Thriller Writer Tj O'Connor

Dying to Know… in 30 Days!

Dec 9, 2013

It’s been a very long nine months since I received the news that Dying to Know would be published by Midnight Ink. But here I am… thirty days and counting. It’s a mixture of excitement and trepidation. I’m excited that the first of my series featuring Oliver “Tuck” Tucker, Angel, Bear, and of course Hercule, will arrive in bookstores in thirty days. But I’m also sad, too, because that means Tuck will be murdered that very day, too. Oh, and there are a couple others who will be Dying to Know with him, but they’re not stars, so they have to just suck it up and deal.

But, at least Tuck has one last Christmas. I wonder if he knows he’s end is coming?

I hope he’s ready for this. I am. I’ve gone through a half-dozen edits, two rounds of fact checking, wrangled a blurb from the bestselling author,  Stephen Frey, author of Arctic Fire and the upcoming Red Cell Seven, and finished the first of two sequels for Tuck’s case files, Dying for the Past. Luckily, Tuck’s pending murder hasn’t slowed either of us down. In fact, it’s the whole point. We’ve done some of our best work after his murder. At least I think so.

Dying for the Pastis Tuck’s second case and is due out the end of 2014 or the beginning of 2015. The story finds Tuck investigating the murder of a mysterious philanthropist with ties to the Russian mob. The case leads him into the world of 1930’s gangland hoods, Soviet spies, a missing Federal witness, and the search for “the book”—a journal of pre-World War II mobsters and spies still operating in Washington D.C. He’ll also begin to understand that his being a dead detective isn’t by chance.

I thought I was overdue to give you an update on life in my new world. It’s been a tough couple months and so much has been happening that I couldn’t find the time to blog this out. Now I will.

Between readying for the release of Dying to Know and the demands of my real life—a security consultant for a research and development center providing anti-terrorism support to the U.S. Government—there hasn’t been any time to begin my third book in Tuck’s series, Dying to Tell. Until yesterday. I sat down and wrote like a mad-man, and if all goes well, I’ll have 10,000 words by late evening tonight.

Dying to Tell will be Tuck’s third case and will bring him face to face with his long-lost family and roots. The murder of a prominent banker will shake up Winchester after seedy dealings, black marketing, and World War II profiteering are unmasked. Tuck will have to sort out a seventy-year old string of killings and stolen Egyptian antiquities and murders from all the way back to 1942. All the while, Tuck will be dealing with the revelations of his own past and trying to sort out who of his ancestors are the good guys and who are the bad guys.

To combat my total lack of experience in the book world, I’ve recently engaged a public relations guru from Tennessee to help me get some press and attention to Dying to Know. This is all new to me, too. I’m not used to being a client. I’m used to having clients. But Maryglenn has been gentle with me and is doing great so far. She’s been working on guest blogs and interviews, scheduled several posts coming up in January and the weeks beyond, and will be sending my novel out to key critics around the country trying to gin up some interest. I’ll provide a list of those blogs and interviews at the end of this update for anyone interested.

With all that is going on, I’m finding that the biggest mystery I have to solve is how to navigate in this new world of mine. There are book signings to figure out, Google advertisements to plan, blogs here and there, public relations, and wrangling time to sit down and write. And of course, there’s the January book launch cocktail party to plan. It was simpler chasing bad guys for a living. Who knew?

One final thought. I may sound like I’m complaining about time, juggling real work with writing, and the thousand new things to learn—I’m not. I’m incredibly thankful for what’s happening. I’ve been working toward this my entire life and never really thought it would happen. Suddenly, it’s thirty days away. I know it could be the shortest writing career in history or it could open a door to something else. I have no idea—but either way, life has changed dramatically. But what I do know is that I didn’t get here by being timid or afraid to jump in with both feet. Timid has never been a word used to describe me. And those that have been used, well, should not be printed here. Or anywhere. Or whispered. Or repeated…

All the best to you all for Christmas and the holidays. I’ll keep you posted when there’s something to say. Until then, remember—if you all buy 100 books each, and all your friends by 100 books each, Dying to Know might come close to a bestseller. Think about it.

 Very best to all,


 Upcoming Blogs (I’ll let you know the dates of release)

Inkspots: 10/18/2013—Dying is overrated… Writing in the first person while you are dead—

Inkspots:  11/15/2013—Facts Build Good Fiction—The Truths Behind Dying to Know—

Notes from Me—Dru Ann Love: 1/6/2014—A Day in the Life—err, death—of Oliver Tucker—

Coming in January…

Assorted blogs and interviews with Marshal Zeringue:

Omnimystery Websites— My interview—


I first fell in love with writing while in grade school and over the years continued to dabble with characters and stories whenever life allowed. Lately, I've focused my energy on pursuing this dream—interrupted only by life as a security consultant and the demands of two Labrador retrievers.

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