Brash Blog

Big Ideas and Big Names in suspense from Brash Books

Get the big ideas from the biggest names in suspense on the Brash Books blog. Here, you'll find posts by some of your favorite mystery authors sharing their views on crime fiction - along with inside stories about everything from how they wrote their bestselling thrillers to what inspires them.

You'll also hear from experts in the mystery and suspense genre, along with fans, publishing insiders, and of course, Brash Books. Posts will range from informative to controversial - but you can bet every one will be a compelling read. This is your destination to explore great crime fiction writing - past, present and future - from the authors, readers, and publishers who keep it alive.

Thanks to all of you who responded warmly to my update last week about the recently published “new and expanded” Road to Perdition prose novel. The sequel, Road to Purgatory, has just been reprinted by Brash Books in a uniform edition, and Road to Paradise will follow later this year or early next. So, with your patience, I’ll talk a little about how Road to Purgatory came about, and the challenges involved. The original graphic novel concept of Road to Perdition was developed for DC Comics editor Andy Helfer. Initially the plan was to do three 300-page graphic novels, each serialized in 100-page installments (the final book as... more

Read More of Max Allan Collins: Traveling the Long, Winding road to PURGATORY

One of the nicest things that happened to me last year – acknowledging that 2016 was something of a mine field I barely navigated – was the first-time publication by Brash Books of my complete prose version of Road to Perdition. Thus far, however, we don’t seem to have sold many copies, and at risk of a hard sell, I want to encourage readers of mine in general and of Road to Perdition in particular that this is a book you don’t want to miss. Perhaps you’ve read the graphic novel and don’t see the point in revisiting this story, particularly if you’ve seen the movie. Or maybe you read the previously published version and figure that, even though it’s 30,000 words... more

Read More of Max Allan Collins: The Long Road to the ROAD TO PERDITION

There’s an old saying that it’s easier to edit than it is to write, but I’m not sure I’m all in on that. Especially when you’re writing long form fiction.   A question that comes up often when I’m in a discussion about writing is “Do you edit as you go, or at the end?”   My answer: depends on the writer. I write my first draft longhand, using a pencil and a small notebook. This allows me to get ideas down fast. I just write it out, regardless of whatever errors may exist. And I usually write a chapter at a time. Then I transcribe the handwriting onto my laptop file, and that usually serves as my first edit. And I try to make that my only edit at the... more

Read More of Phillip Thompson: Writing vs. Editing

I use a variety of methods to stay mentally  and physically focused while I’m trying to write a novel, and this is important to me because I don’t spend all day writing. I may go days without being able to sit down with the characters, and I need to be able to jump right back in whenever I do. So, one of the big challenges for me during the writing of Outside the Law was staying organized for the long haul.  Both physically and mentally. Physically, writing a 60,000+ novel can get cumbersome, depending on how you’re going about it. I’m like several writer friends I know — I start a Word document and just start banging words out. Which sounds like a... more

Read More of Phillip Thompson: Staying Organized

It was bad enough that in 2007, at the age of 55, I tore up roots and moved from the east coast to Los Angeles, to carve out a career as a screenwriter. I upped the fish-out-of-water ante by choosing to live in an ethnic enclave—Koreatown. On arrival I found myself in a neighborhood where I not only couldn’t speak the language—I couldn’t even decipher the store signs. I was an outsider, which isn’t a bad situation for a writer. It kept me off-balance and open. I was an outsider for only so long. After a string of lonely nights in my apartment, I ventured out to a Korean nightclub a couple blocks away. The nightclub had no name that I could find, just a plastic sign that read... more

Read More of Mark Rogers: Writing “KOREATOWN BLUES”

After 3 ½ years in the making, it’s hard to believe I’m now three weeks away from the launch of my latest novel, Outside the Law on February 1st (but available now for pre-order). Writing this novel has been by far my most interesting and, I think, productive writing session yet. But it was not without its challenges. Like a lot of writers I know, I started out with a grand idea and a lot of words clogging up my head, and so I embarked on the tale in December 2013. I cranked out nearly 10,000 words over a holiday vacation week and felt pretty good about where I was headed. Then reality set in. Ten thousand words is a commitment — once I’m into it that deep, I have... more

Read More of Phillip Thompson: Writing “Outside the Law”