First reviews for A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS

It’s always exciting when we have a novel coming out and the early reviews start coming in! I’ve had three this week, and they’re all very cool. Thanks to the reviewers!

Fast paced and riveting… Delivers a mesmerizing, heart wrenching tale… Read more at Literary Mayhem

Once The Wolverine’s story unravelled, the book become scientifically impossible to put aside… Read more at Dangerous Dan’s Blog

…an exceptional novel… Read more at The Crime Scene

If you haven’t pre-ordered my first Mystery novel yet, you can grab the Kindle edition here, or the paperback edition here.

You can also add it on Goodreads here.

And if you want a chance at winning a copy, plus other cool books, check out the blog tour + giveaway we’re doing.

About the book:

A Texas Senator and his wife go missing…On the same day, their son is slaughtered by an enigmatic killer on the lawn of ex-Governor Edward Wood’s residence. Sammy, Wood’s drug dealing son, suspects his father of the crime. After all, his old man snapped once before and crippled his wife with a lead pipe. But there’s something more to these events…something deeper and festering just beneath the surface…

In direct opposition to Homicide Detective Jim Thompson, Sammy begins an investigation of his own, searching for the truth in a labyrinth of lies, deception, depravity and violence that drags him deeper into darkness and mayhem with each step. And in doing so, brings them all into the sights of an elusive and horrifying killer who may not be what he seems.

A brutal killer on a rampage of carnage…a hardened detective on the brink…an antihero from the shadows…a terrifying mystery that could destroy them all…

A Beautiful Madness, the harrowing new novel of dark crime and suspense from Lee Thompson.

A Beautiful Madness novel cover

5 Things I Learned Writing A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS

 

 

ABM Tour badge by jen

Author Chuck Wendig posts these cool ‘5 Things I Learned Writing…” so I stole the idea from him. Thanks to everyone who is following the blog tour + give away!

 

1. The heart of each character is what is most significant to them… I’ve learned this truth from studying my heroes, and keeping it in mind as I wrote A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS helped me stay on track with the plot and keep the story lean and mean. While brainstorming this novel I quickly discovered a few things about my protagonist, Sammy Wood, that were the most significant to him. His greatest FEAR is that he will one day crack like his father has (his dad flipped one day and crippled his wife with a lead pipe) and destroy someone he loves, and that neither he nor anyone else will see it coming; His greatest HOPE is that his mother, brother, sister and himself will be a family again; His greatest CHALLENGE, which is complicated by his overriding fear and hope, is that his family is being torn apart by a mysterious stranger he has to stop without losing himself to the darkness he knows lives inside him.

 

2. The types of stories I want to tell have changed over time. When I sold my first novel—Nursery Rhymes 4 Dead Children—three years ago, there was a crime element to everything I wrote, but they were supernatural stories. But as I began to read James Lee Burke, John D. MacDonald, and others, I really fell in love with the honest grit in straight up crime fiction. Real people affecting other real people’s lives, all of them flawed by their little or large hang-ups, each character the hero of his own story.

 

3. Mentors are priceless. Long before I ever sold anything, agent Ethan Ellenberg and author Tom Piccirill gave me advice that made me up my game and grasp the importance of craft. Piccirilli in particular was pivotal in my career and I’ve never met a more helpful professional willing to give guidance to a nobody. I dedicated my first Crime novel to them because of their influence. I also swear by hand copying my favorite novels into notepads to learn how my heroes have crafted their stories. I wouldn’t be a writer at all, or I’d be a much lesser one, if I didn’t have hundreds of books that made me feel and made me think.

 

4. I can accomplish a lot in a short time when I trust my instincts. I love to brainstorm and do a slight outline before writing and its useful for me, but as I’m writing, my favorite moments are always when a scene goes in a direction I hadn’t planned on and I can feel, I know, that it’s the right direction, that prior to that moment I had only been floundering. The more I trust my instincts the less I have to rewrite and the truer I feel the story ends up.

 

5. I love breaking the rules. I broke all kinds of rules writing A  BEAUTIFUL MADNESS and really didn’t expect to sell it all. But I knew that what I had done could work if I the characters, the scenes, and their cumulative momentum were engaging enough.

Buy the paperback on Amazon!

Buy for Kindle!

Leave a comment and share this post for a chance to win a paperback copy of ABM, and to be in the running for the grand prize (ABM + four other DarkFuse novels!)

Prior blog tour/giveaway posts (more chances to win!):

So, You Want To Be A Writer

First Ideas/Are They Worth Writing?

