Matt Paust's Blog (47)

Blindside

Every time I open a new Dev Conrad book I win an entertainment hat trick: I get another ticket to join consultant Conrad behind the scenes of a nasty political campaign; I get a major caliber murder mystery, and, best of all, I get another lesson in the craft of storytelling from Ed Gorman, one of the master yarn spinners of our day.…

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Added by Matt Paust on March 7, 2013 at 12:00pm — 3 Comments

Hemingway Test – 24 (Shaping news)

Trueblood and Secord were still on the Beltway when Trueblood's smart phone interrupted their reverie. It was Doris.…

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Added by Matt Paust on February 9, 2013 at 7:00pm — 8 Comments

Shout to the dead

[I wrote this Friday night but the snowstorm blocked our satellite server.]

My anal retentive, passive aggressive, narcissistic, atheistic dad would get this. He always said everybody's a little nuts. It went without saying he meant except him. Haven't missed him much until this moment. I just now realized the actor…

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Added by Matt Paust on January 26, 2013 at 7:00am — 11 Comments

Hemingway Test – 23 (Mounting evidence)

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Added by Matt Paust on January 23, 2013 at 11:00am — 13 Comments

Sacrifice Prologue (for those who downloaded the earlier draft from Amazon)

I feel bad that I didn't spend more time on this before I submitted it to Amazon the first time for publishing.   I guess maybe I should have put the whole thing aside awhile longer before doing the final edit.  I really caught a lot of clumsy phrasing and repetition and story-sequence problems this time around. 

Prologue…

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Added by Matt Paust on January 15, 2013 at 1:30pm — 6 Comments

Finally!

Amazon has just released the newly revised Sacrifice, which is now available in the Kindle Bookstore for a buck.  I rewrote the prologue and went thru the entire novel, smoothing out prose and reconciling story glitches -- stuff I should have caught in the first published draft and am now embarrassed I didn't.  I wanted to put this on a weeklong promotion of free downloads to celebrate the new version, but Amazon…

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Added by Matt Paust on January 15, 2013 at 10:30am — 12 Comments

GV snags Pusillanimous Negative Blurbists rookie-of-week recognition!

In a predictable move Thursday, the Fictional Society of Pusillanimous Negative Amazon Blurbists has bestowed its weekly rookie recognition ribbon on "GV", who last week pounded a 99-cent ebook in his "customer review" as "the worst novel I have never read", immediately prompting downloads of the besmirched novel by multitudes of curious readers.

Questioned by the book's author next day in a chance bar meeting as to how an unread book could inspire such innovative invective, GV is…

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Added by Matt Paust on January 10, 2013 at 8:00am — 11 Comments

New interactive blurb for Sacrifice (does not suck)

Imagine a drug that could save us from ourselves. A simple pill that tweaks our brain chemistry to allow reason and compassion to gain the upper hand over our baser instincts, ease our irrational fears and selfish impulses, build moral fiber without upsetting our stomachs.…

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Added by Matt Paust on January 9, 2013 at 8:30pm — 3 Comments

Author meets unflattering reviewer in bar

It was one of those incredible literary coincidences destined to reside in Wiki annals forever.  GV, who…

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Added by Matt Paust on January 8, 2013 at 4:30pm — 35 Comments

Hemingway Test – 22 (WACKO weirdo books)

The three-member security team moved with the caution of housecats approaching a sleeping dog. Dressed in black tacticals, which rendered them mere silhouettes except for the skin of their faces, crouching and stepping with exaggerated care, like sidewalk mimes, they crept toward the fallen giant. At the monster's head one of…

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Added by Matt Paust on January 7, 2013 at 4:30pm — 9 Comments

Lemony snickers on Route 66

My first drama on that transcontinental passage, where one of its eastern feeders skirted our house.  The grandmotherly lady stopped on the sidewalk to be friendly and let me pick some lemon drops from her bag.   I ran home in horror after she'd walked out of sight, and dropped the light yellow, lightly sugared candies on the kitchen counter in front of my mother.  Do NOT take candy from strangers, had been the lesson…

