Home/Ross Browne

About Ross Browne

Ross has been editing books since 1992 and managing operations at the country’s oldest freelance editorial firm since 1997. He has worked closely with hundreds of authors during his time with The Editorial Department, LLC and seen many projects through from first draft to final publication. He loves mysteries, thrillers, European crime novels, craft beer, music, and writing about writing. You can contact Ross directly at rsb@editorialdepartment.com.

Editorial Analysis: WATCHERS by Dean Koontz Considering deft handling of extreme character arc and a unique characterization challenge in the author’s best-loved novel

Dean Koontz is a very funny guy who while contemplating his future as a geriatric (bunny slippers are involved) says he expects to feel then as he does now: that Watchers is the most satisfying book he’s ever written. He also believes many readers will think it to be his best, no matter how good any other books he has written—or will write in the future—may be.

The editor in me can’t help wondering what’s so special about this story to an […]

By |2020-09-30T18:10:39+00:00|Behind The Bestsllers, Book Reviews and Analysis, General, Mystery / Suspense, RSB, TED Editor Posts, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Editorial Analysis: WATCHERS by Dean Koontz Considering deft handling of extreme character arc and a unique characterization challenge in the author’s best-loved novel

Cultivating Willing Suspension of Disbelief in Crime Fiction Tips and techniques based on two hit novels by Stephen King and Alexandra Sokoloff

A recent article in The New Yorker defines the willing suspension of disbelief as “the reader’s decision to put the argumentative, quibbling part of his mind into neutral and go along for the narrative ride.”

Stephen King is a master at this, and I’m sure I’m not alone in admiring how easy he makes it to engage us with his novels’ supernatural, paranormal, magical, or mystical elements even if we take some comfort in the belief that these things surely can’t exist.  […]

By |2020-06-19T20:55:03+00:00|Behind The Bestsllers, Book Reviews and Analysis, General, Mystery / Suspense, RSB, TED Editor Posts, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Cultivating Willing Suspension of Disbelief in Crime Fiction Tips and techniques based on two hit novels by Stephen King and Alexandra Sokoloff

Q&A With Literary Agent Diane Stockwell

Diane Stockwell joined The Editorial Department in the spring of 2020 and is now available to consult with authors in the later stages of readying manuscripts for publication and submission to agents and publishers.  We’re delighted to have her aboard and to share this brief Q&A  with her.

What single word comes to mind to define the state of traditional publishing today?

Evolving.

What do you see as having changed most in the industry since you began your publishing career twenty-five years […]

By |2020-06-19T20:57:17+00:00|General, Q&A, RSB|Comments Off on Q&A With Literary Agent Diane Stockwell

Editorial Analysis: BLUE MOON by Lee Child Considering what works and what could work better in Jack Reacher # 24

Author’s note: As a reader, I’m a loyal fan of the Jack Reacher series, awaiting each release with rabid anticipation. As a professional editor, I’m a longtime admirer of what Lee Child does well and, at times, a constructive critic of what I believe he could do better. I write about Lee Child often because I love his work and think there’s a lot to be learned from him. His fall 2019 release Blue Moon has given me plenty to […]

By |2020-06-16T17:33:07+00:00|Behind The Bestsllers, Book Reviews and Analysis, General, Mystery / Suspense, RSB, TED Editor Posts, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Editorial Analysis: BLUE MOON by Lee Child Considering what works and what could work better in Jack Reacher # 24

Grisham vs. Grisham Considering authorial freedom within the confines of genre fiction

Did a bestselling master of his genre write the same novel twice?

On first glance, it might look that way. The premise and plot setups of John Grisham’s 1999 release The Testament and his 2013 release Sycamore Row are remarkably similar. Both novels feature:

  • The suicide of a wealthy man with a terminal disease, right at the beginning of the book.
  • The discovery of a last-minute handwritten holographic will that diverts a vast fortune from the family of expectant heirs to an […]
By |2020-06-16T17:33:33+00:00|Behind The Bestsllers, Book Reviews and Analysis, General, Mystery / Suspense, Recommended Reading, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Grisham vs. Grisham Considering authorial freedom within the confines of genre fiction

Missing, Presumed, a novel by Susie Steiner Considering characterization, craft, and the conventions of mystery writing in a stunning series debut

by Ross Browne with Susie Steiner

One thing the editor in me loves about mysteries is seeing how successful authors navigate the challenge of writing entertainingly in a style of novel that’s inherently formulaic. For all its boundless appeal, mystery is a genre whose stories can be very similar in plot and structure, usually opening with the discovery of a crime and ending with the perpetrator being brought to justice in some way or another.

Many of my […]

By |2019-06-17T20:21:48+00:00|Book Reviews and Analysis, Mystery / Suspense, Q&A, RSB, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Missing, Presumed, a novel by Susie Steiner Considering characterization, craft, and the conventions of mystery writing in a stunning series debut