Guest Author Tony McFadden

Lately I have had many requests from authors to stop by, visit and discuss their latest book with us.  And the reason must be that they have heard that here, at CMash, the visitors are fantastic and fabulous, but then I am a bit biased.  Today I have the honor and pleasure to introduce you to Mr. Tony McFadden!

Tony McFadden (1960 – ?) left Canada two decades ago and has spent the bulk of the intervening time consulting for wireless operators throughout South East Asia. Now enjoying the relaxed lifestyle of coastal Australia he has embarked on a second career, writing suspense and thriller novels.

This biography was provided by the author or their representative.
You can visit Mr. McFadden at his website:

I had planned on recycling one of my older blog posts as a guest post, but it occurred to me that this is the perfect opportunity to review what has happened over the past eighteen month to get me to this partiularly exciting place in my writing life.

A year and a half ago, November 5, 2009, I read a tweet written by Richard Castle.  Obviously not the real Richard Castle, because there ain’t no such person.  It made a reference to some of his writing tips and how he hoped they would help all of those writers taking part in NaNoWrimo.

Understand that before this the best I could call myself was a wannabe writer.  I’d been working on a novel for over ten years and was perennially promising myself that this was the year that I’d buckle down and make a real stab at this writing thing, and see if I could make a career out of it.

Hollow, shameful promises, like those promising I make to myself on a weekly basis to stay away from KFC forever.

I did a quick search on the intertubes and discovered NaNoWriMo.  I was entranced.  50,000 words written in a month.  Unheard of.  I took a fairly quick look at my calendar and realised that the only way I would ever pull that off would be if I woke every morning at 4 and wrote for two hours, and completely abandoned all pretence of keeping the yard presentable until December.  To hell with the lawn.  If the neighbours didn’t like it, they could mow it themselves.

I sat down on November 6th and wrote the first line

‘Impressive damage.  The front is almost as bad as the back.’  Samantha Reeves, Miami’s   Chief Coroner, fitted a pair of latex gloves and gently lifted the head of the facedown victim.

I had no idea where I was going, no clue who killed the poor victim and not the foggiest how I -­‐or more

accurately, Detective Dan MacCready-­‐was going to solve the murder.

It was exhilarating.

And it resulted in an absolute pile of horse crap.

I made it to the end, put it down for a couple of months, because ‘that’s what you’re supposed to do’, promising myself to pick it up in February to start the edit process.

In that two months I did some research on writing, and story structure, character development, voice and few other things and vowed never to start writing before I knew what the end was, what the structure needed to be and, generally, what path I was going to take to get there.

‘Scary Barry’ (as I called that first NaNoWriMo effort) stayed in that bottom drawer.  I set a goal of writing self-­‐sufficiency in five years (one year and a bit down) and started putting what I learned to work.

Since then I’ve rebuilt/rewritten two works in progress and wrote a third (‘G’Day L.A.’ a give away on this site) and have finally taken that old Scary Barry out of the bottom drawer.  I’m re-­‐writing it completely.
The overall story/plot stays the same, none of the characters have changed, but I’m re-­‐building it from the ground up.

I’m wandering a bit here.

What I’m trying to say is that you can either take ten years to write a novel (Matt’s War-­‐that one I’d been plodding through) or less than a year (for G’Day L.A.).   In fact, the first draft of G’Day was written during NaNo2010.  All 92,000 words of it.  In less than a month.

The difference?  A good six weeks spent planning and detailing what the end game is.  Planning your story. Nutting out your plot.  defining in advance what your character arc is. from the middle of September 2010 to the end of October I planned.  And plotted, and schemed, and figured out exactly what my story should be. I wrote it in November.  Took December off and spent the last few months cleaning up the spelling, grammar, voice and voila.  Here we are.

Sure, it’s a bit of hard upfront work, but do you know what?  Once that’s done, there are virtually no more instances of writer’s block. You know the endgame and the general path and the words flow like wine.

Happy writing.

Ellie Bourke, alumni of “Home and Away”, one of Australia’s longest running TV shows and a leading character in Bart Sweeney’s cult-classic horror “Beast of Bondi” moved to Los Angeles to further her acting career almost a year ago.

Bart loved working with her in “Beast”, and encouraged her to make the move. He believed her to be talented enough to make it on the big stage.

A year later and she’s still finding that success elusive. She’s thinking of packing it in and heading back to Sydney when Joel, her roommate and best friend, is found dead in his tub, a case of suspected suicide.

That pushes her over the edge. She books flights and packs her bags and is ready for the airport when she learns that Joel didn’t kill himself – he was killed.

Can Ellie convince the police that Joel’s death wasn’t suicide? Or accidental?

Can she stay alive herself, now that the killer knows what Ellie knows?

And can she find a career in a city that cares more for what’s on the outside than on the inside?


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1 thought on “Guest Author Tony McFadden

  1. What an interesting peek into the author's process. I love that he was inspired by the fictional Richard Castle — my husband is a big mystery reader, and loves that show

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