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Why Did I Write The Book – Deliberate Deceit

The proverbial bucket list!  Did you realize the term ‘bucket list’ has only been trendy for a decade?  The phrase was certainly popularized by the 2007 film with the same name starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman; however, it was first used in this intended context in Unfair & Unbalanced: The Lunatic Magniloquence of Henry E. Panky, by Patrick M. Carlisle.  Yes, in a book.  But I digress.

Upon reading many mystery thrillers, I found myself often wondering how in the world did the author eloquently crochet together a varying amalgamation of characters, ideas, plots, time lines, facts, fiction and the rest to create enjoyment.  Upon reaching a tender age when a bucket list is borderline mandatory, I wittingly etched ‘writing a book’ near the top of the list.

Okay, how and where do I start?  The when is obviously dictated by the creation of the list.  With no experience or mentor to lean on, I started with a simple chart of sorts.  Across the top I listed current geopolitical events and down the side were relatively simple plots, i.e., stolen military secrets, good guy and good girl save the world, a psycho goes on killing rampage, etc.  Once I settled upon a theme, I created a very simple chapter outline.  I then sat down to write.

After writing the first five pages, which by the way took twenty hours, I realized the outline was not going to work.  I had no idea where the book was going to take me.  Yes, take me.  I have no idea how the experienced, successful authors of this genre do it, but my method turned out to be seemingly basic.  I simply sat at my computer and put myself in the story and let my imagination take over.  Before I knew it, I had penned 15,000 words and my characters were alive and behaving accordingly.  Writing was fun, well most of it.

The not so simple or fun parts were the research and ensuring that the plot and sub plots were congruent, plausible and chronologically accurate.  Let’s save marketing the book for another day as that turned out to be the most difficult element.  I purposely wove many current (2011) geopolitical events into the book to lend credibility and punch to the story.  For example, in the first chapter we learn that Osama bin Laden was not killed, but rather captured; there was sufficient, or rather, insufficient detail related to the death to create this plausible alternative.  What fun!

I wrote the book because I thought it would be a rewarding challenge and force me to do something I knew deep down I had the ability to accomplish.  I have two recommendations with regard to writing a book.  First, sit down to write when you have as little as twenty minutes to spend writing.  Force yourself to do it.  Second, tell everyone you are writing a book; you will hold yourself accountable to finish.

I have started the second book in the series and find myself doing my best to employ my recommendations.


Ask the Author: Mitchell R. Stevens

What are you currently working on?
The 2nd book in the Deceit series, Deadly Deceit.

What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Attempt to write everyday, even if it’s only one paragraph.  It will eventually become part of your routine.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?
Providing enjoyment to the reader.

How do you deal with writer’s block?
Just write something, anything to keep the juices flowing.  Edits can always be made later.

Questions are from:


At What Point in a Book Should it ‘Grab’ The Reader?

Every avid reader I know wants the book to grab their attention and not let it go until the end of the book.  Take fiction for example, how feasible is it for an author to lay the groundwork for a good plot, which includes character development, and hook the reader before the end of the first chapter.  Sure, there is always violence, sex and intrigue that can be thrown in to tantalize, but will you end up with scrambled eggs versus a well prepared omelet?
What think you?

Book Giveaway For Deliberate Deceit!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Deliberate Deceit by Mitchell R. Stevens


Deliberate Deceit

by Mitchell R. Stevens

Giveaway ends July 31, 2014

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter here to win!

Has the Reviewer Really Read the Book?

I encountered a new situation recently. In publishing my first novel, I have reached out to many reviewers, many of whom have their own sites where they highlight their reviews. All of the reviews have been specific relative to characters, likes and dislikes as well as expressing interest in the next book in the series. One review stood out from the rest in that it was extremely vague and short, and it rated the book a 4 stars, which was less than the average of 4.7 out of 5 at the time. I first asked the reviewer, who we can refer to as Tracey, to simply provide me her favorite part of the story. Her response was that she couldn’t remember everything she read. I then asked for her favorite character. She named a very minor character that was mentioned in the first few pages only. What would you do?

Deliberate Deceit is Listed Live on USABookNews.com!

Excited to see Deliberate Deceit listed under the Fiction: Mystery/Suspense category!