Steve Edward Farley


These blog posts aren’t just going to be just about writing, most of the time they will, however this is my chance to rewrite the world to put into perspective what I like and dislike about this world. Today I want to focus on current projects.

Selling What They’re Buying

One thing that I am working on at the moment is a thriller. It follows an up and coming author, his back story is that he is former military, he briefly worked for the CIA but left and has found moderate success. He recently signed with an agent who shopped his latest book. A book by which he hated himself for writing. He did what a lot of authors do, instead of writing fiction based on what they love they have followed the wish lists of publishers and literary agents. It is smart business wise to do that. I mean you tailor a novel to what that person is interested in selling. Obviously there is a market for writing that way.

The Thriller’s Ordinary World

In my thriller this author does it and it provides him with additional funds. He decides that he needs time away. Boarding a private jet with his companions. Two dogs, a naughty cat, and a loyal valet. He contemplates his decision to sell out by spending his time poolside on the island of Mykonos. His downtime is interrupted by an annoying and dreadful colleague. The lead is forced to take this cancer everywhere and they end up at a party.

The Thriller's setting, Mykonos. This picture shows a beautiful blue sky, white buildings, and a white church in the foreground.
Picture of Mykonos by Jimmy Teoh

A Leading Man for a Thriller

At the party it is interrupted by a group of terrorists and the main character kills a bunch of them and ends up finding out the girl he is into is a secret agent and more or less used him. This sets the stage to draw the lead into a theatrical plot that is full of adventure. Our lead is moody, selfish and a bit conceited yet he is smooth and cool and weary of both love and living outside his comfort zone.

Setting a Thriller

The setting is the beautiful white marble buildings and bright blue doors on the island of Mykonos. Narrow alleyways offer a suspenseful feeling in addition the access of other nearby islands offer a sizable and imaginable scale. I am at a point in the thriller where I like to write yet I am still unsure of the direction, but still I feel there is something there with the story, something that draws me in.

The best part about writing action sequences is the flow of a fight, the drama in a chase and the gratification that comes from an unpredictable outcome. How do I choose the locations that I use in a novel? Using real places is something I tend to avoid, is it an apprehension or a feeling of being unworthy to capture the true sense of the place and culture. Making a place up in a book is much easier because it is my imagination that is in control.

Cultural Sensitivity, Except…

I definitely don’t want to insult the culture and natural beauty of a place, unless that place is Paris. Seriously fuck that place, rude and nasty people. Cigarette smoke all over and I mean the food is great but if I want a meal served with an attitude I’ll go to an Army Defac.

I'm not sure if a thriller set in Paris would work or not. This is a photo of Paris by Chris Molloy.
Photo of Paris by Chris Molloy

When I was in basic, the staff there were some of the meanest people on the planet. Keep in mind you are half starved the entire time. You would get one scoop of meat, so if you had a super small chicken breast on the scoop and asked for a bigger piece they ripped you to shreds. Actually that is how most civilian DOD employees are with active duty soldiers. They are as rude as people in Paris.

Back to my thriller story I have a setting, lead character, and interesting plot. Now it is time to pick the best action sequences, in order to provide a thrilling experience for my readers. I’ll keep you updated on this story and hopefully very soon it will be out on kindle for you to read. Perhaps I might even put the first chapter online to read.

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