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Feb 5, 2020

New York Times bestselling author, Joseph Finder, took a timeout to talk with me about how to write prescient, cutting-edge suspense, his writing rituals, overcoming impostor syndrome, and how to come to terms with a business built on rejection.

"My objective is not to present research...my objective is to make people turn the pages." – Joseph Finder

The award-winning author is known for his "cutting-edge suspense ripped straight from the headlines." He's written 16 novels and counting, including Judgment, The Switch, Guilty Minds, The Fixer, Suspicion, and the international bestseller Killer Instinct.

Two of his bestselling novels – Paranoia and High Crimes – have been turned into major motion pictures, and Vanished, Finder's instant bestseller, introduced readers to “private spy” Nick Heller.

His latest is House on Fire: A Novel (A Nick Heller Novel), focusing on "... a wealthy family who owns a pharmaceutical company at the epicenter of the opioid crisis."

The Washington Post said of the book, the thriller “Takes ‘ripped from the headlines’ to a new level," and The New York Times called Finder, "The master of a complex suspense formula."

He is a founding member of the International Thriller Writers, as well as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. He is a graduate of Yale College and the Harvard Russian Research Center.

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This episode of the Writer Files is brought to you by Words Matter by Wix. Looking for that burst of inspiration to break your writer's block? Or maybe you just need some quick grammar and style tips? Words Matter has tons of articles to help you become a better writer, plus invites to intensive in-person writing workshops. Visit wix.com/wordsmatter/blog to learn more.

 


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In this file Joseph Finder and I discussed:

  • How setting himself a hard deadline helped him publish his first novel
  • Powerful motivating factors for believable character development
  • Why a writer's research needs to be like an iceberg
  • Turning your writing into a ritual for success
  • Why every novel presents its own unique challenges
  • And the perils of selling the rights to a long-running fictional character

Show Notes: