Kevin Bragg's latest update for Transilience

Mar 2, 2016

None of this "before I get any further" nonsense...I’ll just start with it.

Mike Donald did an incredibly noble, and kind, thing by supporting Transilience. I am still a tad stunned by his generosity. Again, Thank You Mike. For the rest of you, dear Update Readers, I encourage you to check out his project Louisiana Blood. A new take on Jack the Ripper. The opening paragraph, alone, demonstrates the skill Mike possesses as a writer.

The Nerdist Space Opera contest is in its final 10 days. The race for 2nd and 3rd is very close. Two authors in the contest have supported Transilience and I cannot recommend in strong enough terms their books. Check out The Madness of Mr. Butler and The Life Interstellar. Their updates, alone, are worth the price of admission.

Tomorrow is World Book Day. To be perfectly honest, I only learned this fact through happenstance. Fortunately, this accidental discovery has given me fuel for this Update.

I mention in the About section that Transilience was spawned in a creative wiring course I took online through one Sweden’s many small town colleges. I took the course because it was taught in English and I didn’t have much else going on. I figured why not?

Who knew it would become this??

The course was held in the Fall (or Autumn) and by January I had a rough idea of what began life as a 1000 word short story could become as a full-length novel. What I didn’t have a clear grasp on was the progression of the Hard-Boiled Detective genre, which had inspired it. So, like a good academic, I launched into researching the subject.

I knew the classics. Chandler. Parker. Hammett. But Parker aside (whose Jesse Stone novels I’m not a huge fan of, I hate to admit) I didn’t really know anything about the genre since its heyday in the 40s and 50s.

Some internet research allowed me to compile a list of books that I felt represented the development of the genre up to present day.  A retrospective, if you will. 

Hard-Boiled Detective, This is your Life...presented by Alcoa.

Here is the list of books (in no particular order) I read, and took notes from, before I began writing Transilience in earnest...

The Big Sleep, Farewell, My Lovely and The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler.
The James Deans: A Moe Prager Mystery by Reed Farrell Coleman
The Guards by Ken Bruen
The Last Good Kiss by James Crumbly
Lost Light by Michael Connelly
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

Not an exhaustive list by any stretch of the imagination. However, since those initial books, I have read more. I’ve become a huge fan of Connelly. If you haven’t read any of his books, do so. The man has a way of keeping the reader invested in a story without pushing the "thriller" aspect of crime novels to the edge of improbability. His endings aren’t always Hollywood, either, which I respect.

Ian Rankin is another author I’ve come to enjoy. His Rebus character is a fine addition to the Hard-Boiled genre.

So there you have it. In honor of World Book Day, a list of books which helped me write my own novel. I recommend one and all.

What are your favorite novels?
What has inspired you to write the stories you have written?