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Thursday 22 February 2018

✉ The Amendment Killer: Brooks/Lotello Thrillers [2] - Ronald S. Barak

Today author takes over our blog to tell us about "The Research BEHIND Any Good Novel". His latest novel is The Amendment Killer (first published as 28: The Missing Amendment in 2015; this edition published , Gander House Publishers, 572 pages), a Political Thriller, book two in the Brooks/Lotello Thrillers series.

"One of the year’s best legal thrillers. Fans of Scott Pratt and Lisa Scottoline may find a new favorite author in Ron Barak." --Best Thrillers Magazine

"THE AMENDMENT KILLER is a high-speed, tense political thriller about one of today's most fundamental issues, the integrity of our Supreme Court." - Andrew Gross, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The One Man

"Ron Barak is a writer to watch." - Anthony Franze, author of The Outsider

|| Synopsis || Trailer || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Guest Post || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

The Research BEHIND Any Good Novel

      To be good, a novel has to be many things. It has to be well written. It has to be interesting. And it has to be believable.
      Readers often ask me how do I know all that stuff I write about—in order to be sure it’s . . . believable. Well, it depends on . . . the “stuff.” The answer is that it generally comes with time, and sweat.
      Let’s consider some of the stuff that underlies The Amendment Killer:
  • There’s legal stuff, including legal principles and courtroom things that go beyond the four corners of the law. Cyrus Brooks and Leah Klein had to have a command on everything legal. And where there’s law, there’s plenty of ethics and morals not to far behind. Or ahead.
  • In a political thriller, there’s of course the political stuff too.
  • There’s medical stuff, more precisely stuff related to diabetes. If you have to cope with diabetes, then you also have to know about exercise and diet, what’s right and what’s not.
  • And when you have a sociopathic—or is it psychopathic—killer, you have to get into that stuff too.
  • Then there’s also the . . . mundane, the geography where the story takes place, the typical weather at the time of year, when the sun rises and sets, and on and on.
      Some writers love research. My wife says she does—until I ask her to do some for me! Other writers, like me, consider research a necessary evil, to be done as little as possible to assure that vitally important element of a good novel . . . believability.
      So, I begin with that sound adage, write about what you know. The more you stick to what you know, the less time you have to spend in the library—or, more likely today, on the internet, starting with Google. (Writers use to have to travel to the sites in their book. That why they chose great spots, somewhere they would want to vacation, taking tax deductions no doubt for those business trips.)
      The legal stuff. I’ve been a courtroom lawyer for 50 years. It’s pretty easy for me to introduce any number of legal topics without having to make (another) trip to the law library.
      The political stuff. I’m a political junkie. I speed read a number of newspapers and other political sources every day. I’m pretty much always up to speed on what the left, the right and the in between are saying, the good guys and the bad guys too. If one can find any good guys in the political environment today. Believe me, they’re a rare breed. So, that’s some baggage I bring to my novels.
      In The Amendment Killer, an 11-year-old granddaughter of a key U.S. Supreme Court Justice is kidnapped to control the grandfather’s Supreme Court vote. To spice it up, I made the youngster diabetic. I’ve been diabetic for over 30 years. I could introduce significant tension building elements to the novel within the scope of what is already second nature to me.
      Is our kidnapper a sociopath or a psychopath? Beats me. I did some reading on that. What I found out was that even the experts can’t reliably distinguish between the two. So, I just made our kidnapper a . . . “nutcase,” although one more complicated than it might seem at first glance. Again, I used more common sense here than research.
      For the local stuff, Google was all it took. Google makes an author look a lot smarter than he really is.
      So, there you have it. Your own background, strategic planning and a little bit of Google will go a long ways to keeping you out of the library if that’s your wish, as it is mine. I’d rather spend my time writing. Just so long as I can keep my writing . . . believable.

The Amendment Killer
ONLY 1.99 until 28 February 2018!

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CMash said...

I read this book and it was extremely well written and believeable!

Ron Barak said...

Thanks so much for sharing The Amendment Killer with your followers. I love engaging with my readers and always respond personally to email comments and inquiries sent to

BooksChatter said...

Hello Ron, thank you for popping over! I simply could not believe the pictures of you at the Olympics in 1964 - WOW!
Diabetes is actually a topic very close to our hearts as well as my partner is type I. Are you type I or type II?
Lovely to host you today.