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The Sirens of Suspense

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Originally from Boston, Steven M. Forman has been wintering in Boca Raton since 1992. After 45 successful years in international business he wrote his first novel, BOCA KNIGHTS, published in 2009, which launched his popular comic mystery series featuring Florida detective Eddie Perlmutter. The latest in the series, BOCA DAZE, will be published January 31, 2012.

Find Steven on Twitter.

http://www.stevenmforman.com

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I always loved to write but spent decades procrastinating about becoming a writer. There was always something else to do. In college I majored in fraternity parties and business and after graduation entered the world of international trade in the food industry. Eventually I founded my own company and dedicated myself to becoming a success. I was too busy working and raising my children to do anything else. Writing was always in the back of my mind and I promised myself that I would write the great American novel sometime in the future. Time passed and one day the future was now…or never.

I started writing in 2005 and finished my first novel in 2007. I found an agent who believed in me and sold my book to a major U.S. publisher. Suddenly, I was a published author. After spending over forty years in the international business world I went from a well known industry leader to an unknown rookie writer. I was starting at the bottom again but I embraced the opportunity of a second career.

I had a lot to learn, a lot of catching up to do and not a lot of time. I began the learning process by listening to experts. My agent and publisher taught me the business side of the literary industry and my editor went to work on my writing style. Famous authors I met at writer’s conventions were always helpful and I went to as many of those events as I could. I tried to learn something new every day and found my greatest lessons came from reading writers I felt capable of emulating; Pat Conroy, Elmore Leonard, Nelson Demille, Carl Hiaasen, John Updike and others who wrote great stories with wit, irony and fascinating characters. I found my own voice listening to theirs and developed a writing style of my own through the written words of others. I developed the ability to recognize bad writing, especially my own, and the courage to destroy days of hard work and rewrite. A person cannot be a good writer without the willingness to persist until the words on the page represent a best effort.

The book that taught me the most about writing was Pat Conroy’s MY READING LIFE, a summary of the authors who most influenced his career. This book was filled with lessons and examples about reading and writing but one, in particular, echoes in my mind whenever I sit down to write: “I promised myself nothing lazy would enter my books,” Conroy wrote. “Writing is both hard labor and one of the most pleasant forms fanaticism can take.”

Fanatic is a good word to describe a person who sits alone with his thoughts hour after hour, day after day willing to destroy everything he has done during that time in a quest to do it better.

      

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COMMENT? QUESTION FOR STEVE? OR TELL US how you began your journey to becoming a writer by commenting below or visit us and share your thoughts on our Facebook page and be entered to win one of two signed first editions of NIGHT WATCH as well as a NIGHT WATCH t-shirt!

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