I'm so pleased to have Jeff Marks as my guest this week. He's the author of a number of award-winning books as well as Intent to Sell, a book every writer should own.
There comes a time about 90% of the way through a book where my mind starts to wander. Having successfully, or nearly successfully, completing another book, I start to think about what I want to do next. I find myself there with the Erle Stanley Gardner biography at the moment. I’m tucking in details here and there, but the vast majority of the writing about this extremely productive author is complete.
I’ve done most of the interviews with the family and friends, editors and fellow authors. I’ve spent the hours watching the Mason movies and the Mason TV show.
The end of the road is in sight and after two intense years on a journey, I’m picking my head up to look around. I actually read a book that wasn’t by
last week; it kind of felt like I was being unfaithful. I talked to some friends who threw out ideas on new subjects for biography. I’ve been following my Biographers’ group on Facebook to see what others are doing. Gardner
It’s not like I’ll stop now. I’ll still finish the book, and I got a push in that direction when my research assistant uncovered a trove of previously undiscovered photos and letters. It’s part of a large amount of material that has never been used to define one of the greatest authors of the 20th century. It adds to
’s early years, and hopefully makes it a better book with a clearer understanding of the man who practically invented the legal thriller. Gardner
So what is next? Of course, another biography, but I’m only in the first stages of deciding on a new subject. Each book takes several years to write, and I tend to be particular about who I spend that much time with. I’m always open to suggestions and recommendations though, as I look forward. Until then, I’ll try to put my head back down to the grindstone and write the final pages of this book.
Jeffrey Marks is a long-time mystery fan and freelancer. After numerous mystery author profiles, he chose to chronicle the short but full life of mystery writer Craig Rice.
That biography (Who Was That Lady?) encouraged him to write mystery fiction. His works include Atomic Renaissance: Women Mystery Writers of the 1940s/1950s, and Criminal Appetites, an anthology of cooking related mysteries. His latest work is a biography of mystery author and critic Anthony Boucher entitled Anthony Boucher. It has been nominated for an Agatha and fittingly, won an Anthony.
He is the long-time moderator of MurderMustAdvertise, an on-line discussion group dedicated to book marketing and public relations. He is the author of Intent to Sell: Marketing the Genre Novel, the only how-to book for promoting genre fiction.His work has won a number of awards including the Barnes and Noble Prize and he was nominated for a Maxwell award (DWAA), an Edgar (MWA), three Agathas (Malice Domestic), two Macavity awards, and three Anthony awards (Bouchercon). Today, he writes from his home in