Episode 164: Start with a Bang — Interview Live from ThrillerFest 2017

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Hey there word nerds!

In today’s episode I bring you again live to ThrillerFest 2017! This time I’ve assembled a panel of authors all published by Quercus books and who all start their very different books with a bang.

I am so excited to be speaking with Adam Hamdy, K.J. Howe, and Sam Wiebe, and sharing our panel discussion on the show!

Listen in as we discuss the process of writing a high paced first chapter and the many facets of the Thriller genre.

This episode is brought to you by our amazing word nerd fans and supporters on Patreon. If you’d like to help support this show, hop over to patreon.com/DIYMFA.

In this episode Adam, K.J., Sam, and I discuss:

  • How to start a book with a bang that pulls the reader in and introduces your character.
  • The “silence” after the bang, and how to craft that moment so that it holds the reader’s interest.
  • Dramatic tension, and how to raise the stakes in scenes that might not be life or death.
  • How to craft opening scenes that hook your readers, whether you start with a group, a one-on-one interaction, or inside a single character’s head.
  • What the authors’ favorite opening scenes are and why.

Plus, each of these fabulous authors’ #1 tips for writers.

About the Quercus Authors

Adam Hamdy is an author, screenwriter, and filmmaker who has worked with producers and studios on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition to his own original work, Adam has adapted a number of comic books and novels for the screen, including the forthcoming film version of David Mitchell’s novel, Number9Dream. Pendulum is Adam’s third novel. Prior to becoming a writer, Adam was a strategy consultant and advised global businesses operating in a wide range of industries. Adam lives in Shropshire with his wife and three children. To connect with Adam check out his website at www.adamhamdy.com.

K.J. Howe is the executive director of Thrillerfest, the annual conference of International Thriller Writers. A three-time Daphne du Maurier Award winner, she completed her MA in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University. She is an avid traveler who has raced camels in Jordan, surfed in Hawaii, and dove with the great whites in South Africa. She became fascinated by the kidnap and ransom (K&R) world after meeting Peter Moore, a British computer consultant who became the longest-held hostage in Iraq and the only person to survive of the five men who were taken that day. The Freedom Broker is her debut novel. To connect with K.J. check out her website at www.kjhowe.com and listen to her solo episode on DIY MFA Radio at DIYMFA.com/143.

Sam Wiebe’s stand-alone debut novel, Last of the Independents, won an Arthur Ellis Award and the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize, and was nominated for a Shamus award. His stories have appeared in Thuglit, subTerrain and Criminal Element’s The Malfeasance Occasional e-collection, among others. His latest novel, Invisible Dead, is the first in a noir thriller series set in his home city of Vancouver. To connect with Sam check out his website at www.samwiebe.com

About the Books

These are all such wonderful books and we hope you’ll help support these fabulous authors. If you decide to check out one (or all!) of these, we hope you’ll do so via the Amazon affiliate links below. This means that with every purchase purchase DIY MFA makes a small commission at no cost to you. It’s a great way to support these authors and DIY MFA at the same time. Thank you for being awesome!

Pendulum by: Adam Hamdy

You wake. Confused. Disorientated. 
A noose is round your neck.
You are bound, standing on a chair.
All you can focus on is the man in the mask tightening the rope.
You are about to die.
John Wallace has no idea why he has been targeted. No idea who his attacker is. No idea how he will prevent the inevitable.
Then the pendulum of fate swings in his favour.
He has one chance to escape, find the truth and halt his destruction.
The momentum is in his favour for now.
But with a killer on his tail, everything can change with one swing of this deadly pendulum…

You have one chance. Run.

The Freedom Broker by: K.J. Howe

There are 25 elite professionals who travel undercover to the deadliest spots in the world to bring hostages home safely by any means necessary. Only one of those 25 elite response consultants is a woman.  She brings everything a man does to the job as well as her intuition. She is the inspiration behind professional kidnap negotiator Thea Paris.

At eight years old, a terrified Thea Paris watched as her twelve-year-old brother, Nikos, was mistakenly abducted—in her place—from their home in Kanzi, Africa.  This defining experience drives Thea to become one of the top negotiators in the Kidnap & Ransom field.  Nicknamed Liberata—because she once secured the release of a captive from the Sicilian mob without paying a cent—she travels the globe bringing hostages home.  Twenty years after her brother’s abduction, her worst nightmare is realized when her oil magnate father, Christos Paris, is kidnapped.  He disappears off his yacht while it is moored at Santorini; the ship’s whole crew slaughtered mercilessly. Betraying her brother Nikos may be the only way to save her father. Will Thea be able to save him and reunite her family, or will she let her family down again?

Invisible Dead by: Sam Wiebe

Dave Wakeland isn’t the usual PI. A 29-year-old ex-cop, he makes a habit of bad ideas. Chelsea Loam falls squarely into that category. Chelsea disappeared eleven years ago, leaving a trail leading towards career criminals and powerful men. Taking her case quickly starts to look like a good way to get killed.

Whatever ghosts drive Wakeland, they drive him inexorably, addictively toward danger and the allure of an unsolvable mystery. In this fresh and fast-paced noir thriller, echoing the darkest troubles of our age, a witty and badly bruised new face takes his place in the ranks of the very finest characters in crime fiction.

Link to Episode 164

(Right-click to download.)

Thrillerfest 2018

This is one of my favorite conferences of the year and International Thriller Writers (ITW) has just announced that next year’s event is open for enrollment. This is an opportunity to learn from the best-of-the-best in the thriller genre and meet awesome authors like the ones featured in this interview. Sign up now for the best early bird rate.

Thrillerfest XIII is now open for enrollment! Click here to learn more.

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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome!

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