Guest Post on Cat Rambo’s Blog: Finding Your Literary Voice


Seriously. There’s no cooler name in the universe than Cat Rambo. And she let me guest post on her blog! Stop by here to read about finding your literary voice. 🙂


Guest Post by Lee Thompson, and a Giveaway!

You guys know that I adore Lee. Great man, great writer, great friend. He’s celebrating the release of his new crime novel A Beautiful Madness, and you can enter the giveaway!
A Beautiful Madness novel cover (2) (402x640)
A Texas Senator and his wife go missing… On the same day, their son is slaughtered by an enigmatic killer on the lawn of ex-Governor Edward Wood’s residence. Sammy, Wood’s drug dealing son, suspects his father of the crime. After all, his old man snapped once before and crippled his wife with a lead pipe. But there’s something more to these events…something deeper and festering just beneath the surface…
In direct opposition to Homicide Detective Jim Thompson, Sammy begins an investigation of his own, searching for the truth in a labyrinth of lies, deception, depravity and violence that drags him deeper into darkness and mayhem with each step. And in doing so, brings them all into the sights of an elusive and horrifying killer who may not be what he seems.
A brutal killer on a rampage of carnage…a hardened detective on the brink…an antihero from the shadows…a terrifying mystery that could destroy them all…
Welcome to Lee Thompson’s A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS blog tour! This blog, and the others participating, will receive a paperback copy to give to a random reader who leaves a comment and shares this post.
Throughout the book tour, I’ll be sharing fun facts about my first Mystery/Thriller, and also offering dubious advice to novice writers because I’ve had writers and editors farther along the path than myself give me tips that have helped me tremendously. If you want to up your game, pay attention and pass what you find useful on to those in your critique groups.
If you’re here as a reader, thanks so much. You’re every author’s life source. You’re the yin to our yang. The stories we set down on paper don’t seem to exist until someone else has read them, and the more the merrier.
Why You Should Read Widely
By reading great writers, across all genres, we develop more complex emotions and can learn to use those emotions to create more well-rounded characters.
By reading great writers, across all genres, we meet all kinds of people.
Chances are if you’ve spent most of your life stuck in a three or four different jobs, a couple different serious relationships, and still live in the place where you graduated high school, your worldview and the kinds of people you interact with in your neighborhood is very limited.
But the casts in dozens of terrific novels will help you see the scope of the world we live in and broaden your knowledge of people, which you can then use in your work.
A big hang-up for many novice writers is writing the same characters over and over and over because they have not lived enough or have not read enough to grasp the potential kinds of people available to populate their stories.
You’ll learn different ways to tell different stories, and different ways with which to start and end the scenes in your book. There’s an art to it, and we can learn it if we’ve got a smorgasbord to sample and lock away for future use.
You’ll learn and be influenced by different prose styles, have to look up and discover the meaning behind words, you’ll find those ‘ah ha’ moments hidden inside the structure of great plots, and when you read hundreds of novels that give an emotional payoff, you’ll dissect the dozens of ways it can be done.
It’ll make you a better writer, that’s all.
So don’t shortchange yourself or your audience by being a snob and saying you can only read this type of fiction because everything else is garbage.
For some variety, check out these novels (some of my favorites): THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green; GRENDEL by John Gardner; THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS by John Connolly; A CHOIR OF ILL CHILDREN by Tom Piccirilli; NAMELESS by Mercedes Yardley; THE DAMNED by John D. MacDonald; GALILEE by Clive Barker; THE RAPIST by Les Edgerton; THE THROAT by Peter Straub; WATER FOR ELEPHANTS by Sara Gruen; THE END OF EVERYTHING by Megan Abbott; SHARP OBJECTS by Gillian Flynn; MYSTIC RIVER by Dennis Lehane; AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner; FEAST DAY OF FOOLS by James Lee Burke.
In A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS, my protagonist Sammy grew up as a governor’s son and was used to those types of people and that lifestyle; as an adult he’s a drug dealer, selling to that same upper crust, and also has a lot of experience swimming along the underbelly of society thanks to the way his sister Delilah lives her life.
If he’d had a different history and personality the story would have been a completely different one since he would be a different person. And as he reads the people around him like we read books, he begins to change himself, and he’ll need that change to survive all the death-threatening obstacles he faces.
 Lee T.
Author bio: Lee Thompson is the author of the Suspense novels A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS (August 2014), IT’S ONLY DEATH (January 2015), and WITH FURY IN HAND (May 2015). The dominating threads weaved throughout his work are love, loss, and learning how to live again. A firm believer in the enduring power of the human spirit, Lee believes that stories, no matter their format, set us on the path of transformation. He is represented by the extraordinary Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary. Visit Lee’s website to discover more:
Enter to win a paperback copy! There will also be a grand prize at the end of the tour where one winner will receive my novel, and four other DarkFuse novels in Kindle format!
Simply leave a comment on this blog and share the link.
Thanks to those who participate.
Happy reading~ Lee

