April 21st, 2022

Gearing up to start a new book and find myself fighting the feeling of “been there, done that” expertise. I’ve written six series genre books at this point. There are certain reader expectations to be met. Conventions to follow. It would be simple to eschew innovation and fall into the trap of mindlessly filling in the blanks and checking those boxes.

I believe the best way to achieve true mastery, not just average competence is to try to remain ignorant. Or at least open to new possibilities within your constraints. That’s how you best push those constraints and surprise the reader.

Here are 3 crime fiction links, 2 quotes, and 1 question for this week:


Quotes from Don Winslow this week:

  • “When the devil comes, he comes on angel’s wings.”
  • “In the words of Oscar Wilde, ‘I can resist everything but temptation.”


  • Do you listen to audiobooks? Do you prefer a single narrator or more of a radio-style production?

Until next Thursday, happy reading,


Author the Max Strong thriller series

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