Ways to Measure Your Success

 

Author bio: Lee Thompson is the author of the Suspense novels A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS (August 2014), IT’S ONLY DEATH (January 2015), and WITH FURY IN HAND (May 2015). The dominating threads weaved throughout his work are love, loss, and learning how to live again. A firm believer in the enduring power of the human spirit, Lee believes that stories, no matter their format, set us on the path of transformation. He is represented by the extraordinary Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary. Visit Lee’s website to discover more: www.leethompsonfiction.com

A Beautiful Madness novel cover

Two guest posts are live, enter to win some books!

ABM Tour badge by jen

A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY has started! I’m kind of excited and hope you’ll join us. All you have to do to win some books is leave a comment on the blogs (links are below) and share the posts!

I kicked things off on my website here with a post titled, “So, You Want to Write?”

The second is on a terrific Crime author’s website (his name is Les Edgerton) and it’s titled, “First ideas, are they worth writing?” Leave your thoughts over there and you’ll be in the running for a paperback copy of ABM and the grand prize!

The third is on my favorite magazine’s website (Shock Totem) and I talk about “Ways to Measure Success…”

Leave a comment and share that post too, yeah? It ups your odds of winning. And K. Allen Wood at ST is also throwing in a hardcover copy of my Delirium novella DOWN HERE IN THE DARK to one lucky winner! And… I’ll be buying issues #4 (has my story Beneath the Weeping Willow–still a personal favorite), and issue #6 (which has my story The River, and an interview with me. Neat) to give away to two others!

Thanks Les, Ken, and everybody involved in the tour! And thanks to you, beautiful reader. You’re special.

About the book:

A Texas Senator and his wife go missing… On the same day, their son is slaughtered by an enigmatic killer on the lawn of ex-Governor Edward Wood’s residence. Sammy, Wood’s drug dealing son, suspects his father of the crime. After all, his old man snapped once before and crippled his wife with a lead pipe. But there’s something more to these events…something deeper and festering just beneath the surface…

In direct opposition to Homicide Detective Jim Thompson, Sammy begins an investigation of his own, searching for the truth in a labyrinth of lies, deception, depravity and violence that drags him deeper into darkness and mayhem with each step. And in doing so, brings them all into the sights of an elusive and horrifying killer who may not be what he seems.

A brutal killer on a rampage of carnage…a hardened detective on the brink…an antihero from the shadows…a terrifying mystery that could destroy them all…

A Beautiful Madness novel cover

Win some Mystery/Crime books!

ABM Tour badge by jen

My buddy Jennifer (BookDen) made me a cool badge for my blog tour. She’s awesome!

Embarking on the blog tour for my first Mystery/Crime novel A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS. I’m so excited and love the people that are participating. Make sure you follow along (I’ll post the links as they go live on the page for A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY.) Read, comment and share for a chance to win paperback copies of ABM, Shock Totem #4 and #6, and to be in the running for the grandprize at the end of the blog tour! Comment on and share every stop to up your chances of winning!

So far, the schedule is set for:

1st stop (end of May): On my website here/So, You Want to Write

2nd stop (June 4th ): Author Les Edgerton/First Ideas (Are they worth writing?)

3rd stop (June 5th ): Shock Totem Publications/Ways to Measure Success

4th stop (June 19th ): Literary Mayhem/The Subconscious

5th stop (last week of June ): Author Lucas Magnum/Interview

6th stop (1st week of July ): Author Gef Fox/Interview

7th stop (July 3rd ): Author Mark Gunnells/Handling Rejection

8th stop (July 11th): Author Anita Siraki/Get More Done

9th stop (July 24th): Fabulous Jennifer of BookDen/Building Your Fan Base

10th stop (July 31st): Author Shaun Ryan/Finding What Matters to You

And August is still being scheduled. But follow along, and leave a comment on each blog, and reshare the post so you can win something awesome, yes? Stay beautiful, people.

About the book:

A Beautiful Madness novel cover

A Texas Senator and his wife go missing…On the same day, their son is slaughtered by an enigmatic killer on the lawn of ex-Governor Edward Wood’s residence. Sammy, Wood’s drug dealing son, suspects his father of the crime. After all, his old man snapped once before and crippled his wife with a lead pipe. But there’s something more to these events…something deeper and festering just beneath the surface…

In direct opposition to Homicide Detective Jim Thompson, Sammy begins an investigation of his own, searching for the truth in a labyrinth of lies, deception, depravity and violence that drags him deeper into darkness and mayhem with each step. And in doing so, brings them all into the sights of an elusive and horrifying killer who may not be what he seems.

