The Opening Sequence

In HOW TO WRITE A DAMN GOOD THRILLER, James N. Frey writes how a good opening sequence should "hook the audience good, so they stay hooked right to the end." A writer can accomplish this by creating a situation of injustice--a crucial element in a thriller. Remember, if your hero doesn't have a quest to... Continue Reading →


What would you do at the sound of gunfire? Hit the deck? Move to cover? Maybe you'd run in the opposite direction? For most people, these are reasonable and appropriate reactions to an active shooter, but that's not how a Secret Service agent, on a protective mission, will respond. Quite the contrary, agents won't run,... Continue Reading →

ThrillerFest 2019

The entrance to ThrillerFest 2019 Sadly, ThrillerFest 2019 has come to an end. Wait… you don’t know what ThrillerFest is?? Seriously? Hrm. Well, if you hang on a sec’ I’ll give you a quick rundown. Are you ready? OK; good. *channels the voice of the Micro Machine Man* Ahem. ThrillerFest is the annual, week-long event,… Continue Reading →

Father Manuel “Manny” Dorantes

Wanting to build upon the theme of my last post—Los Angeles—I thought I’d share the interesting circumstances of how I met, Father Manny. No, I’m not going to mention angels or moral dilemmas, but I might bring up divine intervention a time or two.  Divine intervention?  Is there such a thing?  Or is the following… Continue Reading →

Los Angeles

No, not Tinseltown. I’m talking about the city’s namesake. You know, those robe wearing celestial beings with feathery wings that sprout up from their shoulder blades. Yeah, I’m talking about angels. There are references in the sacred texts of nearly every major religion of these supernatural creatures. For example, in the Torah –the Jewish Bible—the… Continue Reading →

September 11, 2001

It was a beautiful morning, typical of early September. The bright and warm sun rose slowly and steadily, burning away the few wisps of clouds that still lingered in the sky. Summer vacation was over, the kids were back to school, and the roads were clogged with buses and commuters. I was twenty-three years old,… Continue Reading →

Writers write

They do it, not because of some external force, but because they feel compelled to memorialize the thoughts and words floating around inside their head.  They write in journals; They write poetry; They write for their children; and sometimes they get to write for the public. For the longest time I was happy  doing the first three things…. Continue Reading →

Several months in the life of a Secret Service Agent— (including a trial, protecting Sarah Palin, and a visit by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad)

2008 was a busy year. It started off with me getting married (New Years Day), and then several months later, being transferred to the U.S. Secret Service flagship office—NYFO (the NYC Field Office). It was also a campaign year (McCain vs. Obama) and I was assigned to the detail of McCain’s VP pick— Sarah Palin,… Continue Reading →

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