At the Sharp End . . .

The World of ZoŽ Sharp − Author of the Charlie Fox Thriller Series

On Writing

I am occasionally asked to contribute to collections and works that donít fall into the category of short story anthology, so weíve collected them all together for you here. Some are snippets in works on how to write fiction, sharing tips about the craft itself, while others are essays on famous novels or writers who have inspired me.


39 Thriller Authors: Best Writing Tips and Tools


By Chris Well
DIY Author (October 2015)

Stuck getting that thriller manuscript to be, well, thrilling? Check out this list of advice and recommendations from 39 best-selling authors who write thrillers and suspense! Includes writing advice and favourite tools from some of the best known international names in creative fiction.

My contribution (Tip No 11) is: to keep a summary of your novel as you write it. Different from the outlineóif you work from one, or even if you donítóthe summary is the actual shape the story takes as it goes onto the page. I keep a note not only of the plot as it unfolds, but how much time goes by, if itís raining, if any of the characters are carrying injuries, or if Iím laying in a plot thread I need to remember to pick up later.

I do a paragraph for each scene break or chapter, and also jot down if thereís a time gap between scenes/chapters. When you come to the editing stage, any major alterationsóadding a subplot, removing an extraneous character, etcócan be worked out on the summary rather than having to work with the whole typescript, which can be very unwieldy by that stage.


Making Story: Twenty-one writers on how
			they plot (Kindle)

Making Story: Twenty-one writers on how they plot


Edited by Timothy Hallinan
The Twenty-One Writers Project  (September 2012)

It's often said that everyone has a book inside him or her − but how do you plot it? In MAKING STORY, twenty-one novelists − who have written more than 100 books among them and sold hundreds of thousands of copies − talk about how they go about turning an idea into a plot, and a plot into a book. I was honoured to be included.

This is an indispensable book for aspiring authors and the first in a series, each focusing on a different writing challenge.

Available in Kindle format from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.


Thrillers: 100 Must Reads

Thrillers: 100 Must Reads


Edited by David Morrell and Hank Wagner
Oceanview Publishing (July 2010)
978-1-9335-1556-4 (Hardcover)

I contributed an essay on The Eagle Has Landed by Jack Higgins.

Nominated for a 2011 Edgar Award (Best Critical Biography), presented by Mystery Writers of America. Nominated for a 2011 Benjamin Franklin Award (Poetry/Literary Criticism), presented by the (US) Independent Book Publishers Association. Also Nominated for a 2011 Anthony Award (Best Critical/Non-Fiction), and for a 2011 Macavity Award (Best Mystery-related Nonfiction).

Available in Kindle format from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.


Mystery Readers Journal Summer 2008 Mystery Readers Journal Fall 2003

Mystery Readers Journal

Vol 24, No 2, Summer 2008 (Irish Mysteries)
I contributed an article: 'Balancing the Book'

Vol 19, No 3, Fall 2003 (Music and Mysteries)

I contributed an article: 'Music to Put You in the Mood − for Murder'

How I Got Published

How I Got Published:
Famous Authors Tell You in Their Own Words


Ray White
Compiled by Duane Lindsay

Writers Digest Books (September 2007)
978-1-5829-7510-8 (Paperback)

I contributed a chapter: 'Writing in the Cracks of the Day Job'

Available in Kindle format from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.


Writing Crime Fiction

Writing Crime Fiction: Making Crime Pay


Janet Laurence
Edited by Dr Graham Lawler

Studymates Ltd (July 2007)
978-1-8428-5088-6 (Paperback)


Available in Kindle format from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.


Wannabe a Writer?

Wannabe a Writer?


Jane Wenham-Jones
Foreword by Katie Fforde

Accent Press Ltd (May 2007)
978-1-9051-7081-4 (Paperback)

Available in Kindle format from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.


Mystery Muses

Mystery Muses: 100 Classics
that Inspire Today's Mystery Writers


Edited by Jim Huang and Austin Lugar

Crum Creek Press (November 2006)
978-0-9625-8049-9 (Paperback)

I contributed an essay on The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth.

Available in Kindle format from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.