Posts and articles on writing, publishing, working with professional editors, and more from Editorial Department president Ross Browne.

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

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

Editorial Analysis: SUDDEN PREY by John Sandford Considering characterization and its impact on story in a bestselling crime series

by Ross Browne

Anyone familiar with my taste in books probably knows how much I love John Sandford and admire his skills as a writer. One reason I like his Lucas Davenport series so much is that these deftly plotted novels usually go deep into the minds of deranged killers in seriously engaging and convincing fashion. Understanding what makes his bad guys tick and seeing their world through their eyes is part of the dark appeal […]

By |2020-06-16T18:19:36+00:00|Behind The Bestsllers, Book Reviews and Analysis, Mystery / Suspense, RSB, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Editorial Analysis: SUDDEN PREY by John Sandford Considering characterization and its impact on story in a bestselling crime series