Please welcome thriller writer Frederick Wysocki, who will explain to Auntie M’s readers how he changed careers, the lessons he’s learned, and how he gets his inspiration for new books~
A NEW CAREER
My wife has always called me a storyteller, as if it were a bad thing. However, I never thought I could muster the patience to write a hundred-thousand word novel. Now I have written five within in just over two years and I’m currently working on number 6. (My imaginary friends keep telling me more of their secrets.)
In my first career, I was in high technology having started my first company in 1975. It involved constantly flying somewhere. During those trips, I always packed a thriller or two to read.
I retired early and was finally inspired to start my second career of writing while sharing a golf cart with a movie producer. It turned out he was playing slow because he was finalizing the writing of a novel. We talked. I told him some stories about the tech industry and he told me they were fascinating and to write them down.
I decided to try it and started to learn the craft by going to writer’s groups I found on meetup.com. I am now a Mister with the Sisters in Crime and DesertSleuths.
I still find I’m drawn to writing crime fiction novels inspired by real events.
The most important lessons I’ve come to learn are:
• That one should only write something you truly enjoy, as you will have to reread the darn thing a hundred times before it’s ready.
• That readers love obstacles, suspense and twists.
I find myself inspired daily by what I hear on the news and read about in technology blogs. I start by doing research then writing out a rough plot. Then I layer in subplots and decide how my characters will change. I avoid lengthy descriptions. I tend to write short chapters that are heavy on dialogue.
THE START-UP for example, started with a news headline about a still ongoing FBI investigation.
I was curious. How does someone (Anthony Rizzo) start a computer software company and sell it months later for billions of dollars? Then the buyer finds out that it was all a scam and calls in the FBI. With a diverse Board of Directors and countless lawyers and investment bankers, how does a large tech company get duped? How does the FBI deal with it? And yes, it is still in the news today. That was the plot behind THE START-UP.
Against that backdrop I layered in a ‘Hero’s Quest’ character arc of a young man (Frank) facing increasingly ruthless tasks in order to make his share and how it changed him and his girlfriend.
Upon publishing, I discovered eighty percent of my readers of THE START-UP were women and they wanted to know what happened to Frank. The answer came in the form of books 3 & 4. (More on them in a minute.)
Reader feedback also gets my creative juices flowing. Two examples of reader feedback:
• A former FBI agent told me that his first undercover job with the Bureau was similar to my plot for A Timely Revenge. He told me I got the era, events and motives of the crooks just right.
• A relative of a mob family told me she recommended my books to her family as they were the best portrayal of modern Mafia white collar crime she had ever read.
It seems every reader that meets me thinks they know each books’ inspiration and are asking me things like: is Anthony Rizzo (insert name of major CEO)?
What happened to Frank and his girlfriend? That was the question I explored in BLOOD RIVALS and NO TIME FOR FOOLS.
The inspiration behind BLOOD RIVALS came from an interview I did with Fiona Quinn of ThrillWriting.com. I told her about a case where the FBI had mistakenly focused on the wrong suspect from an inconclusive fingerprint.
Naomi Dolphin was introduced in BLOOD RIVALS as a young female bodyguard who Frank hires.
My next novel – THE ARABIAN CLIENT – should be out in a few months and is a prequel of how Naomi went from being a maid and nanny on the island of Anguilla to becoming the bodyguard for a Saudi princess in Saudi Arabia. She struggles to overcome the Islamic culture and terrorists, as well as her clients.
THE ARABIAN CLIENT is very different for me since it’s a psychological thriller and is written from a female point of view. It goes behind the headlines and answers the questions about what is really happening in the Middle East. I’ve had Middle Eastern Muslim women review it for accuracy.
A critical part of my process is reaching out to friends who seem to know unique ways to kill someone.
For example in NO TIME FOR FOOLS:
• A doctor from Florida gave me three methods of killing someone with a cigar lighter.
• The former helicopter pilot for a USA President explained the best way to crash a jet plane without using a bomb.
FROM STAND ALONE, TO SERIES, TO SAGA
I did not start out to write more than one book, nor did I want to do a series. Now with prequels and sequels, I find myself in the midst of writing a saga.
At first, I thought I was writing a single novel, THE START-UP. Readers were all asking me what happens next for the main characters. I had already started on a prequel of Anthony Rizzo – the family crook. That became A TIMELY REVENGE.
Readers were unanimous in asking me what happened to Anthony’s nephew – Frank Moretti. Thus were born BLOOD RIVALS and NO TIME FOR FOOLS. Both those books feature a female bodyguard – Naomi – for Frank.
Readers asked me how she became a bodyguard and that is why I am currently finishing THE ARABIAN CLIENT. It chronicles Naomi, her time in Israel and her first assignment in Saudi Arabia.
Book 6 (takes place in Russia) will pick up where NO TIME FOR FOOLS left off.
As long as my real world readers keep asking me about my imaginary friends, I’ll keep writing.
Thanks very much for hosting me!
My novels are available on Amazon in print and ebook.
THE START-UP – http://amzn.com/0991375602
A TIMELY REVENGE – http://amzn.com/B00OQH20U6
BLOOD RIVALS – http://amzn.com/B00SOZYCW0
NO TIME FOR FOOLS – http://amzn.com/B014E9FFAW