Monday, January 22, 2024

Murder on the Geneva Express by JB Michaels – Guest Post

Today, I’m hosting author JB Michaels and his new book Murder on the Geneva Express as part of a blog tour by Lori Caswell, of Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours.

As part of the tour, I’m sharing a guest post by JB Michaels about ‘Writer’s Block and Research.’

Keep reading to check it out…

First, here’s a bit about the book

Synopsis for Murder on the Geneva Express by JB Michaels

Dead body found on Geneva Express!

In a perfect storm of misfortune, Mac O’Malley finds himself embroiled in a whodunnit that has everyone convinced HE has done it.

Mac and Millie race against time, flee from authorities both municipal and magical, and attempt to clear Mac and his good reputation from absolute incarceration.


Now for the guest post on Writer’s Block and Research!

When I get stuck it is not a matter of not knowing where to go next in the plot. I get stuck on details and solving potential plot hole issues and pacing. I honestly binge write so when I do find myself mulling over details and can't find a way out of it, the momentum of my writing suffers. As I began work on my third novel years ago and made it about 24 pages in but during those 24 pages was a timing issue.

My novels tend to use time as a tension builder, the marked crescendo of rising action, so when I had trouble with the time- frame I stopped writing until I figured it out. Alas, I had to sacrifice a time-period for the first chapter I envisioned for months beforehand. Yet in the process of embarking on this literary quest I learned that getting stuck in the mud can be gratifying if what comes out of it is a golden nugget. (Nugget is a funny word)

Every experience with writing seems worthwhile. Every obstacle when met with real-time persistence can be overcome. Since I could remember, the problem-solving element of writing invokes the sharpest critical thinking and truly immerses the author in their work. I know it does for me. So here is to getting stuck.

Sometimes getting stuck can be solved with research and learning!


A phone call to friends and family with knowledge of certain details of my story acts as part of research as does a quick search in a book or online but the fantasy comes first. The layout, storyboard, or plot diagram is laid out and then I fill it in with the information and details. I have absorbed a compendium of story materials through the years. My whole life is based around telling, researching, and writing stories. Whatever the story may be... my whole modicum of thought relates in some way to the fantastic. I can walk down the street and imagine the street suddenly jolting upwards, gravel and all, and then having to dodge out of the way of the debris and then come back to the real world and try to develop a story from the imagined catastrophe.

I try to come up with more exciting ways to communicate stories all the time. I am forever trying different ways to make something exciting, dramatic, and meaningful. Thus, fantasy comes first. It drives my curiosity to research and sometimes I don't research on purpose and wing it. Sometimes the realm of pragmatism doesn't mesh with a good fantasy.... Sometimes the truth is far more interesting. The fantasy and the research when balanced to great effect can truly complement a story thus making it worthwhile.

Some writers get too into their research, and it detracts from the story, others should have done more research both can take the reader out of the narrative and that is never good. Strike a balance.

I must say the bulk of my research is skill-related. Reading similar books to see how the author handles certain scenes counts as research as well. This I do and analyze. Most of the time I am able to pick up things rather quickly with my powers of absorption but the need to improve never wanes. I always know I can be better. I hope this blog made sense otherwise I might have to do more research on blogging.


About JB Michaels

JB Michaels, author of Murder on the Geneva Express
I have spent my life in the study of story from riveting novels to the slam-bang action-packed world of comics to the examination of film history, I have spent a lifetime learning and examining the elements that make a story incredible. This steadfast dedication has led me to write stories of my own.

I am married and with a son, I have a great love of family. I hope that you enjoy my bestselling books that mash genres from thrillers to science fiction to fantasy!

Connect with JB Michaels via Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads.


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