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The Sirens of Suspense




Bestselling author Ben Coes began his career in the public sector, working at the White House under President Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush, serving as a White House-appointed speechwriter to the U.S. Secretary of Energy at the height of the Gulf War. Coes subsequently wrote speeches for Texas oilman billionaire T. Boone Pickens. His COUP D’ETAT is a nominee for the 2012 Barry Award for best thriller. You can read an excpert of his latest, LAST REFUGE, on his website.

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Write When You're Uninspired item1

New Year’s Day five years ago: I woke up and looked at my wife.

“You know, I’ve always wanted to write a novel.”

It was the middle of winter in New England and my head hurt from one too many glasses of either champagne or beer or a combination of the two.

Writing had always been a part of my life. At Columbia, I won the fiction prize at graduation, then served in the first Bush administration, working as a White House appointed speechwriter for the U.S. Secretary of Energy. I ran Mitt Romney’s campaign for Massachusetts Governor in 2002, where there was always some sort of written communication to review. But still, I felt the urge to create a story that was my own.

My wife looked at me that morning and said, “Then get up and start writing.”

I got out of bed, took a couple of Advils, and started writing. I haven’t missed a day since.

If they have advice for aspiring writers, this is what I tell them: write everyday, inspired or uninspired. What I started writing that first morning ended up being chapter one of POWER DOWN, my first book, a USA Today bestseller published by St. Martin’s Press about an attack by terrorists against a U.S. energy company. I kept on plugging away and soon enough I’d finished the second in the series, COUP d’ETAT, about Pakistan and India.

My third book, THE LAST REFUGE, will be out July 3rd. Like all of my books, THE LAST REFUGE is rooted in current events – in this case the intriguing, interconnecting relationships between Iran, Israel and America. The book is an expression of my support for Israel, and uses our close bond with that country to form the dramatic backdrop of the story. It continues the story of the main hero in all my books, Dewey Andreas. Dewey is a former U.S. Army Ranger and Delta who is willing to sacrifice everything for what he believes in. He’s not someone you would want to mess with.

When I started writing that morning five years ago, it was a very rough portrait of Dewey that I sketched out. He was standing alone, on the deck of an offshore oil platform, at night. In him, I sought to create an individual who embodies the qualities I aspire to. He’s flawed, sometimes irritable, takes too many risks, but he fights for what he believes in, and he’s willing to risk everything for his country and his friends. The most rewarding aspect of writing, for me at least, has been the growth of this character; he’s become a part of me and sometimes, as I write, I feel as if I’m taking dictation as he goes out and tackles the world. It’s a great feeling – an incomparable feeling.

As I said before, I encourage you to make time for yourself to write every day. Treat it like a job, and you will start to produce work that surprises you. This daily commitment is why bestselling authors like Vince Flynn, David Baldacci, and Brad Thor crank out a book every year. They never put down the pen.

Best of luck and keep writing.



TELL US HOW YOU WRITE EVEN IF YOU’RE UNINSPIRED, OR ASK BEN A QUESTION by commenting below or visit us and share your thoughts on our Facebook page and be entered to win a copy of LAST REFUGE!

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