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Added by Matt Paust on January 7, 2013 at 3:30pm — 10 Comments

The crack

It was about six inches long and a quarter inch wide, as I recall. I never measured it. It is lucid in my mind's eye, black and mysterious from absent light despite the distance of nearly seven decades. It had a vaginal shape now that I think of it, wider in the center and tapering toward each end. It was in the floor, a separation between two floorboards near if not directly in the doorway between our living and dining rooms.

It served my imagination well, from toddlerhood on up. I…

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Added by Matt Paust on January 2, 2013 at 6:00pm — 17 Comments

Hemingway Test – 21 (Em v. the stranger)

Em was in her boss's office when she heard a car-door slam out front. She knew it wasn't anybody who worked in the building, as staff parking was in the back. She also knew it was somebody who'd been cleared past the front gate, else the place would have erupted with alarms and mobilized security units. Yet it was too early…

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Added by Matt Paust on December 31, 2012 at 7:00pm — 5 Comments

Hemingway Test – 20 (Intrigue in Paris)

The former president gazed at the breakfast tray on the little bedside table until she knew her appetite was gone. She had no desire even to drink the coffee, much less eat the two croissants the boy from room service had delivered. What had promised to be a piquant repast had gotten cold, she assumed,…

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Added by Matt Paust on December 27, 2012 at 11:00am — 3 Comments

Hemingway Test – 19 (Ringtones)

Her cellphone rang at the very moment she bit off the end of the croissant, her taste buds tingling with anticipation of the apricot marmalade's sweet tang over the heated pastry, which, with the obligatory chicoried chaser of steaming café au lait,…

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Added by Matt Paust on December 23, 2012 at 1:30pm — 19 Comments

Hemingway Test – 18 (Summit talk)

Trueblood felt no immediate resentment at Bart Gladstone's insensitive questioning of him over how to handle what Gladstone called “the goddam school thing.” Trueblood found the questions stimulated his thinking.

He…

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Added by Matt Paust on December 20, 2012 at 12:30pm — 8 Comments

Tink's "wifey" died (this is not a joke)

For those who don't do Facebook, Tink (Jason Giecek) has just posted that his wife, Pamela, died shortly after noon today.  I'm having a hard time assimilating this awful news.  Here's his FB post:

Just to let all the friends and family who haven't yet heard, my wife of almost 15 years, Pamela Hendrich Giecek, passed…
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Added by Matt Paust on December 19, 2012 at 12:00pm — 70 Comments

Hemingway Test 17 (Action report)

The Truebloods were having one of their rare arguments. Harold wanted to interrogate their 12-year-old son, Randy, about the mass poisoning at Ronald Reagan Middle School. Miriam was opposed.

He didn't drink any. He doesn't drink sodas. It…

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Added by Matt Paust on December 16, 2012 at 2:00pm — 7 Comments

Urgent to breathers: Pee before reading this novel!

I ain't gonna lie. I mean, don't get me wrong, I do lie. I'm just not lying here. This is too important to dance around the truth with. The truth is my doctor has ordered me, on threat of losing my health insurance coverage, not to read the rest of …

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Added by Matt Paust on December 12, 2012 at 5:30pm — 10 Comments

Gasp and Dash (WE WON!)

I took a deep breath and turned the key. I pushed the door open just far enough to see. I backed out, closed the door and turned the key. I walked to my car, knelt down and placed in front of the right front tire the little box with the holes in it that held the parakeet I was bringing to her as an anniversary gift. I got into the car, slammed the door, started the engine, drove over the little box with the holes in…

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Added by Matt Paust on December 11, 2012 at 10:00am — 29 Comments

NEW BLOG POSTS

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Caution

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Question for a Tuesday Evening

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A WARRIOR UNSETTLED

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