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Guest blogger: Kat Martin

14 June 2020

Creating a page turner

‘I couldn’t put it down!’ Those words are some of the most satisfying comments an author can receive. Nothing pleases me more than a note from someone grumbling about staying up late to finish one of my books.

It’s music to my ears.

There are lots of ways to earn those precious words. Writing a fast-paced novel is one of them. It is certainly my goal every time I start a new book.

My latest, The Deception, was no different. I knew I would be writing Hawk Maddox’s story. Hawk had been on my mind since he first appeared in a previous novel, Beyond Danger. I knew what he was like—strong, determined, tough as boot leather, and at six-foot-four, two-hundred-twenty pounds, a total beefcake hunk.

He was also a bounty hunter, which made him an interesting character with an interesting job. I always try to find the hero’s perfect match and Kate Gallagher was just right for Hawk. Tall, blonde, and curvy, she loved country music and drinking tequila at the Sagebrush Saloon.

But that was her secret side. She also owned her own business consulting firm so she was smart and hard-working.

I like to read books that draw me in and won’t let go, books I can’t wait to pick up again to find out what’s going to happen next.

There are lots of ways to do it. Paring down description makes the story move faster—or as Elmore Leonard once said, ‘I try to leave out the parts people skip.’

A Hollywood movie trick is to jump right into the scene. Leave out the, ‘Hello, how are you?’ ‘I’m fine, how are you?’ and just start talking.

I try to use hooks at the beginning and end of chapters, though some authors end a chapter in the middle of the action to keep you turning the pages.

I’ve found I do a lot of characterisation by showing how the hero, heroine, and sub characters react in a situation, rather than telling about their past. For instance, I don’t mention what the heroine did in high school unless it’s important to how she’ll solve the problem she’s facing.

These are a few of my techniques, though every author has his own style and there is nothing wrong with any of them as long as they work.

In The Deception, Kate Gallagher is devastated when she learns her sister has been murdered. Determined to find Chrissy’s killer, Kate hires lethal bounty hunter, Hawk Maddox. Working together, they follow a trail of clues that lead them deep into the city’s underbelly. Though Hawk warns Kate of the danger, nothing he says can convince Kate to walk away.

I hope you’ll watch for The Deception and that you find it a fast-paced, high-action page-turner. Until next time, all best wishes and happy reading, Kat

Bestselling author Kat Martin, a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, currently resides in Missoula, Montana with Western-author husband, LJ Martin. More than seventeen million copies of Kat’s books are in print, and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Fifteen of her recent novels have taken top-ten spots on the New York Times bestseller list, and her novel Beyond Reason was recently optioned for a feature film. Kat’s next hardcover, The Ultimate Betrayal, a romantic thriller, will be released on 28 July.

You can find Kat here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

The Deception

When missing turns to murdered, one woman’s search for answers will take her to a place she never wanted to go…

After searching for her runaway sister for two long years, Kate Gallagher is devastated when she’s called to the morgue to identify Chrissy’s body, clearly the victim of a brutal attack. Guilt and grief send Kate into a tailspin. She failed Chrissy once…she won’t do it again. Even if finding her sister’s killer means following a lethal bounty hunter into the heart of darkness, placing both their lives in danger.

Working at Maximum Security has taken Jason Maddox down some dangerous paths, but never for a client he’s so drawn to, or for a case so monstrous. As clues lead them deeper into the city’s underbelly, connections to human trafficking draw them closer and closer to peril, but even Jase’s warnings can’t convince Kate to walk away. As the deadly operation puts a target on their backs, they’ll have to decide what matters most: the truth…or their lives.

You can buy The Deception here: Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iTunes | Indiebound


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