presented by Betty Dravis

Author Betty Dravis

I recently met two fantastic authors, Brian Bianco and Dr. Niamh Clune, who belong to Author Central, a group of “authors helping authors” founded by Daniel L. Carter. Bianco and Clune are also co-founders of Orangeberry Group which promises to be an invaluable marketing site for up-and-coming authors. I thought our Dames of Dialogue readers would enjoy meeting them, so I asked Niamh if I could share the following story she recently wrote about Brian. (To balance the slate, I hope to interview Niamh for a future issue of DOD.)

Meet and Greet Brian Bianco

by Niamh Clune

When Brian Bianco puts pen to paper, he begins a marvelous journey into creating a story of make believe. He becomes completely involved with the lives of his characters. Creating them and weaving a story that brings them to life is as magical and fulfilling to him as Disneyland is to kids. Writing is Brian’s passion. So when I asked him what makes a good novel, he answered immediately: realism. He believes passionately that a writer must win the hearts and minds of his readers. The only way to do that is for the reader to believe in what they are reading. They must believe that the events in the story could happen; that they are real.

When he first started reading John Grisham’s book, The Pelican Brief, the story instantly engaged him because Grisham wrote about characters and a story-line that was completely plausible. Brian was present with Grisham inside the conference room listening to FBI Director Denton Voyles. Brian was with Gray Grantham in the newsroom of the Washington Post. Brian was in the lecture hall when Darby first appeared in the story. And Brian was sitting next to Grantham’s buddy taking camera shot after camera shot of the victim. The point is, Brian was there because John Grisham put him there. Grisham’s ability to convey realism through his writing style made Brian Bianco believe.

As far as Brian is concerned, writing style is the make or break point where a writer either engages a reader or loses them. Brian offers an example of this. Recently, he started reading a novel, but put it down after the first chapter. The writer lost him because the dialogue was smothered in over-description. The characters had so many internal feelings clamoring for attention all at once, that as a reader, Brian lost contact with them. He found himself continuously trying to pick up the dialogue, but failing and remaining lost in the hole into which the author had put him.

As far as Brian is concerned, dialogue is what moves the story along. It tells the reader about the true feelings behind a character. Descriptive wording, when used rightly, paints images of the visual aspects of a story. From the words they have chosen, we should be able to see who the characters truly are. Once a point has been made through the use of descriptive narrative, the writer needs to move on. Otherwise, Brian fears, a reader will find the story boring. He thinks it far better to write a shorter novel than to write a longer one filled with unnecessary descriptive wording that ultimately drives the reader to search for another book.

When Brian started writing Dressed for a Kill, the three main points to which he tried to adhere were: realism, dialogue and not being overly descriptive. He wanted the dialogue to tell the story and not have the characters interact with unrelated conversation. He wanted the descriptive wording to fill in the blanks and make certain the story was a real possibility in time—that it could happen. He also wanted his characters to be human, with real flaws just like the rest of us, and not make them like those seen on movie screens who are neither plausible nor real.

Brian thought hard about what kind of a story he wanted to write. To which genre did he belong? What kinds of stories did he personally enjoy reading? What attracted him as a reader? Most importantly, would he be a story-smith, able to tell it well? Brian questioned himself on all of these issues; not for him to start writing without a clear direction.

Murder/mysteries intrigue him. As a reader moves through a book, he or she must always keep an eye open for the one little clue, the one tell-tale sign that might lead to the right conclusion before the author has had a chance to tell us. Brian loves being able to outsmart the author. To Brian, writing is a challenge. The scent of the challenge is what inspired him to write Dressed for a Kill.

He labored at his task, as first impressions are lasting impressions. It took him a year to write and longer to edit; until finally, he was pleased with his labor of love. Brian knows it is good. He trusts what his gut tells him. And his positive reviews reinforce his belief in himself. Some of these can be read on his website, some on Amazon.

He wanted a unique storyline that incorporated twists and turns to keep the reader guessing until the very end. Even at the end, he wanted to leave the reader unsure as to whether the real killer was caught, or if others were involved.

Brian believes that those who like John Grisham will like him, also. And John Grisham had to start somewhere. Readers must always take a punt. As a new writer, all that Brian asks is that readers do likewise for him. It might be a risk. But Brian is a risk-taker and believes the price of discovering a new author is well worth it. After all, there is nothing better in life than discovering something new. And he guarantees, readers won’t be disappointed

Endnote by Betty Dravis: Dr. Niamh Clune resides in the UK and is best known for her metaphysical book Orange Petals in a Storm. She can be found at: