Welcome to Writers’ Uni-Verse-City (or WUVC for short because every university has an acronym), a place where writers/bloggers can meet to discuss the craft of writing in the Internet age. WUVC will involve independent research, setting a curriculum and hopefully finding other participants (like you – readers/bloggers/writers) to: chip in, give tips, suggest books and other materials for study, teach me the ways of the warrior writer, and offer to guest post here at Uni-Verse-City (contact: [email protected]).

Today I’m welcoming Laurence O’Bryan as part of the Literary Genres Blog Series. He’s giving a glimpse into what its like to write in a genre that seems to have a lot to live up to. 

I’ve always enjoyed a good thriller, especially one with a conspiracy behind it. I read Robert Ludlum years ago, loved Alistair MacLean, Leslie Charteris (The Saint), Dan Brown, more recently, Harlan Coben and Michael Connolly.

I know some of those veer into the straight crime territory, but for me the conspiracy thriller includes everyday criminal conspiracies as well as world changing conspiracies.

I became interested in writing conspiracy thrillers when I was a teenager. Reading was a huge part of my life. It allowed me to travel far from my dull suburban life in Dublin, Ireland, and experience the thrill and adventure in the books I borrowed from the library or bought when I had the money.

It wasn’t until years later though, when I had found a way to support myself and had got married, that I started writing. Earning money with a day job can be intensely boring. You do the same thing day after day and are just as likely to lose your job as make progress in it.

So writing became my escape, just like reading had when I was younger. I chose thrillers as this is what I like to read and I could sense what readers wanted to get from reading this type of book.

For me the important thing about a conspiracy thriller is that the reader is drawn in and wants to keep reading. It’s not easy to come up with something truly original, but once you have the idea for the conspiracy then you can structure the story around it. I prefer using a non-professional central character as I’ve never been a police detective or security services agent, so making a non-professional central character believable is easier for me.

I also like the idea of a normal person being thrown into an adventure situation. It’s what might happen to any of us, if we got caught up in a dangerous situation, that interests me.

After deciding on the conspiracy and the central character there are lots of other writing problems to solve. How does the plot evolve? Where is at all set? How do the characters develop during the story? These are all questions you need to ask yourself as the story develops.

I hope I answer these questions in an engaging way in my new thriller with a heart, The Istanbul Puzzle (Harper Collins).

Laurence O’Bryan is an Irish writer. In 2007 he won the Outstanding Novel Submitted Award at the Southern California Writers’ Conference. Currently living in Dublin, Ireland, with his three kids, Laurence works in marketing as his day job and The Istanbul Puzzle is his first published novel. You can visit his blog and he’d love to hear what you think of the book and if he’s achieved the high standards the writers he loves have achieved.

See the schedule of the upcoming guest posts and genres for the rest of this blog series, in this post.

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