Going Beyond the Standard Genre Plot Line

Going Beyond the Standard Genre Plot Line

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This presentation focuses on three questions that writers should keep at the forefront of their thoughts as they conceive, plot, and write a mystery or thriller novel. The goal of this presentation is to assist mystery, thriller, and other genre writers to break down the genre walls that may limit their ability to get to that next level of success. Mysteries and thrillers can do so much more than simply tell the story of how the case was solved and the bad guy caught.


Allen Eskens grew up in the wounded hills of Missouri and, after high school, migrated north to pursue his education. He acquired a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Minnesota, and a Juris Doctorate from Hamline University Law School. He honed his creative writing skills in the MFA program at Minnesota State University and took classes at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. The Life We Bury, Allen's debut offering, was named the Best Debut Novel of 2014 at the Left Coast Crime Conference, winning the Rosebud Award. The Life We Bury was named a finalist for the Edgar Award, the Thriller Award, and the Anthony Award for Best First Novel. It was also named a finalist for the Barry Award for Best Paperback Original novel and the Minnesota Book Award for Best Genre Fiction. Allen's follow-up novel, The Guise of Another was released in 2015, and his upcoming novel, The Heavens May Fall, will be released in October 2016.

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