Tag Archive | douglas preston

My Journey to Writing a Thriller Series

The Kelsey Porter Series

Ten years ago I set out on a journey to swallow my fears and publish my novels. After launching my quirky YA and fantasy books to some modest success, I decided I wanted to push myself and develop a new adult thriller series. But, I used my favorite authors, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, as my bar. Why? Because their books move me in ways other novels don’t. It takes a great writer to make me obsess about a character, and this series puts me squarely in the camp of my obsession with Aloysius Pendergast. Now, these authors also write novels on their own, but together, their Pendergast series is simply amazing. The novels are smart, savvy, with well-developed characters you want to love… and despise. I’m intrigued that they purposely add complicated words so that people will have to look up their meaning. I asked Douglas about this at a signing I went to of his and he said that it’s a conscious decision. They want readers to learn as they read their books and you can tell that everything they do, and every plot line, is researched meticulously.

Well, I wanted to develop a series like that, and one I thought they personally might enjoy. My goal was to hit on something different from what was in the field. Something spiritual, smart, singularly unique, and something that required a ton of research. While I’m no Preston/Child, I’m proud of myself. Four books into this series and I’m excited to say these authors DID like it. Douglas Preston actually read and reviewed Book #1 and it’s a great review you can read in “editorial reviews” for The Hunt For Xanadu on Amazon. Here it is here:

The Hunt for Xanadu by Elyse Salpeter is a remarkable novel, a fascinating and fantastical journey in time and space, and one of the most gripping novels I’ve read in a long time. It flies along at the pace of a thriller, with plenty of murder and mayhem along the way. But behind the thrill-ride is a spiritual story, an archetypal tale of mystery and darkness,riddled with fascinating and esoteric concepts in Tibetan Buddhism. Vivid characters, a truly appealing protagonist, unexpected twists, and crisp writing complete this unforgettable book. I can’t wait to read the next one in the series!

–Douglas Preston, #1 bestselling author and co-creator, with Lincoln Child, of the Pendergast series

So now there are four books in the series, they all have a Buddhist thriller flare, and they take you across the globe, from New York City and Colombia, to Alaska, Egypt and the monasteries of Tibet.

If you’d like to check them out, please click here to my author page on Amazon!


When A Novel Compels you to Cook…

It’s no surprise to many of my friends how much I love to cook. It goes along nicely with “how much I also love to eat.” Eating is one of my favorite things to do. Not an easy hobby for someone always trying to watch their weight, but the fact is, I love food. I love everything about it. The smells, the textures, the chewing. I’ll eat snails, beef tartare, sushi, kimchi, anything weird or smelly is not off-limits. I’ll be honest, I’m not partial to bugs, but besides that, bring it on!

ingredients listed in the novel to use

ingredients listed in the novel to use

That said, I was compelled to make a dish for my family after I read Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s novel, Crimson Shore. There’s this great scene where the main character, Aloysius Pendergast, is really upset about the food choices for dinner in The Chart Room Restaurant. (I don’t blame him – everything is deep-fried) He goes storming back into the kitchen and proceeds to teach the cook how to make a version of Filets de Poisson Bercy aux Champignons, which he calls Filets de Sole Pendergast. It’s this great sole dish with mushrooms and wine and cream and all this good stuff. I put my kindle up and simply made the dish along with Pendergast teaching the cook. There were no measurements for me to use, but I’ve been cooking long enough that I had an idea of how much of each ingredient I needed.

Filets de Sole Pendergast

Filets de Sole Pendergast

Result? The family thought it was delicious. The authors unfortunately did not specify any side dishes in the novel for this dish, so I put it over a mix of basmati and wild rice and served buttered broccoli on the side. I felt that this was in line with what the character would enjoy eating. The family ate it all up!

Have you ever been compelled to make a dish you read in a novel? I’d love to hear!