Chuck Wendig, Marmalade, and Secret Cookies


I read Chuck’s books and blog all of the time, so it was really an honor to crash his blog. Swing by while I share Five Things I Learned While Writing Nameless: The Darkness Comes, including an orange marmalade recipe.

Also, Erica Kiefer and I will be signing our books this Saturday at the Rainbow Promenade Barnes and Noble on Rainbow and Lake Mead. The signing begins at 1:00 pm, so stop by if you’re in the area! If you read this, be sure to ask me about the triple chocolate chip cookies. I’ll have a candy bowl for the general public, but I promised the girls I’d bring some cookies. They’ll be hidden away, if you’d like one.

Shhhh. Secret cookies.

Chat With Me While Doing The Dishes!


Or something like that.

But I would totally help you with your dishes if I could. 🙂

Gardner Goldsmith was kind enough to invite me onto his show last night. I’ve known G for about five years now, and he’s just the nicest of the nice. Here’s a link to the podcast if you’d like to take a listen.

I also had a guest post go up on Self Publisher’s Showcase about dealing with a bad review. Perhaps some of you remember that debacle. Learn from my mistakes, kids!

Thank you for sticking around during this rather hectic but really fun blog tour! I promise things will slow down soon, and we’ll have a chance to chat again. I can’t wait to show you the pictures of my bedroom wall all nicely glittered. 🙂

Have a wonderful day, friends!

Women in Horror Month

The extremely wonderful and talented Damien Walters Grintalis has invited me to guest post on her blog to celebrate February, which is Women in Horror month.  Damien is a regular at the Shock Totem flash fiction contest, and she has placed pretty much every time. Her work is stunning, her personality is warm and mysterious, and she’s just absolutely a pleasure.  Damien’s debut novel INK will be published in December 2012 by Samheim Horror.

Stop by, say hi to Damien, and read what I have to say about women in horror.

Your First Hate Mail: My First Guest Post of 2011. Woo hoo!

“Your First Hate Mail: How Life Can Change After Working For a Magazine” has gone live at The Fictorian Era.  Go! Read it! Support them! But first, let me tell you about our little literary meet-cute.

So I was at World Fantasy Con in October.  Besides geeking out over some of my favorite authors, I was also scouring the joint for Sean Markey.  Now I have never met Sean, but we’ve tweeted back and forth and I was hoping to track him and his wife down for some conversation.  Mercedes was on the hunt.  On the prowl.  Beware.

Apparently I’m a super sucky prowler.  I never did find Sean (I’ll get you next time, Gadget!) but I did run into Matthew Jones.  I actually turned around, eyed him, compared him with the tiny little Twitter avatar in my mind and said, “Your name doesn’t happen to be Sean, does it?”

Slow blink.  “No.  Hi.”

Matt is charming, adorable, and fierce. But he also has a heart of gold and, thankfully, a wallet, which is what I needed because I was ONE DOLLAR SHORT of buying a signed copy of Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn graphic novel, which was sold out not only at WFC, but at every comic book store in the county.  I know this, because my Illiterati sister billie the girl called all of the comic stores for me.  (This is yet another reason why my writing group rocks.)

So Matt gave me a dollar.  I gave him a hug or promised him my soul or some such thing, and Bill and Peggy Wu from William Wu Books gave me their copy of The Last Unicorn.  I was feeling the love.  And that is the story of how I began stalking Peter S. Beagle, Matt, Bill and Peggy, but no longer Sean Markey.

Er, I mean, that’s the story of how this guest post came to be.

Happy 2012, everyone!