I JUST KNEW SOMETHING BAD WAS GOING ON IN THERE

It’s kinda cool when someone remembers specific scenes from the books you’ve written . . . even if that someone is your brother.

My brother Rick and I were chatting a few weeks ago about novels and movies, and he brought up a particular scene he remembered from Plague.

“That building with no windows,” he said.  “I just knew something bad was going on in there, but I didn’t wanna know what.  I was sure it was gonna be something I didn’t wanna hear about.  But I kept reading.” 

Kind of like driving past an auto accident, I suppose, and trying not to stare.  You stare anyhow.  At any rate, it was rewarding to know I’d created a truly spooky scene that stuck in a reader’s mind.  That’s what thriller writers are supposed to do.

“Another sequence I remember,” Rick said, “was that trip through the snowstorm in Blizzard.  It was like I was riding in that—what was it?”

“Mercedes Geländewagen,” I said.

“Yeah, like I was right in the driver’s seat, plowing through snow drifts, being chased by bad guys, getting shot at and everything.  Loved it.”

The Geländewagen, I should explain, was a loaner from a Mercedes dealership in Atlanta.  The protagonist in the novel had told the salesman he was merely borrowing the vehicle for a test drive to “grandmother’s house”—you now, over the river and through the woods—to see how it handled in the snow.

Pretty well, it turned out.  It got a bit tricky, however, when the good guy had to return the G-Wagen to the dealer with crushed fenders, shot-out windows and a bullet-riddled interior.

Anyhow, I love it when readers can recall a particular scene from one of my books.  It lets me know I must be doing something right.

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