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Meet The Thriller Author: DAVID CHILL


Last week, I was interviewed by Alan Peterson, who hosts the MEET THE THRILLER AUTHOR podcast series. It is a 30-minute interview and we get into some background detail of the Burnside series. This includes some insight into my writing habits, writing style, the role of Los Angeles in the books, and how the Burnside series evolved. Here is the podcast link, if you’d like to listen to it:

Also, I wanted to provide an update on my next novel. I have decided to take a short break from Burnside, and write a political suspense novel. It centers around an assassination attempt set in Los Angeles (where else?) and it is coming along nicely. But this one will be a good bit longer than the standard Burnside novel. I am hoping to have it finished by February.

But fear not, Burnside will be back in 2017. For those who have read Book # 7, DOUBLE PASS, you know I left a little something hanging there at the end. So Book # 8 will be a requirement!


Now Only 99 Cents For A Limited Time: The Burnside Mystery Series, Boxed Set (Books 1-3)

The First 3 Novels In The Burnside Mystery Series!


Burnside Series Box Set 1 Cover Art 7a


All three books feature Private Investigator Burnside, the former college football star and LAPD officer.  POST PATTERN, was a finalist in the Private Eye Writers of America Award for Best New Mystery and the three novels have garnered over 200 five-star reviews on Amazon.

Set against the mean streets and sun drenched backdrop that is Los Angeles, the books provide readers with engaging stories that deliver clever plots, crackling dialogue and fascinating characters.

But this deal will expire soon! Get it here for just $0.99 on Amazon:

Or, if you prefer another platform, this same $0.99 deal is available on Barnes & Noble’s NOOK, Apple’s iBOOKS, and also on KOBO:


DOUBLE PASS: The 7th Burnside novel is now available!

Double Pass Cover Art 1a

I am very pleased to announce that my 7th Burnside novel has just been published and is now available on Amazon. As you surely know, this is the latest installment in the hard-boiled mystery series featuring Private Investigator Burnside, the wise-cracking former USC football player and LAPD officer.

The new novel is called DOUBLE PASS, and the story begins when an eccentric client asks Burnside to look into missing funds at his son’s high school. Without a clear road map, and with deadly obstacles strewn in his path, Burnside navigates yet another confounding path.

And as usual, a few more characters from Burnside’s past history materialize. Just when he thinks he has moved on, he discovers his past has never really left him, no matter how much he tries to avoid it.

Much of DOUBLE PASS is set in Pasadena, a suburb just north of Los Angeles, but a world unto itself. And like Santa Monica, this enclave has some of the best and worst that Southern California has to offer.

Please click on the link below to purchase:




by David Chill

With the publication of my sixth book, Nickel Package, I wanted to jot down some thoughts on my writing process. I’ve been helped by some terrific writers over the years, and I hope this essay can help others who share an interest in fiction. Now that Nickel Package has been published, and is doing well, I am hard at work on my seventh book. But getting to this point has not been easy.

Many people want to write the Great American Novel. If you like reading great books, the thought of writing one yourself is something that’s always on the horizon. I love reading murder mysteries, and the possibility of creating a memorable whodunit propelled me into this field. Coming up with story ideas is the easy part. Putting these ideas into a full-length novel however, is another issue altogether.

The best place for a new writer to start is to focus on something you feel passionate about. While you can’t ignore the old adage to write about what you know, there are limits to that approach. We only know so much! New authors should concentrate their writing on those things they feel strongly about. It’s important to remember that when writing a book, you will be living with the story in a very intimate way for many months — or possibly years. Having passionate feelings about your subject matter will get you through those dark days when you are troubled by the self-doubt and writer’s block that most writers have to endure at some point.

For me, I have always been fascinated with the subject of siblings, and that is deeply personal. A long time ago, my older brother passed away in a car accident when he was just 24 years old and that left an indelible mark on my life and on my writing. Oddly, I did not intentionally set out to write about my brother in my first novel, Post Pattern. And it wasn’t until I was finished with the first draft did I fully comprehend the personal implications of the story. In many ways, the exploration of sibling relationships in my novels is an opportunity for me to better come to grips with my brother’s death. And as Joan Didion described it in The Year of Magical Thinking, a goal of understanding a loved one’s death is sometimes our way of trying to bring them back to life.

