Award-winning author Eric J. Gates has had a curious life filled with the stuff of thriller novels. Writing Operating Systems for Supercomputers, cracking cryptographic codes under extreme pressure using only paper and pen, and teaching Cyberwarfare to spies are just a few of the moments he's willing to recall. He is an ex-International Consultant who has travelled extensively worldwide, speaks several languages. His specialty, Information Technology Security, has brought him into contact with the Military and Intelligence communities on numerous occasions.

He is also an expert martial artist, holding 14 black belt degrees in distinct disciplines. He has taught his skills to Police and Military personnel, as well as to the public.

He now writes thriller novels, drawing on his experiences with the confidential and secret worlds that surround us.



Eric can be contacted directly at He usually responds to all emails within a couple of days unless he's travelling. You can also keep up-to-date with his work etc though his newsletter.

WARNING: it contains some terrible jokes! If you are looking for thriller writing tips, please check out Eric's book about writing first. You might find that your questions have already been answered there.

Another WARNING: it's full of bad jokes too! GREAT ADVICE, lots of PRACTICAL TIPS, but terrible jokes!

Thriller author Eric J. Gates guides the new writer through the minefield of present-day novel-writing, with the sole objective of having them lose that ‘aspiring’ word. In a witty, chatty style, he discusses everything from the right kind of keyboard to choose, through how to develop an idea into a storyline and perform an effective self-edit, right up to choosing the publishing option that’s right for you and how to use social media. 

The book is packed with practical techniques, tips and tricks, all explained in an easy-to-understand manner, designed to entertain whilst creating a solid foundation for YOUR writing career. 

This is not just another ‘How To’ book (in fact, it’s a ‘How NOT to’ book). Gates brings to bear not just his skill in writing fast-paced thrillers, but his extensive experience as a top International Consultant in a book that will set you firmly on the road to realizing YOUR dream to become a WRITER in any Fiction genre.

Table of Contents

So what’s this all about?



Chapter 1.1 - Hell, I'm a Writer!

Chapter 1.2 - How it all started [an eagle’s eye view of the writing process]

Chapter 1.3 - Building a better Batcave [the writing place]

Chapter 1.4 - Writing rules

Chapter 1.5 - Music while you work

Chapter 1.6 - Typify the typical [Book genres]


Chapter 2.1 - So just where DO you get your Ideas?

Chapter 2.2 - So what do you do if you can’t turn your idea into a story?

Chapter 2.3 - Building the recipe [Core Idea]

Chapter 2.4 - In Search of the Lost Fact [Research]

Chapter 2.5 - Interrogation Interview Techniques for Writers

Chapter 2.6 - Plotting your downfall! [Planning]

Chapter 2.7 - The Origin of the Species? [Plots]

Chapter 2.8 - Time to add the Magic Ingredients [Conflict, Action and Suspense]

Chapter 2.9 - Hitting the gas pedal! [Pace]

Chapter 2.10 - Character Building

Chapter 2.11 - From where I’m standing… [POV]

Chapter 2.12 - ‘Dialogue, that’s what we need!’ she said

Chapter 2.13 - Let’s go to the Movies [Show & Tell]

Chapter 2.14 - I think I should warn you about something [Foreshadowing]

Chapter 2.15 - How to avoid the 50-page burn-out [Writer’s Block]

Chapter 2.16 - Thinking about ending it all [Concluding the tale]

Chapter 2.17 - Titular Titillation [Novel titles]

Chapter 2.18 - The writer’s worst enemy


Chapter 3.1 - The Cutting-room floor [Editing]

Chapter 3.2 - Feedback [Review sites and Beta readers]

Chapter 3.3 - The road forward [Indie vs. Trad]

Chapter 3.4 - A Writer’s Introduction to… Copyright

Chapter 3.5 - So what do they know? [Reviews and Reviewers]


Chapter 4.1 - Platforms, Branding and Marketing

Chapter 4.2 - Say it with Pride

Chapter 4.3 - What NOT to do next