Why I Write Thrillers

BraxtonAuthor Braxton DeGarmo:

So, I’m asked, why do you write suspense and thrillers? The simple answer is that I write what I like to read. I’ve always enjoyed an edge-of-the-seat reading experience. You know, the kind of book where it’s one in the morning and you have go to work at eight, but want to read one more chapter first. Then, three chapters later you finally give in to your need for sleep. Which genre of books gives you that? For me, it’s suspense and thrillers. But a good thriller isn’t just a string of action scenes. There has to be strong characters with real-life relationships. And there has to be a message of some kind for me to close the book and feel fulfilled. A good book moves you along with the plot while rooting for the characters. A great book has depth and gets you thinking about more than the story line and whether or not the guy gets the girl.

Have I succeeded in writing the kind of book I like to read? I can only say, I hope so. I realize that not everyone enjoys all genres. Those that do are “rare birds.” But I hope that I’m delivering a message that can get every reader thinking, while also giving her a story that keeps her involved, and maybe keeps her up ‘til the wee hours of the morning. I write a mix of thrillers, from medical to political to general police. Most of my stories revolve around issues of social injustice – human trafficking, medical kidnapping, and property rights – or, more recently, looking into Biblical prophecies and how they’re being fulfilled today. (Do you know who sits on David’s throne today?)

As a Christian, I write from my Christian worldview. That doesn’t mean I’m writing my books “for the choir.” My desire is to reach everyone with the message I believe God wants me to impart. After all, these are issues that affect us all, whether directly or indirectly. Still, I honor my beliefs by writing “clean” fiction. You won’t find explicit sex, profanity, or the Lord’s Name taken in vain in my books. Yes, the characters might find themselves in very worldly situations, but that’s the world we live in, the same world Jesus walked in despite our technological advances. As Solomon said, “There’s nothing new under the sun.”

Again, why do I write suspense and thrillers? Maybe my simple answer isn’t so straightforward after all, because the books I like to read are not typically “simple” books. A moving plot. Real-life characters caught up in true-to-life situations. A theme or message that makes you think beyond the story. Not to mention, a story presented from a Godly point-of-view. That’s the kind of book I like to read. I hope I’ve succeeded in writing such books as well.

About Braxton DeGarmo:

Braxton can’t lay claim to wanting to be a writer all his life, although his mother and seventh grade English teacher were convinced he had what it would take. He went to Duke University, earned a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Engineering with a major in Bio-Medical Engineering, and followed that with medical school at the University of Cincinnati. After a residency in Emergency Medicine at Madigan Army Medical Center, he served tours as the Chief, Emergency Medical Services at Fort Campbell, KY and as a research Flight Surgeon at Fort Rucker, AL. Who had time to write?

By the late 1990′s, his professional and family life had settled down, somewhat, and his mother once again took up her mantra, “Write a book. You’re a good writer.” Yet, with no experience in writing anything other than technical articles, he hesitated to try his hand at fiction. That changed in 1997 when the local newspaper held a writing contest for Valentine’s Day. Out of 1100 entries, he made it to the top five finalists and realized that maybe he could write fiction after all.

The next ten years saw him learning the craft of writing through local writers’ groups, seminars, critique groups and more. “The Militant Genome” (©July 2012) marked his first formal publication. “Indebted” (©January 2013) has been well received, and his third and fourth novels, “Looks that Deceive” (©May 2013) and “Rescued and Remembered” (©November 2013) began what is now a four book series that includes “The Silenced Shooter” (©July 2014) and “Wrongfully Removed” (©June 2015).

Eighteen years after that first hesitant start, he can’t find enough time to write as much as he’d like. He now lives in Missouri with his wife, Paula. Their two children are grown and with three grandchildren nearby, “Papa” wears a number of hats.

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