A brutal killer on a rampage of carnage…a hardened detective on the brink…an antihero from the shadows…a terrifying mystery that could destroy them all…

A Beautiful Madness, the harrowing new novel of dark crime and suspense from Lee Thompson.

Preorder on Amazon

Lee Thompson is the author of the Suspense novels A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS (August 2014), IT'S ONLY DEATH (January 2015), and WITH FURY IN HAND (May 2015). The dominating threads weaved throughout his work are love, loss, and learning how to live again. A firm believer in the enduring power of the human spirit, Lee believes that stories, no matter their format, set us on the path of transformation. He is represented by the extraordinary Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary. Visit Lee's website to discover more: www.leethompsonfiction.com

A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY (Stop 1)

A Beautiful Madness novel cover

A Texas Senator and his wife go missing… On the same day, their son is slaughtered by an enigmatic killer on the lawn of ex-Governor Edward Wood's residence. Sammy, Wood's drug dealing son, suspects his father of the crime. After all, his old man snapped once before and crippled his wife with a lead pipe. But there's something more to these events…something deeper and festering just beneath the surface…

In direct opposition to Homicide Detective Jim Thompson, Sammy begins an investigation of his own, searching for the truth in a labyrinth of lies, deception, depravity and violence that drags him deeper into darkness and mayhem with each step. And in doing so, brings them all into the sights of an elusive and horrifying killer who may not be what he seems.

A brutal killer on a rampage of carnage…a hardened detective on the brink…an antihero from the shadows…a terrifying mystery that could destroy them all…
Welcome to Lee Thompson’s A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS blog tour! At each stop, one winner will be drawn to win a paperback copy, and at the end of the tour we'll draw one grand prize winner who will receive a great bundle!
Throughout the book tour, I’ll be sharing fun facts about my first Mystery/Thriller, and also offering dubious advice to novice writers because I’ve had writers and editors farther along the path than myself give me tips that have helped me tremendously. If you want to up your game, pay attention and pass what you find useful on to those in your critique groups.
If you’re here as a reader, thanks so much. You’re every author’s life source. You’re the yin to our yang. The stories we set down on paper don’t seem to exist until someone else has read them, and the more the merrier.

So, You Want to Write
We writers might try, and tweak, a thousand different routines before we find how to come up with more ideas, better ideas, and faster output. We can struggle with this for years and still not know what stories we want to tell. We can know what kinds of stories we want to tell when we begin our journey, but the subject matter and our approach can change over time as we mature. It’s normal. Go with it.
I’m with the crowd that says the only way to be a writer is to find the discipline to sit down and finish the phases of the project: first draft, edits, polish, and submission. Too often I see people spinning their wheels, distracting themselves with a thousand little things that suck up all their time and energy, then they enter that vicious cycle where they beat themselves up because they feel like they should have gotten some writing done, yet they put this long list of other tasks before it. Break the cycle by becoming aware of it, acknowledging that you’re doing it to yourself and making a conscious decision to make writing your priority.
Another quality of importance is instincts. This comes simply by reading and paying attention and applying lessons you’ve learned from novels you love. It’s something we all have and something we must hone to carry off our stories in the most engaging ways. Instincts make the magic happen on the fly, which makes it kind of feel like, well, magic.
I think if you want to write professionally you need confidence more than anything. When you know you can do it, you just do it. When you’re sure of yourself and your abilities, there is less room for fear. This comes with practice fueled by passion for stories, and a hunger to reach your full potential. You want it? Go learn what you must to make it happen. A difficult thing for many beginners is knowing who to listen to.  There is so much writing advice, much of it from professionals and tons of it conflicting. Soak it all up. See what works for you. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula to our careers. You’ll need the unshakable confidence that what you’re writing will matter to total strangers. Give it time to develop and cling to it. Don’t give fear a toehold.
I think if you want to write professionally, you need stubbornness, too. I don’t know how other writer’s friends and families are about their crazy endeavor to be an author, but mine laughed at me. I was a horrible student in school. I didn’t begin reading books until in my mid-twenties. I was a drunk. A laborer. I moved all over the place. But once I began writing I never once considered giving up. I had to learn a lot, sure, more than most people could imagine, and I’m glad I’m as stubborn as I am because my career is gaining momentum now. Serious momentum.
Your stubbornness is your shield, deflecting the words and gazes those of little faith try to injure you with.
You also need courage. Lots of courage. It’s incredible how self-doubt destroys so many to-be published authors. Does what you’re writing matter to you so intensely and so personally that it’s one of the key themes of your own life? I think courage come easier to those who are writing about the things that matter the utmost to them.
I also think honesty is incredibly important. It’s okay to say, I know I’m not there yet, but I will be one day. It might be a year from now, or it might be ten, but I can’t surrender. Stories are special. The great ones move us. Don’t dare give up, and don’t shortchange yourself or your audience by writing stuff you don’t believe in. You only have a certain amount of time to spend at the keyboard, and in other people’s heads, so spend it writing about what deeply moves you.
Watch or read some of your favorite authors being interviewed. I bet that the majority of them are learning as they write to be more honest with themselves. We’re so conditioned by what our schools and parents and organizations teach us that we unlearn how to think for ourselves. Start thinking for yourself. Don’t be afraid to question anything, there’s raw story gold in that alone.
None of us are perfect. We all need work. Our characters need work, which is the whole point of a character arc. It’s through overcoming what appear insurmountable odds that we are tested, and by which we grow, and can pass on the observations and knowledge we walked through the fire to obtain. To teach our children, our younger siblings, to be the rock our partner needs when disaster strikes. And it’s through questioning what we believe about ourselves and others that we accrue wisdom.
Carry that torch.
Be the light through the characters you create and the story they’re inescapably caught in.
This is a reflection made from the fabric of our lives. It’s not a perfect reflection, but then reality as we know it individually is not without its imperfections either.
In A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS, my protagonist Sammy has to have a majority of the qualities I mentioned to see the story to its conclusion. I like to think of it as a box: four walls (outer obstacles), and a floor and ceiling (inner obstacles). I believe doing so has led to a well-rounded story full of tension. If you’re a writer, look for those four outer obstacles that trap him, and the two inward ones that were there before the story started yet drive all the characters’ decisions. I bet if you pay attention you’ll find them, and you’ll learn something valuable in the process that you can use in your own work. Don’t give up.
If you’re a writer who has had some success, what qualities do you believe have been instrumental in helping you sell your work and find an audience?

