Guest Blogger copy

Top Three Reasons to Submit a Guest Post for

Are you a thriller writer who is too busy writing thrillers to devote time to writing regular posts in a blog? Face it. We all are. I am transforming this blog into a forum for thriller writers, primarily written by guest bloggers. Like you!

This is not the place to submit a post simply promoting your latest book. This is an opportunity to share your experiences, concerns, advice and questions with other thriller writers, and promote your book in the author bio at the end of your post. like mine, below. If you send me a short bio and book description, I can add it to this site’s Authors and Books pages. You will also have a link in the blogroll, so that readers can connect to more details about you and your books. And since I will get asked about this, yes, men are welcome, too.

Now, for the

Top Three Reasons to Write a Post for

1. You may already have a post from your own blog that is appropriate to repost here. This is your chance to leverage that work.

2. Womenthrillerwriters posts are short, with a narrow focus, like why or why not Indie writers should pay for PW Select, rather than how to get a review in a national publication. Like the writers of these blog posts, readers of this blog have limited time. They are looking for a quick, personal perspective on a relevant topic in writing, publishing and marketing books.

3. Your posts will inspire fellow writers and may spark discussions that can help all of us to make the most of this revolution in publishing. You will open gateways to other writers and thriller fans.

If you’d like to submit a post, contact me by clicking on the Contact button above, then fill in and submit the form. I look forward to hearing from you.

Pamela Hegarty’s new thriller, The Seventh Stone, combines the action of Indiana Jones with the history of Dan Brown, and takes thrillers to a new level in asking, “What do you believe?” Check out her website at She tweets at @pamelahegarty.


How Do Readers Choose Books for Kindle?

by Pamela Hegarty

One way Kindle readers choose books to buy and read is Kindle Nation Daily, an e-newsletter promoting books that may otherwise be overlooked. But is sponsorship worth the cost for authors?

Kindle Nation Daily seems like the ideal marketing solution for authors reaching out to Kindle readers. It offers an impressive selection of sponsorship (advertising) programs, from the daily Free Book Alert at $140 to the Thriller of the Week package at $400. Obviously, an author would need to sell lots of books to recoup the advertising costs. The sponsorship is really aimed at building readership more than making a profit. So is it effective?

I’m the type of shopper who obsessively compares prices and reviews before spending, so I decided to subscribe to Kindle Nation Daily to get a better feel for what it offers. Every day, the emails come in. I was especially impressed with the sponsorship that offers a lucky reader a chance to win a Kindle Fire. Fingers crossed on that one.

Frankly, I think that the authors sponsoring their books on Kindle Nation Daily are doing a good job with their promotional materials. However, if the concept of the book doesn’t appeal to me, I’m not going to buy it. Of all the KND emails I’ve received, I’ve yet to buy one of the sponsored books. On busier days (and which aren’t), I barely have time to glance at the KND email.

Usually, when choosing a book, I think many readers, like myself, go onto and search for the type of book they want. Or they already have heard of a title through reviews or word of mouth. I wonder if the KND sponsorship emails are going out to too broad a readership.

Yes, sponsored books are getting in front of Kindle readers, but is it really leaving an impression on them?

I’d love to hear your comments and especially start a discussion with authors and readers sharing ideas and opinions of KND sponsorship opportunities. Have you tried sponsoring your book or are you considering it? Readers, do you subscribe to Kindle Nation Daily? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Indiana Jones meets Da Vinci Code in Pamela Hegarty’s new thriller, The Seventh Stone, available as an e-book and trade paperback through

Two Essential Elements to Writing Success, in More Ways than One!

No electrical power since last Saturday after late October snowstorm destroyed trees and downed wires. I am counting on the wisdom of Ben Franklin:

Energy and persistence conquer all things.

Here’s hoping our power is back soon!



It’s Not Write What You Know; It’s Write Who You Are

“Everybody is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
―      Albert Einstein


The Surprising Secret to Bestselling Fiction? Using non-fiction.

by Pamela Hegarty

Here’s proof that thriller writers have more fun.

