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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The desperation factor

“I always say three things make a writer: inspiration, obviously; perspiration, doing the work; and desperation. I'm not really fit for anything else, or to have a real job. That fear drives me. The pressure has always been self inflicted.” – Harlan Coben

If you like sports (and I do) and you like murder mysteries (and I do) then you can’t help but like the writing of Harlan Coben, who found a very interesting way to combine the two.

Coben, who grew up as a childhood friend of current New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and is a close friend of fellow mystery/thriller novelist Dan Brown, was an athlete at Amherst College when he decided in his senior year that what he really wanted to do was write murder mysteries.  So he did. 

Harlan Coben

His stories are a great example of how ordinary people can (and usually do) play a key role in resolving a problem, and his style is one that lets his reader get right into the action.  He said he likes giving the reader everything they’ll need to figure out the mystery while still keeping them guessing with multiple plot twists.

“A good crime novelist – any good novelist for that matter – should … play with your perceptions while showing you everything in plain sight.”

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