 

Buy on Amazon Kindle!

 

Buy the Paperback!

 

Track A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS blog tour + giveaway here.

Enter to win a paperback copy! There will also be a grand prize at the end of the tour where one winner will receive my novel, and four other DarkFuse novels in Kindle format!

Simply leave a comment on this blog and share the link.

Thanks to those who participate.

Happy reading~ Lee

Me and Austin

Author bio: Lee Thompson is the author of the Suspense novels A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS (August 2014), IT’S ONLY DEATH (January 2015), and WITH FURY IN HAND (May 2015). The dominating threads weaved throughout his work are love, loss, and learning how to live again. A firm believer in the enduring power of the human spirit, Lee believes that stories, no matter their format, set us on the path of transformation. He is represented by the extraordinary Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary. Visit Lee’s website to discover more: www.leethompsonfiction.com

Gearing up

With my first Crime/Mystery/Noir novel, A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS, coming out in less than three months, I'm gearing up for a blog tour! I hope you'll take part and share the links as they go live with your friends. Each blog will give away a signed paperback copy of A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS, and there will be a Kindle grandprize for my novel plus four other DarkFuse titles. Very cool.
Right now I'm writing my guest posts, setting up interviews, etc. If you run a blog or a podcast and are interested in interviewing me just shoot me an email with "Interview" in the subject line to perpetual_voodoo (at) yahoo (dot) com.
I'll be sharing all kinds of cool topics about becoming a professional writer, interacting with readers, the craft of writing, the art of growing as a person, and tons of fun secrets in the creation of this novel.
Right now there is also A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS Goodreads giveaway. Be one of those people who win one of ten paperback copies! You can enter here or click the link/badge on the right upper side of my website! In the first three days 170 people have entered and you should join them. Thanks!
And a big thanks to everyone who has already preordered the novel! If you haven't, you can do so through Amazon here.
And thank you to those who have shared about my first Crime novel on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, etc. I really appreciate it!

A Texas Senator and his wife go missing…On the same day, their son is slaughtered by an enigmatic killer on the lawn of ex-Governor Edward Wood’s residence. Sammy, Wood’s drug dealing son, suspects his father of the crime. After all, his old man snapped once before and crippled his wife with a lead pipe. But there’s something more to these events…something deeper and festering just beneath the surface…

In direct opposition to Homicide Detective Jim Thompson, Sammy begins an investigation of his own, searching for the truth in a labyrinth of lies, deception, depravity and violence that drags him deeper into darkness and mayhem with each step. And in doing so, brings them all into the sights of an elusive and horrifying killer who may not be what he seems.