In his workshop on using non-fiction techniques in fiction, one of my favorite thriller writers, bestselling author, Douglas Preston, pointed out that successful thrillers like Coma, The Firm and Raise the Titanic are, at their core,  non-fiction. So how do you integrate your passions about the real world into your fictional world?

First, write down three areas of your specialized knowledge. I chose Travel Writing, History and Public Relations for the federal government. You might think that last one is boring, but consider where Dan Brown’s latest blockbuster, The Lost Symbol, is set.

Now write down five goals you want to achieve before you die. As you can see from my author bio, I’ve been lucky enough to experience many wonderful adventures. In the workshop, I came up with five more:

  1. Go on another African safari, this time with my family.
  2. Go on an Alaskan wilderness trip.
  3. See the Taj Mahal.
  4. Stay at one of those huts perched over the beautiful waters off Bali.
  5. Raft the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon with my family.

The goal of these exercises is two-fold. You not only should integrate your life into your fiction, but integrate your fiction into your life. For instance, if your novel involves a car chase, go to a hands-on lesson on race car driving. You’ll not only have a blast, but will use that reality to make your fiction more believable.

In my case, I used my interest in history and my goal to see the Taj Mahal by integrating the fascinating story behind the Kohinoor Diamond into The Seventh Stone. Preston told us his readers thank him for teaching them about an aspect of the real world through his entertaining stories. As a reader, I always enjoy learning through fiction, whether it’s historical, an insight into another culture or a scientific concept.

So go ahead and pursue your passions in your real life so your fiction can be more “real.” Your readers will thank you.

Indiana Jones meets The Da Vinci Code in Pamela Hegarty’s The Seventh Stone.  Publication date: November 7.


The Da Vinci Code – Decoding Plot-Driven vs Character-Driven Novels

by Pamela Hegarty

Robert Langdon, literature’s most famous symbologist, is called in to solve a bizarre murder at the beginning of The Da Vinci Code. The murder sets the plot in motion, driving the hero into a race to solve the puzzle before the villains. Certainly, The Da Vinci Code must be a plot-driven novel.

BUT Robert Langdon uses his specialized knowledge to advance to the next step in solving the puzzle, so The Da Vinci Code must be a character-driven novel.

Writers have been arguing the advantages and disadvantages of plot-driven versus character-driven novels since the birth of genre fiction. At a recent workshop, best-selling thriller writer, William Bernhardt, had a different take.

Plot and character must be interwoven for a story to be successful. The character is chosen for the plot. The plot is chosen for the character.

Every scene should have something happening that changes the protagonist’s life. That change, in turn, affects the next plot twist. The character is revealed by how she reacts under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation.

So don’t try to define your novel as plot-driven or character-driven. To be successful, it has to be both.

Indiana Jones meets The Da Vinci Code in Pamela Hegarty’s The Seventh Stone, coming out as an e-book on November 7.

Buzz Your Book – Novel Marketing Ideas for Novels

by Shelby Patrick 

I spent a week in New York City recently attending ThrillerFest 2011. While there, I went to several workshops and my favorite was on “Buzzing Your Book”. The presenters were very professional and full of knowledge. After providing an introduction, they asked for volunteers to stand up and tell everyone what their
book was about in one sentence, then the presenter was asked a few questions,
and afterward the workshop instructors brainstormed FREE ideas to market their book. I’d like to share a few with you here now.M.J. Rose, one of the instructors, told us of how she got a new puppy and started frequenting an online forum for the breed of dog she had. At the end of every post, she would put in a simple tag line (M.J. Rose, author of Lip Service). She posted a lot and after about six months time, someone on the board finally asked her what Lip Service was. When she responded, 400 books were sold overnight. Wow! That would be nice, wouldn’t it? Posting to forums is a tried and true method of getting the word out; however, don’t go in there with the intent to advertise straight out. Do it subtly, in a small signature line.

