Tyson Adams

Putting the 'ill' back in thriller

Archive for the month “October, 2012”

Good luck with NaNoWriMo this year!

NaNoWriMo starts again for another year tomorrow (the day after for everyone living in the past – being an Aussie is great). Good luck to everyone going crazy trying to write 1666 words per day.

Unfortunately I won’t be able to join the November madness. I really enjoyed last year, especially the part where I actually managed to write 52,000 words in a month. This year I have a 6 week old poop machine to look after. Have fun everyone!

I’m still working on my novels

At the moment I have three projects on the go. The first is the rewrites of my first novel, which I’m hoping to finish and try to find a publisher for sometime after Xmas. The second project is a sequel to the first novel. I never intended to make a series, but during the writing of the first novel I had several ideas that just needed to be written as well. The third project is a different tale entirely, not least of which is my choice of third person narrative, unlike the predominantly first person narrative of the other two. For a synopsis of my works in progress, click here.

Parenting test: 14 steps to follow before you have children

Being a new dad is great, but you really do have to be prepared for the life changing nature of parenting. Take the test to see if you are ready.

Test 1: Preparation

Women: To prepare for pregnancy
1. Put on a dressing gown and stick a beanbag down the front.
2. Leave it there.
3. After nine months, remove 5 per cent of the beans.
Men: To prepare for children
1. Go to a local chemist, tip the contents of your wallet onto the counter and tell the pharmacist to help himself.
2. Go to the supermarket. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home. Pick up the newspaper and read it for the last time.

Test 2: Knowledge

Find a couple who are already parents and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack of patience, appallingly low tolerance levels and how they have allowed their children to run wild. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child’s sleeping habits, toilet training, table manners and overall behaviour. Enjoy it; this will be the last time in your life that you will have all the answers.

Test 3: Nights

1. Walk around the living room from 5pm to 10pm carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 4-6kg, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly.
2. At 10pm, put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 11pm and walk the bag around the living room until 1am.
4. Set the alarm for 3am.
5. As you can’t get back to sleep, get up at 2am and make a cup of tea.
6. Go to bed at 2.45am.
7. Get up again at 3am when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs in the dark until 4am.
9. Put the alarm on for 5am. Get up when it goes off.
10. Make breakfast.
*Keep this up for 5 years. LOOK CHEERFUL.

Test 4: Dressing small children

1. Buy a live octopus and a string bag.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the string bag so that no arms hangout.
*Time Allowed: 5 minutes

Test 5: Cars

1. Forget the BMW; buy a practical 5-door wagon.
2. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there.
3. Get a coin. Insert it into the CD player.
4. Take a box of chocolate biscuits; mash them into the back seat.
5. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Test 6: Going for a walk

1. Wait.
2. Go out the front door.
3. Come back in again.
4. Go out.
5. Come back in again.
6. Go out again.
7. Walk down the front path.
8. Walk back up it.
9. Walk down it again.
10. Walk very slowly down the road for five minutes.
11. Stop, inspect minutely and ask at least six questions about every piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue and dead insect along the way.
12. Retrace your steps.
13. Scream that you have had as much as you can stand until the neighbours come out and stare at you.
14. Give up and go back into the house.
*You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.

Test 7: Conversations with children

Repeat everything you say at least 5 times.

Test 8: Grocery shopping

1. Go to the local supermarket. Take with you the nearest thing you can find to a preschool child – a fully grown goat is excellent. If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat.
2. Buy your weekly groceries without letting the goat(s) out of your sight.
3. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys.
*Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Test 9: Feeding a 1-year-old

1. Hollow out a melon
2. Make a small hole in the side
3. Suspend the melon from the ceiling and swing it side to side
4. Now get a bowl of soggy cornflakes and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon while pretending to be an aeroplane.
5. Continue until half the cornflakes are gone.
6. Tip the rest into your lap, making sure that a lot of it falls on the floor.

Test 10: Entertainment

1. Learn the names of every character from the Wiggles, Barney, Teletubbies and Disney.
2. Watch nothing else on television for at least 5 years.

Test 11: Mess

Can you stand the mess children make?
1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2. Hide a fish behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flowerbeds and then rub them on clean walls. Cover the stains with crayon. How does that look?
4. Empty every drawer/cupboard/storage box in your house onto the floor and proceed with step 5.
5. Drag random items from one room to another room and leave them there.

