF EMPTY QUARTER

  A select few feedback messages from StoriesOnline where Empty Quarter was first posted in serial form. Some have been edited to remove plot spoilers, otherwise they are as received.  For better or worse, everyone who acknowledged reading Empty Quarter saw it through to the end. Message from: John Matteson (StoriesOnline) WOW! I have not read another story on this site that was half as good as this one.   Message from: Gordon Stevens (StoriesOnline) This is a very intense story. Normally, I’d try to zip through it fast, but since it is coming out chapter by chapter, that strategy isn’t working for me. It is a grabber and leads one into getting very involved with the characters. I am not all that fond of suspense, so it is stressful reading. It is a very fine story and has a very polished and professional style.   Message from: Butch (StoriesOnline) You seem to have sufficient mastery of suspense. It’s a real page turner. I’ll be blowing off all sorts of obligations to reach the end.   Message from: Mel (StoriesOnline) Intense!  You sure have the knack of inserting instant suspense then letting ebb away slowly to be reinforced again. Great writing. You make the fictional characters real. Thanks for bringing me into the story.   Message from: Erick Camp (StoriesOnline) Great cliffhanger! The rush to the finish is on and I don’t have a clue on how you plan to end the story. Great writing as always.   Message from: Tacit_Blue (StoriesOnline) This is really good writing… If this ever gets made into a movie or TV series…I want...

Empty Quarter Update

Writing a blog—a very new experience  First off I want to give a well-deserved plug to Mike Wallagher at startbloggingonline.com. I signed-up for his free course and received a wealth of advice, both practical and inspirational, on how the world of blogging really works. Mike knows his stuff and will start you off with the essentials you need to get that blog you’ve always wanted to write underway. Thank you, Mike.   Empty Quarter update  Those of you following the serialization of Empty Quarter will notice the addition of Chapter Five to the sample chapters available on Thrillwriter.com. The frequency of Chapter additions will increase as reader traffic to the site increases, making more of the thriller available for free. Please comment on what you read, as this is the only way I have of gauging your reaction to the text. A positive consensus will lead to chapters from other titles in the Leon Trilogy becoming available free to read and hopefully enjoy. It’s important to note that the general tone and subject matter of the book is adult in nature and not intended for a young audience. You will encounter adult situations, strong language and violent scenes. Not to say Empty Quarter is gratuitous in these areas, but the reader will encounter convincing text that won’t pull its punches where the plot demands this kind of realism. And while on the subject of plot, Empty Quarter employs a kind of counterpoint to the storytelling. There are two parallel lines of action: the experiences of the abducted girl as she is forced into the most desolate place on earth,...

The Leon Trilogy

  Believe me when I say I appreciate you taking the trouble to visit. And now you are here I’d prefer that you to stay for a while. Even if you are not an avid fan of the thriller genre, there are good reasons to stay. My passion is creative storytelling, and I try hard to deliver the very best reading experience I can. So what’s here that might be of interest? Empty Quarter is the first book in what I call The Leon Trilogy—a trio of novels that are chronological, yet complete. They can be read out of sequence and still enjoyed as stand-alone books. That said, there are some benefits to reading them in order. My fictional character, Leon Loeb, is a Jewish born CIA field operative specializing in Mid-East operations. Leon may not have existed in the real world, but there are definite indications that someone like him certainly did. At any rate, his debut in Empty Quarter begins at a most volatile time in history for the region. Although it spans the brief period of the Six-Day War, it is not a war story. Much of Leon’s survival throughout the series is predicated on skill and tradecraft, yet there is another element that is harder to define—Leon’s instinct and nose for treachery—a trait you will discover as you progress through the series. The first book tippy-toes into the realm of the paranormal. Don’t let that scare you away. I’m a realist through and through. The ESP and telepathic ability inherent in my female main character, the eighteen-year-old daughter of a US diplomat, is the essential...

What is Thrillwriter?

Thrill: To cause to feel a sudden sensation of pleasure or delight; excite greatly. Many things can trigger the above, from love-at-first-sight to drug abuse. But here we are concerned with the written word. When we write for thrills the creator relies on sparking the imagination of the reader. Without this essential collaboration the words become meaningless. It’s not just comprehension either, like a set of instructions on how to assemble a flatpack of furniture. The writer seeks to go beyond mere transfer of information into the realm of emotion. (If that flatpack won’t assemble as instructed we feel emotion too, but it’s not valued emotion.) Humans are sensory creatures. We take input continuously from everything and everyone within our space. Reading with our eyes or listening to an audio book with our ears, is one sensation out of many, but one that requires a level of concentration. The writer knows things happen around us, therefore hopes readers will devote those special periods, unpolluted by distraction, to reading a good book. These times can be precious in a busy world. The avid reader values quiet times and wants to invest in a reading experience that delivers the most pleasure for each moment spent—each page turned. It becomes the responsibility of the writer to make the pleasure happen. If the result is boredom, the work has failed. The reader moves on rather than waste more precious quiet time on a story that is going nowhere. So what kind of story am I talking about? A story may be fictional or true. Either way a good story can be told with...