Friday, October 13, 2017


I just survived my first, live morning show--Global News Toronto! Thank you Jeff McArthur for making this experience painless. And thank you Penguin Random House (and Samantha Ruinsky) for all your help.  interview

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


Today is the launch of THE DEEP DARK DESCENDING, my fourth novel. I'm excited to see it head out into the big world, and am grateful for the buzz it's getting. Entertainment Weekly has it on the top of their list for Best New Books (Oct. 6 ed.), and Amazon has chosen it as one of their Best Books of the Month, next to such names as Stephen King, Dan Brown, Harlan Coben, John Grisham, and more. I am also grateful to all the blog reviewers who take the time to read my work and comment on it. Your support is instrumental and greatly appreciated.

I am particularly grateful to Wendy Tyson who wrote a wonderful feature article about me and my books for The Big Thrill magazine. Today I begin the publicity tour and couldn't be more pleased. I look forward to meeting readers, so if you have a chance, stop by one of my events if you can. Now, back to writing!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Just a quick note--

One of the best lessons that I've learned is on what John Gardner called profluence. Profluence is that sense of compulsion that a writer instills in a reader which makes the reader want to (need to) keep reading. Gardner sums it up as follows:

 Page 1, even if it’s a page of description, must raise questions, suspicions and expectations; the mind casts forward to later pages, wondering what will come about and how. It is this casting forward that draws us from paragraph to paragraph and chapter to chapter. The moment we stop caring where the story will go next, the writer has failed and we stop reading.

--  John Gardner The Art of Fiction (writing on profluence)

Saturday, November 5, 2016

THREE BOOKS -- A Great summary by TheShadesofOrange

I've been meaning to do a video blog to talk about having three books published:  
I wanted to discuss how each book is different and how readers with a particular preference may enjoy one book over another. Then low and behold, I came across this terrific video blog by TheShadesofOrange, where this brilliant young woman named Rachel did exactly that. Thank you Rachel for the great  post. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

PBS Interview

On the eve (figuratively) of the launch of my third novel
THE HEAVENS MAY FALL (October 4, 2016), I continue to bask in the glow of the success of THE LIFE WE BURY. 

Today I would like to thank Kevin Hanson and the rest of his people at KSMQ/Off 90 for the wonderful PBS piece that they put together spotlighting my adventure as a writer. I love how it turned out and it captures the spirit of what I most enjoy about being a writer.

Take a look at the interview at the link below:
 KSMQ - Off 90 interview of Allen Eskens

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A little video in honor of National Autism Month

To see the Erin Toland review that prompted this post click on the blog link below.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


As I was studying and honing my skill as a writer, I sought to come up with road markers to push my abilities and give me the confidence to take the next step. One of these markers was my Jack-and-Jill exercise.
The Jack-and-Jill exercise grew out of the fact that I write mysteries and thrillers. Mysteries and thrillers tend to rely heavily upon plot. I would sometimes read a mystery that, I felt, relied too much on plot and left out other elements of literary style. This may be a matter of taste because I gravitate toward literary mysteries like those of Tom Franklin and Dennis Lehane. So in my own work, I tried to come up with an assignment that would remind me of the importance of these other elements—even in a plot driven genre. What I came up with was my Jack-and-Jill exercise.

Basically, the Jack-and-Jill exercise is to take a nursery rhyme (like Jack and Jill) and rewrite it into a short story of some length relying on skills other than plot. Because the plot is already laid out and well known before the exercise begins, it forces me to focus on those other elements of story such as description, dialogue, pacing and character. To me, it feels like I’m working out those literary muscles that tend to atrophy when I focus too much on plot.

This exercise often comes to my thoughts as I write my novels. When I come to a place where I’m stepping from one plot point to another and I find myself struggling to write that transition, I take a step back and remember my Jack-and-Jill exercise. I change my focus away from plot and try to make the transition stand on its own merit. Over the course of writing three novels, I’ve found this exercise useful.