Test 12: Long trips with toddlers

1. Make a recording of someone shouting ‘Mummy’ repeatedly. Important notes: no more than a 4-second delay between each ‘Mummy’. Include occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet.
2. Play this tape in your car, everywhere you go for the next 4 years.
*You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Test 13: Conversations

1. Start talking to an adult of your choice.
2. Have someone else continually tug on your shirt hem or shirt sleeve while playing the ‘Mummy tape’ listed above.
*You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

Test 14: Getting ready for work

1. Pick a day on which you have an important meeting.
2. Put on your finest work attire.
3. Take a cup of cream and put one cup of lemon juice in it.
4. Stir.
5. Dump half of it on your nice silk shirt.
6. Saturate a towel with the other half of the mixture.
7. Attempt to clean your shirt with the same saturated towel.
8. Do not change (you have no time).
9. Go directly to work.

You are now ready to have children. ENJOY!

Original article published at Essential Baby, October 18, 2012.

The coolest word

Correct word usage

Rewriting the Classics

Literature that is very old has a slight problem. When they were written the authors didn’t have the advantage of our modern knowledge, they didn’t have scientific discoveries, science journals, the internet, massive libraries, etc. The advances that human knowledge has made in the last 150 years is astounding.

But does that mean we should rewrite the classics? Sometimes it is beneficial to leave texts just the way they were written, as it gives us an insight into the period in which they were written. A great example is Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, people want to edit out the racist references, yet that would remove part of the context for the struggle Jim goes through in the story. But in other cases you are merely perpetuating factual inaccuracies by teaching and reading kids some classics. As a result it is sometimes important to rewrite these texts to display our updated understandings of the world.

The surprising decline in violence

Damn. How can a thriller or crime writer make a crust if violence is declining?

I know that we writers are generally known for writing fiction, but we readers – yes, I’m both – are also a fickle bunch who like things to have a level of realism to them. We need there to be a basis for our stories so that you can become more emotionally involved with the protagonists. If violence keeps declining then thriller and crime authors are going to have to look to the sensationalism of media reporting for story ideas. I think we can all agree that you can’t base fiction upon fiction.

Book Review: Fallen by Karin Slaughter

Fallen (Will Trent, #5)Fallen by Karin Slaughter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Unbelievably this is the first Karin Slaughter novel I have read. I have read one of her short stories before, which made me pick up this novel, so it wasn’t like I didn’t know that Slaughter had the goods in crime thrillers.

I quite enjoyed the slightly different take that Karin has on the crime thriller. Front and centre are a mix of slightly dysfunctional characters that somehow manage to not only work with one another, but are actually interesting to read about. You know how crime novels often have that self-loathing, alcoholic, dark and depressing lead character? Well this novel doesn’t have that – thank his noodliness.

You can see why Karin is a bestselling author, so the only question is which of her novels I’ll read next.

View all my reviews

Definition of the Day

Publishers love ebooks – who’d have thunk?

Original article here.

This is a long rambling post…

Book Review: Temple of the Gods By Andy McDermott

Temple Of The Gods (Nina Wilde & Eddie Chase, #8)Temple Of The Gods by Andy McDermott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ridiculously fast paced action, check. Plot that squirms and worms its way along as fast as the action, check. Nina and Eddie blowing up everything they come across, check. Must be another adventure by Andy McDermott.

In my book Andy McDermott and Matthew Reilly are the kings of fast paced action novels. There is no stone left unthrown, no ancient monument left intact, no bad guys die peacefully: brilliant! Of course this style of novel is not for everyone, especially if you have a pacemaker or take beta-blockers. Some people like to read literature, so there is no accounting for taste.

I have unfortunately missed the previous installment in the series, Empire of Gold, jumping straight from The Sacred Vault. This didn’t affect my enjoyment, but there is reference to past adventures throughout in the plot, so it is best to read the series in order. The cadre of evil billionaires are back again, something the world never seems to run out of for some reason, causing more trouble in their quest to dominate. If you take a close look you will recognise who the people are based upon, Gina Rhinehart and the Koch brothers being alluded to as evil: who’d have thunk?

View all my reviews

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