Suspense Magazine by John Raab – Guest Post + Giveaway

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Suspense Magazine

by John Raab

on Tour June 2015

coverSuspense Magazine is an all digital magazine that was founded in 2007. We publish short stories, interviews, exclusive excerpts, articles and more. We have also in the past published alternate endings to very popular books, IE: Sara Paretsky’s book “Critical Mass”.

“Suspense Magazine is chock full of stunning artwork, intriguing fiction, and interviews It’s a winner!”
—Tess Gerritsen, International Bestselling Author

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More About John:

John Raab founded Suspense Magazine in 2007. Also the host of three radio shows on Suspense Radio Network (Inside Edition, One on One and Beyond The Cover) also the producer for two more shows, Crime and Science Radio and The Story Blender.

The CEO / Publisher of Suspense Publishing a book publisher that publishes #1 NY Times Bestselling Author Paul Kemprecos, along with several other authors.

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I find myself sitting around wondering about several different topics with books. I ask “Why is this one popular and this one not?” Is because of the subject matter? Is the characters or the plot? Many NY Times Bestselling novels I find that the writing is not very good. Most of the time I get bored with the story and that puzzles me. I would like to tackle this question and see if you agree or disagree. The beginning of a story or the ending, which has more impact on the reader but which is more difficult for the author to write?

Now I’ve asked this question to several authors and other readers and gotten some fascinating answers. The most common answer was the beginning of the book as the greatest impact, because if the start of the book sucks people will reach the ending. While I agree with that to a point, I don’t one hundred percent that statement is accurate.

Most authors will tell you that starting the book is the most difficult, but once they find their groove it’s like running downhill, it goes fast. Most readers will talk about the ending of a book. Very rarely do you hear someone talk about a book or movie and say “Wow did you see how it started out?” No, more often than not you will hear “I didn’t see that coming, the ending really surprised me.”

I like to think a little outside the box and have come up with this. The beginning of the book is like an appetizer. It can be a little off, as long as the author picks up the pace in the middle and keeps me going. I don’t need to have an explosive beginning, I just need the stage set for what is about to come. As for the ending, I need it to be complete. I’ve read several books, and I’m sure you have also, where you scratch your head saying “I can’t believe I read this whole book and this is how it ended?”

The greatest impact on whether or not you buy another book from that author would be the ending. Why? Because that’s the last thing you remember about the book. Let’s take a look at a series of books that ended very controversially. Stephen King to me is the greatest writer of my generation, hands down. He can write the phone book and make it interesting. However when he finished his Dark Tower series, many people felt cheated. Same thing happened with the end of the show The Sopranos.

All you heard from these two stories was that the ending was terrible. However when you take a step back and really look hard at how they ended it, it was actually very ingenious. Now the TV show Lost, well that was a different story. That was terrible. My reason is because it wasn’t thought out, it was ended to just end it. There was not thought into the ending, leaving millions hanging with unanswered questions. In The Dark Tower, you didn’t really have any unanswered questions, you just felt cheated that it didn’t have an ending that ended. Same with The Sopranos. When the screen went black, you were like “that’s it? Are you kidding me? What the hell just happened to my cable? However both endings had you thinking. You had to put yourself in a position to use your imagination on how it ended. There is nothing wrong with that, if it’s done correctly.

So take a step back and think about what part of the book you really care about and how it impacts you.

John Raab
CEO / Publisher
Suspense Magazine
26500 Agoura Rd.
Calabasas, CA 91302
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My Thoughts

I had the opportunity to review the August 2014 issue of Suspense Magazine. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. If you love mystery, thrillers and suspense, this magazine is for you. There are several wonderful features, including short story contests, book previews, author interviews and guest posts, conference/event highlights and more. I found myself reading every word of the magazine – and usually I just flip through magazines. But each feature was one I was interested in. I love that it Suspense Magazine features well-known authors and debut authors. I read book blurbs for several books I might not otherwise have known about. I found a few authors who are new-to-me and going on my TBR after reading a snippet of their work in this issue of Suspense Magazine by John Raab. This magazine is great for readers, bloggers and authors alike.

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1 comment / Add your comment below

  1. You pose a good question, John, and I agree that a book has to set the stage properly for me to want to continue with it. (Hence, my 31 page rule; if I’m not hooked by page 31, I move on to the next book in my TBR stack.) So I guess to me, the beginning is more important than the ending, though, to be sure, we do tend to talk more about the ending than the beginning.

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