Thursday, January 14, 2016

INTO THE FURY with Romantic Suspense Author Kat Martin

Please join me in welcome New York Times Bestselling Romantic Suspense Author Kat Martin. She returns with the Brodies (love them) in the first BOSS, Inc. Novel, Into the Fury. Today Kat joins us with a terrific post for writers, and as a bonus, the author is giving away a copy of the book. Stay tuned for my review of this great read in February.

The Book
"I love her books!" —Linda Lael Miller

"Martin is superb." —RT Book Reviews

A bodyguard, a bounty hunter, a P.I.—the men of Brodie Operations Security Service, Inc. are down for the job. . .

Sinners, whores, and sluts beware—your time is at hand: a faceless menace is threatening lingerie models on a cross country tour, and Ethan Brodie is there to defend and protect.

Ethan's learned the hard way that beauty is no substitute for character. So even though Valentine Hart is one of the most breathtaking women he's ever seen, he's keeping his hands off and his eyes open. Or that's what he tells himself.

Then one of the models is murdered, and the closer Ethan gets to the answers, the closer he finds himself to Valentine—and the hotter the pressure feels. There's more to Val—more to the other girls—than he could have guessed. But one is keeping a secret that could kill them all.

By Kat Martin
I never give writing tips.  I figure everyone has his own personal style.  Plus some people are just naturally good.  But I do think there are a few things authors can do to sharpen their work.  Here are some of the things I think about when I am writing a novel.

1.  Start with a hook.  Make your first sentence or at least your first paragraph compelling.  Make the reader want to read the book!  In INTO THE FURY, my newest Romantic Suspense, the first sentence reads,

SINNERS, SLUTS, and WHORES—BEWARE.  Your TIME is at HAND.  Standing next to the long mahogany table in the conference room, Ethan Brodie re-read the note he’d just been handed.
Everyone who sees this paragraph recognizes the threat in that note.  Someone--probably a woman--could be in grave peril.
With any luck, this opening will intrigue the reader enough to keep reading. 

2.  Enter late and leave early.  In the above example, we’re starting in the middle of the scene.  We’re not in the conference room waiting for Ethan to show up.  We aren’t there until after he receives the note.  From there we start charging forward, finding out what’s going to happen next.  Just remember the reader isn’t interested in “Hi, how are you?”  “I’m fine, and you?”  

At the end of the scene, get out. <Tweet This>

3.  Make sure there’s conflict in every scene.  This doesn’t necessarily mean violent conflict.  It can be man against nature, man against man, man against himself, anything that makes the reader interested in continuing. 

In my example, the conflict in the opening scene of INTO THE FURY is mostly Ethan’s battle with himself.  He doesn’t want to take a job bodyguarding what he thinks will be a bunch of air-headed models.  He’s had too much woman trouble lately, but it’s a good job that pays well.  They need his skills and so he decides to take it.

4.  Stay in the active voice whenever possible.  Try not to use the word was too many times.  Here’s an example.  A rumble of thunder in the sullen gray sky blotted the reverend’s next words.  I could have written, The sound of thunder could be heard in the distance. The sky was a sullen gray.  That’s passive voice.  It’s important to stay active.
Personally, I have to work at this.  I often go back and change from passive to active after I write the first draft. 

5.  Write characters that grow and change.  Writing a character arc, it’s called.  It means your characters learn something or do something that changes them.  During the time Ethan is working with the La Belle lingerie models, he learns how difficult their job is.  He comes to admire their work ethic and their brains. 

It changes some of his thinking about the female sex and helps him realize the kind of woman he really wants in his life.

There are lots of great tips to writing.  The five above I learned from studying very successful authors.  Dean Koontz has a wonderful book called Learning To Write, but its out of print and hard to find.

All the authors I’ve studied, all the books by other authors that I’ve enjoyed through the years, have helped me immeasurably.  I hope these tips will help you, too.    

Best of luck with your writing and all good wishes for a terrific 2016. 
Warmest, Kat

The Author
Currently living near Missoula, Montana, Kat Martin is the bestselling author of over fifty-five Historical and Contemporary Romance novels, currently an NYT bestselling author of the romantic suspense AGAINST series. Before she started writing in 1985, Kat was a real estate broker. During that time, she met her husband, L. J. Martin, also an author with over 33 book length works. Kat is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. "I love anything old," Kat says. "I love to travel and especially like to visit the places where my books are set. My husband and I often stay in out-of-the-way inns and houses built in times past. It's fun and it gives a wonderful sense of a by-gone era." 

To date, Kat has over fifteen million copies of her books in print. She is published more than two dozen foreign countries, including Germany, Norway, Sweden, China, Korea, Bulgaria, Russia, England, South Africa, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Japan and Greece.


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