Monday, March 30, 2015

Featured Author: J. Carson Black

J. Carson Black is not only a woman with infinite writing talent, she's also a woman I'm glad to call my friend. A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, she's written over seventeen books spanning three different series

Her latest novel, Hard Return, is part of her widely popular Cyril Landry series, and picks up with Cyril, a former NAVY Seal, having lived off the grid for three years in an effort to protect his wife and teenage daughter. Wondering what happens next? Find out ...


J. Carson Black has been in the book business long enough to know what it takes to achieve lasting success, and on top of it all, she's been a class act every step of the way. 

Here's her advice for aspiring writers: 


Back in Michelangelo’s day, artists were apprenticed to the masters. They spent years copying the paintings of the great artists.  
By doing so, they learned. They learned where to put which kind of detail, they learned color, brushstrokes, composition, perspective. They absorbed it all by doing—until it came naturally. They developed a sure hand.  
The best teachers are the finest writers in your genre—the ones who resonate with you. You can learn from them for the price of a hardcover or even a paperback book. The only other thing you need is a pen.  
I would buy the hardcover books of the great authors in my genre—the four or five I could relate to. I didn’t want to sound like any one of them, I just wanted to learn what they did and how they did it. What I learned was the rhythm of the type of book I most wanted to write. A book covers a lot of ground. There’s a beginning, a middle, and an end, with many other points in between. You read and study enough great writers in your genre, and you start to catch on to that rhythm: what goes where, when. You absorb it so that it comes naturally. And you learn to give little gifts to your reader along the way.  
My teachers have been numerous. Michael Connelly, Jeffery Deaver, Robert Crais, James W. Hall, T. Jefferson Parker, Stephen King, John Lescroart, and C.J. Box. All different from one another, but great teachers.  
My advice to you: buy the books written by the masters in your genre. Get out your pen, write in the margins (sorry, Mom!), and figure out what they’re doing and why. 
Teach yourself. Learn from the very best. 
It only costs the price of a book and a pen.

1 comment:

  1. And one of the best authors to start learning from is J. Carson Black! Grab one of her books and you may need more than one highlighter! Of course her novels include great murder mysteries, but even better, they include great characters that stay with you long after you finish the book - some of them in a creepy way! Ha!
    Great advice from a great writer! Thank you Cheryl and J. Carson!