“I couldn’t put it down!” Those words are some of the most satisfying comments an author can receive. Nothing pleases me more than a note from someone grumbling about staying up late to finish one of my books.
It’s music to my ears.
There are lots of ways to earn those precious words. Writing a fast-paced novel is one of them. It is certainly my goal every time I start a new book.
My latest, THE DECEPTION, was no different. I knew I would be writing Hawk Maddox’s story. Hawk had been on my mind since he first appeared in a previous novel, BEYOND DANGER. I knew what he was like—strong, determined, tough as boot leather, and at six-foot-four, two-hundred-twenty pounds, a total beefcake hunk.
He was also a bounty hunter, which made him an interesting character with an interesting job. I always try to find the hero’s perfect match, and Kate Gallagher was just right for Hawk. Tall, blonde, and curvy, she loved country music and drinking tequila at the Sagebrush Saloon.
But that was her secret side. She also owned her own business consulting firm, so she was smart and hard-working.
I like to read books that draw me in and won’t let go, books I can’t wait to pick up again to find out what’s going to happen next.
There are lots of ways to do it. Pairing down description makes the story move faster—or as Elmore Leonard once said, “I try to leave out the parts people skip.”
A Hollywood movie trick is to jump right into the scene. Leave out the the Hello, how are you? I’m fine, how are you? and just start talking.
I try to use hooks at the beginning and end of chapter, though some authors end a chapter in the middle of the action to keep you turning the pages.
I’ve found I do a lot of characterization by showing how the hero, heroine, and sub characters react in a situation, rather than telling about their past. For instance, I don’t mention what the heroine did in high school unless it’s important to how she’ll solve the problem she’s facing.
These are a few of my techniques, though every author has his own style and there is nothing wrong with any of them as long as they work.
In THE DECEPTION, Kate Gallagher is devastated when she learns her sister has been murdered. Determined to find Chrissy’s killer, Kate hires lethal bounty hunter, Hawk Maddox. Working together, they follow a trail of clues that lead them deep into the city’s underbelly. Though Hawk warns Kate of the danger, nothing he says can convince Kate to walk away.
I hope you’ll watch for THE DECEPTION and that you find it a fast-paced, high-action page-turner.
New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the
University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and
also studied History. Currently residing in Missoula, Montana with her Western-author
husband, L. J. Martin, Kat has written sixty-five Historical and Contemporary
Romantic Suspense novels. More than sixteen million copies of her books are in
print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Kat is currently
at work on her next Romantic Suspense.