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Other Writing

The Element of Surprise
Joe examines the art of twists and shocking endings as he discusses the element of surprise in five novels with endings he never saw coming in an article for The Strand Magazine.


Five Classic Novels of Predators and Prey
Joe recommends five great cat-and-mouse thrillers. “My favorite cat-and-mouse thrillers all play around with that fundamental dynamic, calling forth unexpected resources from the characters who refuse to be prey.” Read his CrimeReads.com essay.


Five Novelists Imagine Trump’s Next Chapter
With the Mueller investigation and the relationship between Trump and Putin being one of the biggest stories out there, The New York Times Book Review wonders “Who better than some of today’s most talented spy and crime novelists — Joseph Finder, Laura Lippman, Jason Matthews, Zoë Sharp and Scott Turow — to conjure possible outcomes?” Read Joe’s story about what might happen next.


The Trump Era is Posing Some Major Challenges for Thriller Novelists
Joe poses the question “In an age of the surpassingly strange — possible election meddling and business favor-peddling and the firing of a real-life director of the FBI — how can a writer like me hope to compete?” For The Washington Post on June 23, 2017.


5 Things That Changed My Life
5 books that changed Joseph’s life – made him want to be a writer. These are novels that suck you in and cast a spell, make you lose track of time. Total immersion experiences. Read the piece in Crimespree Magazine.


The Ten Best Movie Thrillers
A thriller movie’s job is to grab you, suck you in, shake you up, and leave you reeling when it’s over. Joseph lists his favorite films for The Strand Magazine.


Tips for Writers
Before Joe started writing full-time, he taught writing, and he still gets lots of mail from readers who are working on books of their own, or have questions about the writing life.

Have a great idea for a novel but not sure how or where to start? Joe offers up a few concrete suggestions for getting your book written this year and advises Just Write the Damned Book Already.

Are you wondering how to come up with the “hook,” the “what-if,” the premise of that novel you’re writing? Not sure if you even need one? Read What’s a Hook? The Art of the Pitch.