NEWSFLASH: Zero Sum, Book 1, Kotov Syndrome, my Wall Street thriller serial trilogy, has been reviewed by acclaimed author Steven Konkoly, whose The Jakarta Pandemic just got its 100th Amazon review, and who just released Black Flagged. The review is a wonderful deconstruction of the trilogy, and is recommended reading for one and all.

MAJOR BREAKING NEWS: Justin Bogdanovitch just published a poignant and touching review of An Angel With Fur for prominent online lifestyle magazine . It’s really a must-read review.

INTERVIEWS: Couple of newish interviews you might have missed. You can see them here, and here.


After a lot of 15 hour days, I finished the first draft of “King of Swords” – my newest thriller, about a super assassin targeting world leaders at the G-20 Conference in Los Cabos, Mexico.

It’s a shocking, sometimes violent, often disturbing rush of a book. To say that it races is like saying a G-6 is a private plane. I’m now going back to polish & rewrite, which will take me four days, and then I’ll be submitting it as completed to NanoWriMo.

Every now and then you write one where you feel, as you write it, like this could be “The Book.” I’ve felt that way a few times, especially when I did The Geronimo Breach (still probably my favorite, depending upon which day you ask me) but this time I really feel like it’s my best work to date. Which is odd given the schedule I had to keep to get it done in 12 days – it’s no exaggeration to say I worked from 8 a.m. to midnight the entire period. So that’s around 160 hours with breaks, writing time. For those following along at home, the book totals a little over 87K words, and may gain or lose weight during rewrite and edit – although I’m pretty brutal about cutting during rewrite. I typically switch into a completely different mode, and go for efficiency over word creation.

For those who think it can’t be done in eleven or twelve days, consider that my speed actually comes to around 550 words per hour. That’s paltry. It’s just all about sitting down and doing the work, not about being a virtuoso speed-writing demon.

Books are made or broken in rewrite. I don’t think this one’s going to be the case. If you read the sample chapters I wrote on the 11th, you’ll see that it’s fairly well along as a first draft.

I’m very excited by this story. I hope that’s still my impression once I get done killing my babies in rewrite and edit. But I can say I haven’t read anything like it. A Mexican Federal Police protag that’s hugely developed as a character, set against the backdrop of the bloody 10-year de facto civil war with the drug cartels in Mexico, an assassin that’s by far the most interesting villain I’ve ever created, plots in plots in plots, a back story or three that will make you cringe in places…everything I’ve ever liked about the genre, but on steroids.

I want to take my time on rewrite so won’t be submitting it till next Wed, the 30. And I’ll work up a cover in the meantime, and get the editor cranked up to move this through with prejudice, and then will launch back into rewrite on The Delphi Chronicle, which is almost double this novel’s length and is a mover & shaker for entirely different reasons. Target for that is a Dec. 22 release. We’ll see. Target for King of Swords is Dec. 10.

And then I’m taking a one or two week break, before moving back into The Messiah Cipher, which will take till end of January to complete with all the holiday merriment.

Unless I decide to write one of the prequels to King of Swords first. I’m thinking Night of the Assassin as a title, covering the exploits of the killer before this book. God I hope this doesn’t keep me up at night and force its way into the world the way this last one did. I don’t want December to be like November…


Join Russell Blake and 9 of his author friends at WoMen’s Literary Cafe’s Mystery Book Launch, December 13-15. Ten authors will discount their ebooks to just 99 cents. Buy 3 get 1 FREE!”



  1. Wed 23rd Nov 2011 at 5:59 pm

    You most definitely are kicking ass and taking names…. Very much looking forward to your next genius writing!

  2. Wed 23rd Nov 2011 at 8:06 pm


    The drive in the writing process is unglaublich!

    I can’t wait to read the new work. And the eBook Event sounds terrific.

  3. Thu 24th Nov 2011 at 6:38 am

    No Russell no, you don’t get the point. During Nanowrimo you are supposed to write a rough draft that is mostly patchy with some brilliant patches in some places. But you are not supposed to know where these patches are.

    You are also supposed to write 50 000 words and you are supposed to type the last line five minutes before midnight on 30 November and it should go something like this: “This is now the last line of my very long and frantic opus written in thirty days, that is three times ten, in extreme circumstances and I now declare it done – the end”, which should bring you up to 50 001 words.

    And Russell, most important, you are not allowed to edit, during Nanowrimo at all. No – editing – allowed!!

    Got that?

    Other than that, congratulations. You are still an inspiration – just not exactly sure of what.

    • Russell Blake  –  Thu 24th Nov 2011 at 6:55 am

      Oh. Dammit. I can always flush it and write a 50K opus. How many days do I have?

      Maybe a prequel? Already thinking of one…

  4. Sat 26th Nov 2011 at 2:08 am

    Cool beans. And it’s repeatable, like good Science.

    I’ll pick up The Geronimo Breach while I’m waiting for this one. I’ll buy anything that promises a ‘malingering misanthrope’ in the blurb.

    …then I’ll get back to writing.

    • Russell Blake  –  Sat 26th Nov 2011 at 2:38 am

      The malingering misanthrope genre has gone under-mined until now. That’s my considered opinion.

      • David Barron  –  Sat 26th Nov 2011 at 2:42 am

        There’s “A Confederacy of Dunces” and this book. That’s all I can think of.

        • Russell Blake  –  Sat 26th Nov 2011 at 3:47 am

          Not bad company to be in. Although I’m not quite dead yet. But working on it…

  5. Mon 28th Nov 2011 at 3:40 pm

    I have no doubt that you will meet your goals and make it rain thrillers upon us all.

    A little favor? Could you give us time to read a few of your books before writing any others?! So difficult to keep up. Geez.

    Maybe you could convert your writing into a liquid form that can be administered by IV.

  6. Mon 28th Nov 2011 at 3:44 pm

    What?!! I could have waited and picked up Geronimo Breach for .99?! (grunt, mumble,grumble)

    Of course, what would I have done without the support of Ed over these last few months?


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