deathrowcompexThe Death Row Complex, CrimeFiction.FM and Last Heartthrob Episode Four: Hollywood Endings

The Death Row Complex (The Katrina Stone Novels Book 2) Published June 10!

"An anonymous warning is sent to the White House, and a genetically engineered biological weapon is released in a California prison. The unpublished data of biologist Katrina Stone may hold the key to harnessing the lethal bacterium--and to its creation within the desperate world from which biotechnology is born."

Exciting set-up, right?

Kristen Elise, PH.D. knows what she's writing about, too. She's a drug discovery biologist.

Her book is off to a good start. The reviews are looking great.

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"I couldn't put this book down, I found myself reading late into the night! It is so well written, with each chapter ending on a suspenseful cliffhanger that makes you want to keep going.

Okay, I'm not too crazy about the sleep deprivation that this book seems to be causing, but I took advantage of the 99¢ Kindle pricing. What can I say? I'm a risk taker. The Vesuvius Isotope is on my Kindle device, too.

Stephen Campbell interviewed Kristen on his excellent CrimeFiction.FM podcast. You can listen to that interview here.

Stephen is a genuinely enthusiastic and knowledgeable reader and interviewer who clearly loves the genre and talking with the people who create it.

Oh, and I almost forgot, but don't you forget. When you've finished reading Kristen's book, please leave a review on Amazon or wherever you bought it. It is SO important for new authors (for all authors), and it helps them write more books for you.

mulhollandLast Heartthrob Episode Four
Hollywood Endings

Writing and Music

I thought I'd be writing about the Hollywood Cautionary Tale as a sub-genre of noir this week. (I'll do that on the episode page). I didn’t know a week ago that I would listen to an interview with Baron Birtcher on Stephen Campbell’s CrimeFiction.FM. I didn’t know that the correlation between writing and music would come up. Baron Birtcher raises the point that we don’t often notice the rhythm in writing when it’s right, but we recognize it when it’s wrong.

This week, after workshopping episode four, I discovered my tempo was dragging. Oops! In storytelling terms, episode (04/12) falls where the first act break would fall in a play or a movie. The first act finale was there, but in comparison to the previous episodes, it seemed to be dragging a little getting there.

Something had to go. I cut some dialogue between Tom and Madeleine during their drive to the restaurant and a phone call Tom makes to Corky Marzzone. It stung a bit, but the phone call wasn't cruicial.

Cutting the early dialogue between Tom and Madeleine created a problem. I had deliberately avoided their commenting on each other's appearance until their shadow, Walter Forbes, could see them. The conversation that I cut took care of that. They got caught up talking about other things. With that dialogue cut, the delay didn't make sense. D'oh!

But what if Madeleine was listening to the classical station on the way over to Tom's? And what if a piece that she really liked, a piece that Tom was unfamiliar with were playing? She might ask him to shut up and listen to it. She's a director. She's kind of bossy that way.

I originally thought of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, because I love it. But I’m not in the story, and while I establish that Madeleine has a background in theater in this episode, I don't establish a background in music. Tom could eventually realize that the Adagietto was used in Luchino Visconti's Death in Venice, so I could sneak that Easter egg in, but I could do better.

I Googled classical music used in film noir and came up with a more generalized result of classical music used in movies. Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto played a strong supporting role in David Lean's Brief Encounter, but given the episode starts FOUR DAYS BEFORE THE GUNSHOTS, that might induce groans.

But Peter Lorre whistled the tune “In the Hall of the Mountain King” whenever he contemplated murder in the movie M. Its German expressionist style is often cited as a film noir influence.

Madeleine would be familiar with the music because she would know the incidental music for Henrik Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt.

Being a film geek, Tom would eventually recognize “In the Hall of the Mountain King” as the tune Peter Lorre whistled.


Last Heartthrob Episode Four: Hollywood Endings

It's best to read any mystery from the beginning.

Read Episode One FREE online or on Kindle.

Thu, 02 Jul 2015 06:30:34 -0700