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Blogs From Exile

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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Research and Writing: It’s not just the facts after all

I’ve been writing in various genres for some time now, but only recently came to appreciate the link between research and inspiration. Yes, I know; it was probably always there, but I hadn’t really given it much thought until just a few years ago.

Like so many former students, somewhere I got  Read More 
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Motivating Your Murderer

One of the great things about writing murder mysteries is the opportunity to imagine the mind of the villain. After all, no matter how many times we say we’d like to kill someone in real life, most of us thankfully aren’t ever going to get closer to the mindset of an actual  Read More 
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Because (some of) you asked for it . . .

I'm very pleased to announce the release of a paperback version of the newest Frank Cole mystery novel, CONTEST OF WILLS. I had originally planned to keep CONTEST OF WILLS as just an ebook, but received enough feedback from fans of the series that it is now out in paperback.

When we last saw  Read More 
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