Tod Gives Burn Notice the Burn Notice

10082679 After writing five BURN NOTICE  books, my brother Tod has called it quits, turning down a contract for more. Remarkably, the publisher has decided to retire the series as a result. Now that THE BAD BEAT,   his final book in the series is coming out, Tod reflects on his blog today on what he's learned from the experience. Here's an excerpt:

…writing Michael Westen taught me how to write series fiction and, beyond that, how to pace commercial crime fiction. See, previously, the crime fiction I wrote was decidedly not series and decidedly not commercial, really. (And I would argue that I never really set out to write crime, specifically, even if Living Dead Girl and Fake Liar Cheat and a bunch of my short stories are, you know, stories about crimes.) At any rate, writing the books required a completely different skill set — the deadlines alone required that they be almost completely plot and voice driven, which is somewhat different than my other work which tends to be character and setting driven. Writing Burn Notice has changed the way I approach crime fiction, which is good since the novel I'm writing now — more on that in a moment — is a pretty straight crime novel. 

[…] because the deadlines were so close, I also had to learn to not be an obsessive rewriter, which meant I had to keep a pretty tight plot, which meant I did more outlining than usual…and by that I mean I outlined anything at all, which I typically don't do. I also ended up trusting myself more. Usually when I'm working on something new, I show drafts to my wife or to my agent or trusted friends to get some feedback, but I just didn't have the time to do that with these books and the result is that I ended up needing to be honest with myself. Not an easy thing for any writer.

Now I don't feel so guilty about getting him the gig.

7 thoughts on “Tod Gives Burn Notice the Burn Notice”

  1. wow you want us to believe that a writer who has no original story ideas that he has to write books based on tv series QUIT on his own?
    don’t try a switcheroo on us. The publishers gave your brother the ax because they wanted to end the series.
    It was not the other way around!!!
    What are you saying?
    There are no OTHER WRITERS around the planet who can write a book based on a TV series?
    Hah hahahha
    That is funny!

  2. Tod are you saying that you are a main writer for the series?
    I checked the IMDB database and your name isn’t mentioned in the cast/crew list.

  3. Abbey,
    You really must pay more attention when you read. Or get glasses. If you look again, with your eyes wide open and attention focused, you might notice the big BOOK cover on the blog post. You might also notice that the blog post was all about the “Burn Notice” series of books, hence the repeated use of words like “books” and “novels,” which are usually clues that we are talking about books and novels. But I can see how you might be confused if, perhaps, you can’t focus your eyes, are half-asleep, or on heavy medication.

  4. I know these blogs are back in 2011, but, anyway, I will miss Tod Goldberg’s Burn Notice books, and also Lee Goldberg’s Monk books. They are very entertaining and well written, but one thing these books did do, is introduce me to great authors, so now I will go find out what else they are writing, both Tod and Lee, and go buy that. All the best.


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