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Blitz: Two Reasons To Run by Colleen Coble


 Colleen Coble is a USA TODAY bestselling author and RITA finalist best known for her coastal romantic suspense novels, including The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens, and the Lavender Tides, Sunset Cove, Hope Beach, and Rock Harbor series.

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The Value of Reading for Authors

By Colleen Coble

Since I could read see Jane run, I’ve had a book in my hand. My parents have pictures of me sleeping with my face in an open book. In my teens I used to take a flashlight to bed with me so I could read after I was supposed to be sleeping. Hard as it would be to give up writing, if I had to choose between reading and writing, I’d pick reading. I wouldn’t survive without being able to read!

Reading for a writer is invaluable. My first piece of advice for an aspiring writer is always read widely in the genre you want to write. You pick up important details like pacing, how to set a scene, characterization, and all those other important skills by reading.

Reading stretches you as a writer also. I constantly want to push myself to bigger and better stories, and I do that by reading what’s out there. The books I read expand possibilities in my mind and can often trigger an idea that has nothing to do with the actual book I’ve just read but can springboard off of it to something interesting.

Reading non-fiction is an important part of researching my novels as well. Quite honestly, this is the only time I read something other than novels. But the details when researching can make a huge difference in the layers that emerge in story. For Two Reasons to Run I read several books on oil platforms and natural disasters and some of that research went into the novel.

Some writers find reading an encouragement to try a different technique, but that hasn’t been true for me. I’m firmly in the close third person point of view, and no amount of novels I read in first person tempts me to write a novel that way. J I’ve tried a scene or two in first person, and it’s not my natural voice. But experimenting can be especially helpful in the beginning for writers. Trying a new technique you found compelling may lead you to your own natural voice. Beginning writers especially can land on a type of writing they think is expected instead of finding their own way of telling a story.

Readers often tell me they love the way I immerse them in the setting of the story, and writing is what taught me how to hone that particular craft. Detail is important, but it’s equally crucial to only put in the details that are needed. I always try to leave out the parts readers skip! If you’re like me, you tend to jump over too much detail and backstory. Reading helps you figure out what parts need to be deleted.

I’ve often read a compelling suspense novel and then taken it apart to figure out what made me keep reading until 3:00 A.M. When you discover what keeps you reading, you can figure out how to torture your own reader with equal skill. I love to hear a reader complain I kept her up most of the night!

If you’re a writer, I suggest checking out the USAToday or New York Times bestseller lists in your particular genre. See if you can figure out why they are selling so well, then take a look at your own story and see if you can bring some of that insight into your novel. Don’t be afraid to read while you’re writing. I’ve never found reading to mess with my voice, and if I had to wait to read until I wasn’t writing, I’d never be able to read!



Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published by: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: September 8, 2020
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 0785228489 (ISBN13: 9780785228486)
Series: Pelican Harbor #2
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ChristianBook.com | Goodreads


Gripping romantic suspense from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

A lie changed her world.

Police Chief Jane Hardy is still reeling from the scandal that rocked her small-town department just as she took over for her retired father—the man who wrecked her life with one little lie. Now she’s finally been reunited with her presumed-dead fifteen-year-old son, Will, and his father, documentarian Reid Bechtol.

A crisis looms.

When a murder aboard the oil platform Zeus exposes an environmental terrorist’s plot to flood Mobile Bay with crude oil, Jane and Reid must put their feelings for each other behind them and work together to prevent the rig from being sabotaged.

A killer targets her son.

Then the terrorist puts her son Will’s life on the line. Protecting him could be the common ground they need . . . but then ghosts from the past threaten to ruin Jane and Reid for good. She’s got plenty of reasons to run. But what if she stays?


READ AN EXCERPT

Was anyone watching?


Keith McDonald sat at the computer and glanced around the oil platform’s rec room, but the dozen or so workers were engrossed in watching the final game of a Ping-Pong match. He hesitated,

then hovered his cursor over the Send button. Clenching his teeth, he sent the emails. Maybe it was nothing, but if anyone could decipher the recording, it was Reid Dixon.


The back of his neck prickled, and Keith looked around again. The room felt stifling even with the AC cooling it from the May heat. He jumped up and headed for the door. He exited and darted into the shadows as two men strolled past. One was his suspect.


Keith stood on a grating suspended three thousand feet over the water and strained to hear past the noise of machinery. The scent of the sea enveloped him, and the stars glimmered on the water surrounding the oil platform that had been his home for two years now.


“Scheduled for late May—”


A clanging bell drowned out the rest of the man’s words.


“Devastation—”


The other fragment of conversation pumped up Keith’s heart rate. Were they talking about the sabotage he feared, or was he reading more into the words than were there? He couldn’t believe someone could be callous enough to sabotage the oil platform and destroy the coast on purpose. He’d seen firsthand the devastating effects from the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. And what about the people living on the platform? Deepwater Horizon had killed eleven people and injured another seventeen.


He had to sound a warning and stop this, but he had no real evidence. If Reid Dixon blew him off, who would even listen? Maybe Homeland Security would pay attention, but who did he even call there? He could tell them about the pictures threatening Bonnie, but what did that prove? They might just say she had a stalker and he was chasing shadows.


He couldn’t say they were wrong.


He sidled along the railing, and the breeze lifted his hair. A boat bobbed in the waves far below, and in the moonlight, he spotted a diver aboard. Must be night diving the artificial reef created by the concrete supports below the platform. He’d done a bit of it himself over the years.


For an instant he wished he were gliding carefree through the waves without this crushing weight of conscience on his shoulders. When he was sixteen, life was so simple. School, girls, football, and good times. He’d gone to work at the platform when he was nineteen, after he’d decided college wasn’t for him.


It had been a safe place, a good place to work with fun companions and interesting work.


Until a few weeks ago when everything turned sinister and strange. He’d wanted to uncover more before he reported it, but every second he delayed could mean a stronger chance of an attack.


If an attack was coming. He still wasn’t sure, and he wanted a name or to identify the organization behind the threat. If there was a threat. Waffling back and forth had held him in place. Was this real, or was he reading something dangerous into something innocent?


Though he didn’t think he was overreacting.


He turned to head to his quarters. A bulky figure rushed him from the shadows and plowed into his chest, driving him back against the railing. The man grabbed Keith’s legs and tried to tip him over the edge.




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Comments

  1. Such an interesting post. It brought back memories of See Jane Run and I ,too, always had a book in hand even at an early age.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me as well! I don't remember a time in my life when I was not reading .

      Delete
  2. I have been an avid reader all my life. Books provide me with a great source of entertainment and enjoyment.

    ReplyDelete

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