Friday, November 21, 2008
So now that there's a recession on and money is tight, why wouldn' t I decide to give books as gifts? If you take the time to match the book to the recipient, it speaks volumes (pun intended) about how much the person means to you.
Forget the pricey gadgets. Leave the goofy holiday sweaters on the hangers where they belong. Give someone the gift of a whole world for under $10.
You just can't beat that.
Check out my DG's Picks page for books I've enjoyed.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
For my first suspense novel, HUSH, I created a seriously creepy villain. A hero is only as strong as his adversary, so I wanted to give my story a villain so diabolical, he was a match for two heroes!
Meet Sam Carbone. Sam is, like Adolf Hitler, a frustrated artist. A superb draftsman, his reproductions of old master works are nearly impossible to tell from the originals. But that's just the trouble. Sam is incapable of being original himself.
Except in the experimental medium of murder. When it comes to the delicate art of the engineered accident, Sam is Picasso, Rembrandt and Monet all rolled into one. He's inventive, meticulous, and utterly without pity.
In the opening of HUSH, Sam's is the first head the story unfolds in. Like Alfred Hitchcock, who sometimes forces his audience into the killer's POV, I wanted my readers to know Sam from the beginning. You see, in Sam's own story, he is the tortured hero. He is motivated by his goal just as strongly as any protagonist. Unfortunately, his goal of being recognized as a serious artist is not going to be realized. Especially since the models for his work are all dead, dead, dead.
If only the New England Institute of Art had recognized his talent . . . The world might have had one more mediocre artist, but it would also have had one less serial killer.
For a peek inside the mind of a psychopathic assassin, visit http://www.dgholt.com/ . Sam will be glad to see you.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Politics are supposed to be about making a government that works to fulfill the promises of our constitution. But too often, it's about personal power.
In my novel HUSH, the new electronic voting machines system has been compromised and an election is about to be sold to the highest bidder. Sometimes, I wonder if it isn't more truth than fiction.
The security of the secret ballot is the bedrock of our political system. And I'm all for a high voter turn out. If you don't vote, don't complain.
But, I'm concerned about what's happening right now in Ohio. People are being allowed to register and cast their vote at the same time. There is no opportunity for the state to make certain these people have a right to vote. They may be students whose actual residency is in another state. They may be illegals or convicted felons. Political activists are rounding up homeless people and ferrying them to the polls. I'd be interested to know what sort of identification and proof of residency are being required. When I applied for my most recent library card, I had to produce a valid, state issued ID and proof of residency in the form of a lease or utility bill. Are these early voters asked to provide as much as I did in order to check out a book?
Call me a suspicious fiction writer, but this has potential voter fraud written all over it!
If you know more about the particulars of this program, I'd be interested to know what safeguards are in place to insure a free and fair election. Anybody know what's going on? All I can find on the news is the political spin and the results of the court challenge. I'd like to know about the nuts and bolts of the program.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The idea for HUSH came while I was, like my heroine Megan, stuck in traffic. In the side mirror of the car ahead of mine, I caught a glimpse of part of the driver's face. He was talking a blue streak and though I can't speechread like Megan, I wondered who he was talking to, what he was talking about. And because the heavy traffic had put me in a murderous frame of mind, my thoughts turned to killings-for-hire. I asked myself the writer's question--"What if ... ?" and the rest turned into HUSH.
My method of letting stories find me is not usual. I know some writers swear by brainstorming. Others use taro cards. Some start with character. Others are inspired by an object, by music, or news headlines. If you're a writer, where do you find your ideas?
Visit http://www.dgholt.com/ to learn more.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I'm a multi-published author in another genre under a different pen name, but HUSH is my first suspense. The craft of writing is the same, where ever the final product might be shelved in a bookstore, but writing suspense poses some unique challenges. How much to hold back, what clues to hide in plain sight, how much blood is too much . . . the trick is always to make a path in the prose, a series of literary bread crumbs that keep the reader turning pages and guessing what comes next along with the sleuth.
My sleuth in HUSH faces some unique challenges. For one thing, she's only got 60% of normal hearing with two hearing aids. Without them, her hearing is classified as profound loss. And she's only 26. Meningitis in her sophomore year of college nearly killed Megan Kelley, but she won't let her impairment stop her from achieving. She graduated from Boston College with honors. The only real casualty was her marriage to her high school sweetheart.
I first became interested in the challenges of the Deaf and hearing-impaired as a child. One of my friends had Deaf grandparents. My friend taught me to finger-spell. Then later as an adult, one of my close friends was an interpreter. I tried to learn some ASL, but was less successful with that than finger-spelling. ASL is a language all its own, not just English by hand.
My heroine Megan straddles two worlds--the hearing one she was born to and the Deaf one she still feels uncomfortable with. The tension between the two is a difficult tightrope to walk. Add in accidentally speechreading a murder-for-hire contract, and she's got a terrific balancing act.
Visit my website at http://www.dgholt.com/ to read more.