Chapter 3 Bonus: Interview with Michael Ridpath


Michael Ridpath writes compelling thrillers set in the financial world. His books include On the Edge, Fatal Error, Final Venture, Free to Trade, The Marketmaker, Trading Reality, The Predator, and his most recent, See No Evil. His novels have been published in 36 languages. The Guardian wrote, “Ridpath has that read-on factor that sets bestsellers apart,” and the Mail on Sunday wrote, “Ridpath’s thrillers are remarkable for having their finger on the pulse.”

At his website,, you can access the opening chapters of most of his books and his account of writing his first novel.

Six Good Ideas About…Using Your Special Knowledge

1. People love to get an insight into worlds they don’t know. While the most common contexts are the worlds of law enforcement, the judicial system, and medicine, the same appeal applies to any special knowledge or experience you have.

2. The trick to using your specialist knowledge is to include enough of it in your work to intrigue the reader or viewer, but not so much that they feel confused or overwhelmed.

3. The best way to reveal your specialist knowledge is to incorporate it into the characterizations and action of your book, screenplay, or short story. If your story stops for a lot of exposition, you will lose your reader.

4. You don’t need to come up with all the specialist knowledge yourself. You will find experts surprisingly happy to share their knowledge.

5. Double-check all the facts in your book. Readers are amazingly quick to find errors and to call them to your attention (this goes for critics, too!).

6. If you’re basing the book on experience that goes back a way, unless you’re setting the story in the past, it’s important to stay on top of new developments.


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“With compassion, wit and the wisdom from a long successful writing career, Jurgen Wolff guides you step by step, on the inner and outer journey to writing success.”

— Robert Cochran, co-creator and Executive Producer, ’24’

“Highly recommended. Your Writing Coach pays as much attention to writers as to what they write and should help seasoned pros as much as it will help beginners.”

— Julian Friedmann, agent and editor, Scriptwriter Magazine.

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