John Birmingham offers his best tips for publishing thrillers, from character development, or how to avoid it, to research and editing.

“Who wouldn’t want to be an airport novelist? By which I mean a writer of books which are mostly bought in airport bookstores, not the altogether rarer bird; an author who writes their books in the vicinity of airport bookstores—say in the Qantas Club lounge, or on the un-wiped table of the coffee shop with the stale friands and milky, overpriced lattes.

…Taking our lead from Raymond Chandler, we need never worry about the workaday concerns of your Dessaix’s or your Moorhouses. In our blockbusting efforts, writer’s block is swept away and plot holes are neatly filled in by the sudden unexplained appearance of a man, or a woman, with a gun in their hand.”

John’s top five tips:
1. Put your manuscript through a rigorous editing process
2. Writers’ groups work—use them
3. Get an independent opinion
4. Do your research and do it down to the last detail
5. Plot your thriller before you start writing

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