Before I begin writing a novel, I create a 24 point outline. This details the 24 important events that occur during the story. If you go back and review many great literary works, there are often 24 events which push they story forward. This is helpful to me because I am a writer who needs a certain amount of structure. I can’t sit down to write and just let the story go where it goes. My 24 point outline normally starts out at 3 or 4 pages and is a living, breathing document. By the time the novel is finished, I’ve added lots of details and nuance, and the outline often mushrooms to 15 or 20 pages. This outline gives me the detail I need to soldier on through the story, and provides a trail that leads me out of the “second act wilderness” and into the climax of the plot.

I typically don’t sketch out character descriptions; I simply think a lot about who they are and what makes them do what they do. My protagonist, Burnside, lives by a code which is very clear as to what is right and what is wrong. Burnside has a particular distaste for lies and injustice, and is willing to take the necessary steps to make amends for that which is unfair. He recognizes that you may not be able to change the world but you can change your corner of it. The events in my books present some of the randomness and unfairness that are inherent in everyday life. Some people seem to have everything go their way and others appear to get the short end of the stick. And yet the world frequently take steps to invoke a balance, which often — but not always — can even the score. What Burnside does is help this process move along a little quicker.

Regarding the actual writing, I am one of those people who gets easily distracted and has trouble concentrating. I follow the guideline Oscar Wilde once employed, which is to say that the only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it. I realize I may need to spend six hours procrastinating just so I can get in one or two solid hours of writing. But those one or two hours produce some extremely good work. And whether it takes combing through the internet for bits of trivia or simply daydreaming before I can ease into the actual writing, I know this is simply part of my process. Forcing myself to sit and stare at the screen does not yield great results.

So that’s the basics of how to start writing a novel, at least from my perspective. Every writer finds their own path and the method in which they feel most comfortable. For me, this is the system that has worked best. And I’ll leave you with a final thought that has served me well as I sit down each day to work. A writer is nothing more than a reader who sits down at a keyboard.

About the author:
David Chill writes classic hard-boiled mysteries with a contemporary edge. Post Pattern was a finalist in the St. Martin’s Press contest for new private eye mystery writers, and is David Chill’s first work of fiction. Post Pattern has been highly praised for the intriguing plot, memorable characters and crackling dialogue. David Chill has written six novels in the Burnside Mystery series (with a seventh book coming soon!) and all are available in e-book form through The first four novels in the series are available in paperback. The most recent work is Nickel Package.

NICKEL PACKAGE — The 6th Burnside Novel Has Arrived!

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I am very happy to announce that my 6th novel has been published and is now available on Amazon. As I’m sure you know, this is part of a mystery series featuring Burnside, the former football star and LAPD officer, who has become a wise-cracking private investigator.

The new novel is called NICKEL PACKAGE, and the story begins with Burnside brought in to do a simple background check on a rising, corporate star. As you might imagine, things are not what they first appear to be! Everything starts to go very wrong and, following a stunning daylight murder, Burnside’s own life is placed in mortal jeopardy.

As Burnside probes deeper, he discovers yet another puzzle. There is a cold case that the authorities have never pursued, but one that seems to play a role in unraveling the mystery. And as he enters into the thick of this increasingly treacherous assignment, Burnside is once again faced with the jagged memories from his past, the nasty demons that will just not rest, and continue to haunt him to this day.

NICKEL PACKAGE is once again set in the heart of the eclectic world that is Los Angeles. The reader is taken through a journey into both the best and the worst that L.A. has to offer. From the tony corporate boardrooms to the seemingly peaceful middle-class suburbs to the mean streets of downtown, the novel whisks readers on an exciting ride, loaded with twists, turns and jarring surprises.

Please click on the link below to purchase:

Corner Blitz Honored For Outstanding Cover Art

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Very happy to report CORNER BLITZ was 1 of 15 books selected by Shelf Buzz today for outstanding Cover Art.

Big shout out to Jennifer Nicolaisen for a gorgeous photograph….

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NP Cover 1b