Another idea, as pertains to fiction, is to create short stories centered around each of your characters. People will get more involved with the overall book if other stories use those characters. Popular books and movies do it all the time with their fan fiction. Readers love to see their favorite characters in other settings outside the original one.

Once you have tried that, or even if you prefer not to, then let’s move on. Try picking five things from your book that catch your eye. For example, in my upcoming novel Behind the Masque, I might choose the following: University of Michigan, The Whitney Restaurant, Society of Former Special Agents of the F.B.I., Alcoholics Anonymous, art history majors. Then do a search online using those terms. Find places, organizations, forums, etc. where interest might lie in those subjects and get involved, once again subtly advertising your book.

Books don’t get sold by themselves and most of us probably can’t afford an expensive advertising budget or to hire a PR firm, so we have to find easy and cheap ways of getting the word out ourselves. It’s not as hard as one would think. If you can write, you can come up with new and exciting ways to market yourself. Good luck!


Shelby Patrick’s  newest book is Behind the Masque, a psychological
thriller that pits nosy reporter, Angelique, against the murderous cult of a
rich socialitee. An alcoholic ex-FBI agent comes to Angelique’s aid, but will his past catch up to him before he can stop the evil and powerful cult?

The War of Art – One Key Element to Success in Writing

by Pamela Hegarty

Several speakers at writers’ conferences recommended Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art before I broke through my resistance against touchy-feely self-help books and bought it. Pressfield talks a lot about Resistance, portraying it as a powerful entity that stops us from realizing our dreams. I had always blamed time, mainly lack of it.

I was thankful that The War of Art was a compact book, broken up into short pieces that I could read while waiting to pick up my kids from band, etc. I soon realized it was much more than that.

I’ll be sharing some of Pressfield’s ideas in future posts, but one that particularly caught my attention today was his one-page insight that Resistance is Most Powerful at the Finish Line. He used the story of Odysseus, so close to home after overcoming dreadful obstacles. His weary men could see the fires of their beloved families on the beach. Odysseus, thinking he was safe at last, lay down for a nap.

His men tore open an ox-hide sack they thought contained gold and treasure. But the sack held the Winds, given to Odysseus by King Aeolus. The Winds blew Odysseus’s ship far away. Odysseus had to endure many more trials, losing all of his men, finally returning home years later.

Pressfield cautions that since Resistance makes us afraid of success, the danger is greatest when the finish line is in sight. My goal is to e-publish my thriller in November. Even now, I can hear “Resistance” telling me that I’m stealing too much time away from my other obligations to write, that The Seventh Stone can’t possibly compete with so many other thrillers, that people who know me will think I’m delusional if I think I can tell a good story. I could go on, but that would give Resistance the power of the Winds.

So don’t let Resistance stop you from pushing through to that finish line and crossing it. Or you will never know what waits on the other side.

More Best Websites for Thriller Fiction Writers

by Pamela Hegarty

With the volatile changes taking place in the publishing industry today, it’s more important than ever to polish and advocate for your novel, whether you are published “traditionally” or “independently.”

Your primary promotional piece is your book’s cover. A simple step to making it fit the genre and reach your reader is to search Google Images for Thriller Book Covers.  It’s easy to see in the thumbnail images that many of these covers have a single eye-catching image and use a large font for the title and author’s name. It’s especially important to avoid clutter and smaller fonts when selling a book on Amazon, where the reader will only see a thumbnail image of the cover.

A great website to learn about cover design is  The host, Joel Friedlander, a professional book designer, offers insights not only on cover design, but on book interiors, publishing timelines, editing, authentic writing and more. I especially enjoy his book design cover awards. I find it inspiring to see so much creativity by many writers taking advantage of the new opportunities to make their books a reality.

On the writing side, check out the Writer’s Toolbox page on Lisa Gardner’s website. The best-selling thriller writer offers entertaining tips from the perspective of an experienced professional. And who can resist reading a post about Plotting the Novel: Or the Real Reason Writers are Neurotic? Her system may not be for everybody, but it’s worth checking out.