A brutal killer on a rampage of carnage…a hardened detective on the brink…an antihero from the shadows…a terrifying mystery that could destroy them all…

A Beautiful Madness, the harrowing new novel of dark crime and suspense from Lee Thompson.

A Beautiful Madness novel cover

 

 

Still on the Top 100 Amazon Bestseller List

Thanks to those who ordered and helped spread the word about my first Crime/Noir/Mystery novel A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS. I'm super pumped that the preorders are doing so well. It's a very neat feeling to see one of my books on Amazon's Top 100 Bestseller List with some of my heroes like John D. MacDonald, Lawrence Block, Benjamin Black, etc. I couldn't have done it without the team at DarkFuse, and all the terrific friends and fans I have. I'm really fortunate. Thanks for everything you do.
I'll be working on the blog tour for that novel soon as well (it'll have an awesome grand prize), and I'll start a paperback giveaway on Goodreads this week.
If you haven't ordered the novel yet, you can do so here. If it sounds like a novel one of your friends would be interested in, please send them the link. Wishing everybody an amazing week!

A Beautiful Madness novel cover

Preorder A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS

DarkFuse just posted that my first Crime novel, A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS, is up for preorder on Amazon. You can get it in Kindle or paperback format. I'm excited about it and I'm really happy that my publisher is also excited about the direction my writing is going. 

I dedicated this novel to two professionals--author Tom Piccirilli, and agent Ethan Ellenberg--who were a huge help to me, and one reason I started selling professionally. 

The novel will come out in August 2014. Make sure you grab a copy, and if you know someone who digs gritty Crime fiction, share this with them. Thanks!

 

A Beautiful Madness novel cover

A Texas Senator and his wife go missing… On the same day, their son is slaughtered by an enigmatic killer on the lawn of ex-Governor Edward Wood’s residence. Sammy, Wood’s drug dealing son, suspects his father of the crime. After all, his old man snapped once before and crippled his wife with a lead pipe. But there’s something more to these events…something deeper and festering just beneath the surface…

In direct opposition to Homicide Detective Jim Thompson, Sammy begins an investigation of his own, searching for the truth in a labyrinth of lies, deception, depravity and violence that drags him deeper into darkness and mayhem with each step. And in doing so, brings them all into the sights of an elusive and horrifying killer who may not be what he seems.

A brutal killer on a rampage of carnage…a hardened detective on the brink…an antihero from the shadows…a terrifying mystery that could destroy them all…

 

Fun contest over on Chuck Wendig’s blog

If you’re a writer, go share the opening sentence of your WIP on Chuck Wendig’s blog. Three contestants will win 500 Ways to Write Better. I don’t usually do things like this because I’m lazy, but they’re fun.

Here’s my opening sentence to my WIP…

Up until last week I’d thought the worst night of my life was when the O’Connell brothers nailed my dad to a tree.

I like first lines a lot. I usually hear them in my head and they lead to a novel so I jot them down and save them for when I can get to ‘em. 

Looking over the novels and novellas I’ve published, I’m pretty happy with most of them.

From DOWN HERE IN THE DARK (A Division Mythos novella)

It was Frank Gunn’s third day at New Wave Hospital when he saw the man wearing the skull-like mask leaning over some Jewish kid with haunted eyes.

From THE DAMPNESS OF MOURNING (A Division Mythos Novel)

Mark wishes I could cry. We both watch for the woman I knew as Catherine and he knew as April to materialize in the thickening mist, a lost soul searching for the motel room where her dead son sleeps.

From my novella AS I EMBRACE MY JAGGED EDGES

The duty of shemira has fallen upon my shoulders and I’ve spent all night in the back room of our trailer with this corpse.

From my novel IT’S ONLY DEATH (January 2015 release)

They clubbed me and tossed me into the trunk of a new pink Cadillac shortly after midnight.

Go enter his contest. Have fun. 

 

A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS Hardcover Sig Sheets

Just received the limited edition signature sheets for my Crime/Suspense novel A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS that DarkFuse is releasing in August 2014. Can’t wait until it’s available to readers! The hardcovers will be beautiful and collectible so make sure you invest in one. It will also be available in paperback and digital formats. I dedicated it to two professionals–agent Ethan Ellenberg and author Tom Piccirilli–who have helped me out tremendously.

You can add the novel on Goodreads here. I’ll have lots of great news to share this year so make sure you sign up for my newsletter, too. Have a great week!

ABM sig sheetA Beautiful Madness novel cover

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