As part of his blog tour, today I have a guest post from Keith Domingue, author of Luthecker, about writing what you know.
“Write what you know” is common advice given to writers when they begin their journey into storytelling. Good advice? Perhaps. It’s been told often enough to be part of the literary vernacular, so it has to have some root basis in truth. But what does that really mean? Taken too literally, that would make Stephen King a very ominous and scary human being, would it not?
Certainly, if you want to write legal thrillers, then having a degree in law, and practicing law for a period of time, would inform you with both stories and a framework that someone without that particular background would be lacking. And it’s worked out pretty well for John Grisham.
But back to the question: What does that really mean?
Well, speaking for myself, “write what you know” is about human nature, in the broadest sense. Write what you know…about Love. Hate. Compassion. Jealousy. Sacrifice. Joy. Desperation. Righteousness.
Write what you know about the defining qualities of character contained in that odd beast, the Homo Sapien.
And you come to know about these things by, well, living life. If you look at many great writers, they’ve had many jobs or careers. Personally, I’ve spent time as an engineer, a martial arts instructor, a financial consultant, a fitness coach and a professional screenwriter. And all of these things informed me when I wrote my very first novel, LUTHECKER.
But not just in a tactical sense. (I really don’t have much experience telling people about their past just based on their behavior, or telling them exactly how their lives are going to end.)
What those careers did, was expose me to a broad array of people, and I learned much about….Love, hate, compassion, jealousy, etc. And that is what I plugged into my imagination when I created Alex Luthecker, his friends, and his enemies.
So I write what I know. And you should too. And if you add vision, imagination, and research, you can write what you know about pretty much anything.
Luthecker by Keith Domingue
on Jul 24, 2012
Genres: Adult, Thriller
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
ALEX LUTHECKER lives off of the grid. He prefers the comfort of the night. He avoids the crowded and chaotic daylight hours, because the relentless anxieties of the multitudes overwhelm him. This is because Alex has a rare gift. He is a pattern reader. Patterns in nature, patterns in social groups, patterns in individual behavior, he can recognize them all. With one conversation, he knows all of your secrets. He can tell you exactly who you are. He can tell you exactly how your life is going to end. For Alex, it’s not magic. It’s math.
NICOLE ELLIS works in the energy business. She trades futures in the lifeblood of civilization: crude oil. With the help of her patented pattern recognition software, PHOEBE, she has the uncanny ability to predict trends in oil production and consumption. And at the tender age of twenty-five, she is recognized as one of the best in the business, with the bank account to show for it. For Nicole, who grew up with nothing, the world is hers.
RICHARD BROWN was a highly respected intelligence officer during both Gulf Wars. He oversaw rendition squads, making sure that his interrogators didn’t cross the line into torture, and if they did, that no one would ever be the wiser. The only thing that mattered to the government was that Brown always got his man. His track record of success allowed his move into the private sector, eventually heading the corporate entity known as Coalition Properties, the largest military contractor in U.S. history. For Brown, the commodity he trades and sells is power.
A terrorist attack on a Saudi oil refinery sets the paths of all three on a collision course, an encounter that threatens to upset the balance of power in the world. Alex must learn to forge relationships and become a leader in order to save the lives of not only himself and Nicole, but also those of his loose band of allies, as he becomes one of the most sought after fugitives in history.