2nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards
Entry Title: Deliberate Deceit
Author: Mitchell R. Stevens
Judge Number: 43
Entry Category: Genre Fiction
Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”.
Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 4
Production Quality and Cover Design: 4
Plot and Story Appeal: 5
Character Appeal and Development: 5
Voice and Writing Style: 4
What a great title and great cover! I was really drawn right into the plot and although it was not totally original it was extremely well written. This author is a solid storyteller with a real future in political thriller writing.
The thing that did surprise me was the hint of romance in the novel. It was both unexpected and quite nice, in my opinion. I think this novel could easily be converted into a successful screen play. Very impressive from beginning to end and worthy of a mention is the author’s skill at keeping the reader hooked.
Nice pacing. nice mix of narrative and dialogue and well-developed characters. Their motivations remained clear and realistic throughout. Smooth transitions make for mostly flawless reading. I would caution the author to watch for white space on the page. What I mean by this is the author’s tendency to write long, chunky style paragraphs with no breaks or pause in the narrative. I would have liked to have taken a literary breath now and then.
Really, other than that, it was hard to find fault with this entry. Just really impressive and enjoyable throughout. I hope to read more from this author in the future.
Deliberate Deceit by Mitchell R. Stevens
The story begins with the demise of Osama bin Laden as never been told and details a conspiracy that goes all the way to the top. This
sophisticated plot includes characters from the White House, Russia and the Jihad community. This page turner will have the reader asking them self, ‘could this really happen?’
Book One: Deceit Series
Genres: Fiction Mystery & Detective, Political Fiction, Thrillers Hard-Boiled (Mystery & Detective), International Mystery & Crime (Mystery & Detective), Police Procedural (Mystery & Detective) Crime Thrillers, Espionage Thrillers, General Thrillers, Military Thrillers, Political Thrillers, Suspense Thrillers
About the Book
Richard North has worked his way up the career CIA ladder; Washington insiders expect his nomination as the next Director. However, an unexpected influence in the White House derails his nomination igniting his narcissistic tendencies resulting in a web of deceit. North’s grandiose revenge strategies result in misdirection, murder and the threat of World War III. He will stop at nothing to get what he wants.
Jack Landis, a decorated Navy Seal, comes out of retirement to join a CIA special ops mission and finds himself in the middle of the web of deceit. He has to rely on his training, experience and instincts to save a good friend, his lover and thwart Armageddon. Jack partners with unlikely allies as he races against time to cut through the labyrinth of deception in an attempt to uncover the truth.
The story begins with the demise of Osama bin Laden as never been told and details a conspiracy that goes all the way to the top. This sophisticated plot includes characters from the White House, Russia and the Jihad community. This page turner will have the reader asking them self, ‘could this really happen?’
About the Author
Mitchell R. Stevens is an author and sales executive living in the Midwest who enjoys adventure and challenge.
Beyond the challenges of writing a good story and closing the next deal, Mitchell’s favorite adventures have included hiking the Appalachian Trail, attending an Italian festival in the Bavarian town of Gramado, Brazil, zip lining in Costa Rica and snorkeling Molokini Crater near Maui.
Interests include physical fitness, traveling, reading and golf.
A sports fan who remains a diehard Detroit Lion supporter in spite of the franchise’s inability to manage itself to the Super Bowl, let alone a playoff victory.
Endorphins. Many of us do those things that are considered a challenge often because subconsciously we know a feeling of well being and euphoria will follow. There is much written about physical exercise and the morphine-like effect of the release of endorphins by the central nervous system and pituitary gland. Recently, more has been written about similar affects of exercising the brain when writing. I know that when I have successfully penned a few pages, I do experience that good feeling felt after a hearty physical exercise. That said, I typically will not feel inclined to write when I am less than chipper. So, one could argue that to have a successful write, maybe one needs to exercise first. The overall impact will be a double high of sorts. But wait, what if you are not up for exercise? This may be a chicken and egg dilemma.
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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.
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: