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Blogs From Exile

My latest short story, for fans of crime and mystery

HANDLER HANK by Vincent H. O’Neil


Here’s a question for you: When are undercover cops most at risk? Some people think it’s when they’re all alone with a gang of criminals, completely cut off from backup—but that’s wrong. That’s the meat-and-potatoes of undercover, and most of the  Read More 
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The Best Review I've Ever Received

Libby Cudmore, a marvelous new writer from the noir side of the mystery world, just gave my new book DEATH TROUPE the greatest review. I'm practically speechless, so here it is:


Death Troupe is a mystery novel for writers. It's about writing. It's about the struggles of writing and what being a writer does  Read More 
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DEATH TROUPE gets its first official review!

The Midwest Book Review’s excellent review of DEATH TROUPE:


It's quite annoying when fiction becomes reality. More so when your fiction is murder. "Death Troupe" follows the theatre group known as the Jerome Barron players who have earned the nickname Death Troupe, surrounding their practice of doing murder mystery plays. But when their  Read More 
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Hearing the Music: How composing a song and composing a story can be almost the exact same thing


In my latest novel Death Troupe, the play’s gruff director Jerome Barron gives some advice to his playwright, main character Jack Glynn:


“Do me a favor, Jack. Get yourself a nice set of headphones and listen to a few classical tunes. Pick something that really hits you, that gets your blood going or  Read More 
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Getting It Write: When your main character is a writer



In my new novel Death Troupe, the main character is a playwright. Creating such a role was a new experience for me, and I was surprised by how much work it turned out to be. I’ve read many novels in which the protagonist was some kind of writer (Stephen King’s The Shining,  Read More 
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Murder, Romance, Suspense, and Theater: My new novel Death Troupe

Now available on Amazon:

DEATH TROUPE by Vincent H. O’Neil (394 pages)

The Jerome Barron Players have a problem. Their writer, Ryan Betancourt, has killed himself under mysterious circumstances and they need a replacement right away. The Players, unofficially known as Death Troupe, come together once a year to perform a high-end murder mystery  Read More 
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Some ideas for managing the holiday season

I thought I’d shift away from the topics of writing and reading in order to share some methods for managing the holidays. Whether you’re prone to the seasonal blues or just have too much to do, here are a few techniques I’ve used in the past for managing stress, workloads, and  Read More 
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Starting your mystery novel can be murder

One of the great things about being an author is that I get to meet so many talented writers, both published and not-yet-published. We ask each other everything under the sun, but one of the most common questions in the mystery genre is how to begin plotting the story. Murder mysteries aren’t like  Read More 
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When in doubt, tell the story

In writing, it’s not unusual to reach a spot where you don’t know how to continue—or even how to get started. That’s a scary feeling. Some people dread such moments as the onset of writers’ block, while others view them as a subconscious warning to slow down because they’re  Read More 
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When your characters misbehave

The studio guy told me, “Kid, you have no future in this business.”
So I asked him, “Why?”
He said, “When Tony Curtis first walked onscreen carrying a bag of groceries—a bag of GROCERIES—you took one look at him and thought, THAT'S a movie star!”
So I asked, “Weren't you supposed to  Read More 
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