01 May, 2017

#SpecialFeature :: #GuestPost - How (Not?) to Write a Novel by Kurt Kamm

Under "Special Feature" every month I feature a Special Author. 
During this month I put up 5 posts about the Author/Book, including Interview / Review / Excerpt / Guest Post / Author Bio / Fun Facts or whatever else we can come up with. Also on the first day of the month we will  launch the Giveaway contest along with the first post and will announce the winner on the last day of the month.
So be sure to check out my blog every 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th of every month for something new :)

*** Special Feature - May 2017 ***

About the Author:
Kurt KammMalibu, California resident Kurt Kamm has written a series of firefighter mystery novels which have won several literary awards. He is also the author of The Lizard’s Tale, which provides a unique look inside the activities of the Mexican drug cartels and the men dedicated to stopping them. Kurt has used his contacts with several California fire departments, as well as with the ATF and DEA to write fact-based (“faction”) novels. In his chilling and suspenseful multi-award winning novel, Code Blood, Kurt takes the reader into the connected lives of a fire paramedic, a Chinese research student with the rarest blood type in the world, and the blood-obsessed killer who stalks her. Colt Lewis, a young Los Angeles County fire paramedic responds to a fatal accident. The victim dies in his arms. Her foot has been severed but is nowhere to be found. Who is the woman, and what happened to her foot? During a weeklong search, Colt risks his career to find the victim’s identity and her missing foot. His search leads him to a dark and disturbing side of Los Angeles…an underworld of body part dealers and underground Goth clubs. He uncovers a tangled maze of drugs, needles, and rituals. Emergency medicine, high-tech medical research, and the unsettling world of blood fetishism and body parts make for an edgy L.A. Noir thriller. Kurt has built an avid fan base among first responders and other readers. A graduate of Brown University and Columbia Law School, Kurt was previously a financial executive and semi-professional bicycle racer. He was also Chairman of the UCLA/Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Foundation for several years.

Visit his author Website & on Facebook!

How (Not?) to Write a Novel

A rookie fire paramedic responds to a fatal accident. A woman’s foot is severed. Who is she? Where is her foot? CODE BLOOD plunges the reader into the connected lives of the paramedic, a Chinese medical research student with the rarest blood in the world, and a killer who stalks her. Emergency medicine, stem cell research, Goth club culture and the shadow world of body parts dealers provide the background for my noir novel, Code Blood.

Did I have a detailed plot before I started to write what turned out to be an 80,000 word story? Did I know all of my characters? Did I have a complete list, along with an outline of their personalities and physical descriptions?


I have read that some mystery writers develop incredibly detailed plot outlines before starting their novels. Some even supposedly plan every chapter and each event within the chapter. Code Blood is my third mystery, and I have never started with anything more than a basic plot idea. Before starting every novel, I resolve to develop a detailed outline, and find that I simply cannot do it. All I have ever been able capable of is beginning with a general idea about the plot and a couple of the characters. In Code Blood, I started with the idea that a woman’s foot is severed in a freak accident, a rookie paramedic responds to the call, and a weirdo picks up the foot. 

My plots unfold as I begin to write. This is where imagination comes into play. I start with a few words about what is happening, and the action begins to unfold. What is the paramedic thinking? Where is the severed foot? What kind of person would pick it up in a parking lot? All of a sudden there is a lot to write about. I am drawn into it and begin to visualize what comes next. The same applies to my characters. I always begin with a couple of two dimensional individuals and stick them in the action. Soon they fill out. They begin to live their own lives, make their own decisions, involve their own friends and enemies, and create their own crises. At that point, I become no more than their mouthpiece—they determine their own courses of action and tell me what to put down on paper.
I wouldn't tell you that this is a perfect process—there is a lot of cutting and pasting, and revision. But it works. Sometimes partway through a novel my characters paint themselves into a corner. If that occurs, I may have to stop writing for days at a time and just try to think through what will happen next in the story. Usually, if I concentrate on my character's personalities, and think about what they would do, the solution becomes apparent.

I find that as the novel progresses, it builds momentum, and about halfway through, I am suddenly immersed in a complex story with multiple individuals. During the day, when I am not writing, I often think about each character, and try to imagine what he (she) is thinking and doing. By the end of the novel, I am close friends with my leading individuals, and I often miss them when I finish writing about them. 

Code Blood has been a particular surprise. Colt’s missing mother was something I thought about halfway into the novel. And, at the outset, I never imagined what a weirdo Lukas would be and how much trouble he would get himself into. The Chinese medical researcher, A Li, didn’t exist until I had to create someone who carried the rare Bombay blood type. 

When Code Blood was complete, I was amazed at the number of twists and turns, and the events that I never could have imagined at the beginning. 

I hope you enjoy reading Code Blood.

About the Book:
Colt Lewis, a rookie fire paramedic, is obsessed with finding the severed foot of his first victim after she dies in his arms. His search takes him into the connected lives of a graduate research student, with the rarest blood in the world and the vampire fetishist who is stalking her. Within the corridors of high-stakes medical research laboratories, the shadow world of body parts dealers, and the underground Goth clubs of Los Angeles, Lewis uncovers a tangled maze of needles, drugs and maniacal ritual, all of which lead to death. But whose death? An unusual and fast-paced LA Noir thriller.

Book Details:
Genre: Suspense, Vampire
Published by: MCM Publishing
Publication Date: October 2012
Number of Pages: 233
ISBN: 0979855136 (ISBN13: 9780979855139)
Series: Code Blood is a Stand Alone Novel

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Code Blood Literary Awards:
* Writer’s Type - First Chapter Competition. January 2011- First Place
* 2012 International Book Awards - Fiction: Cross Genre Category – First Place
* National Indie Excellence Book Awards – Faction (fiction based on fact) - Winner of the 2012 Award
* The 2012 USA Best Book Awards - Fiction: Horror - Winner
* LuckyCinda Publishing Contest 2013 First Place – Thriller
* Reader's Favorite 2013– Finalist – Horror Fiction
* Knoxville Writer’s Guild - 2011 Novella or Novel Excerpt – 2nd Place

6 Winners can get their choice of Kurt Kamm's books in Digital format.

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  1. I read this book so reading the development of the story was quite interesting!

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