The tickle of curiosity. The gasp of discovery. Fingers running across the keyboard.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Expert Advice: Opportunities for Writers (and the curious)

While I have written a lot of articles trying to describe things from my experiences so authors who don't have the opportunities to try things can get a feel for the scene. Even with my resources, that's not always possible.

I  like to talk to experts, as you may know from previous articles.
I like for experts to read my scene for correctness of technique and vocabulary.

Sometimes, I listen to experts explain in lectures. In my book Open Secret, one of my characters is a game designer. I have ZERO knowledge about games/gaming/game design. I was confident enough in what I wrote because I watched a MASTERCLASS of a game designer, explaining his thought processes and procedures. It was enough to give my character the nuances that I think will be recognizable to those who are immersed in the gamer world.


280 characters can destroy a nation.
USA Today bestselling author Fiona Quinn pens a romantic suspense thriller where social media is weaponized.

The rules of the game have changed.

Avery Goodyear, a romance editor from the suburbs, becomes a player in an international game of psychological warfare.
Russia is playing mind games.

The FBI watches the attacks unfold in real time. The enemy’s strategy: win hearts and minds to destroy American unity. The FBI focuses their secret weapon, ex-Army Ranger Rowan Kennedy, at the crisis. With a PhD in propaganda, Kennedy risks his life to expose the wealthy oligarchs and high-powered schemers threatening our way of life, and to protect Avery.
To beat the enemy at their own game, Rowan and Avery must break the rules.

It only complicates things that they’re falling in love.
The game is on. The set is in play. Who will win the match? 


I also do a lot of research on YouTube. I like to watch an expert do their thing. See how they move. Listen to the way the describe the event. Watch how their body moves. There is a lot to learn through experts talking about their field.

Here are some THRILLER/SUSPENSE videos that are similar to the kinds of interviews I like to do on here. I like to know where the TV and movie folks get it wrong since I've been watching and "learning" from them for my whole life. I need to know where I've got misperceptions before I just write them into a book.

FBI - Body Language

CIA and Spy Disguises (and some general trade craft)

Navy SEAL combat scenes

Tradecraft WIRED Secret Service
This is one I'm using as the bones to building a plot in my Instinct series.



Rock Climbing (I'm studying this now for my WIP Survival Instinct)

Artificial Intelligence - Which I use in my FBI JOINT TASK FORCE series.




PANDEMIC (as if we aren't living through this)

P.S. NO ELBOW TO ELBOW - like he says here, because we cough/sneeze into our elbows so that's the contaminated part.

If you have any YOUTUBE expert channels, I'd love for you to post them in the comments below so we all have new, free places to learn.

Thank you!
Stay well.