1. When did realize that you wanted to be an author?
I began writing dialogue for my stick-figure cartoons when I was three years old, about the time when I began reading. I was fascinated by the stories I watched on TV and wanted to create some of my own.
2. How long does it take for you to write one of your books?
It depends on how long it takes for the story to come together and how long I remain motivated to finish it. I’ve had stories that I finished in one month, and there are others that have lingered on the shelf for years. Some of my best novels are those that took years to finish, largely due to the thought processes and research that prompted their development.
3. How do you balance your work schedule when you’re busy writing?
You’ve got evenings and weekends to get it done until your publisher does a good enough job for you to quit your day job. Most indie lit authors don’t hold their breath, as they say. Those who enjoy employment positions with lax atmospheres may be able to do some touchups on works-in-progress during the workday. I have taken advantage of that now and again.
4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I tend to investigate locations that I write about to verify the research I did and make sure my novels are authentic. This has taken me to some of the more interesting hot spots on the planet. One of the best was in Northern Ireland. I got pulled over by the Royal Ulster Constabulary, who explained that no one goes cruising around South Armagh at 3 AM. I was escorted out of town and invited to return at dawn. Most recently I drove down Goodfellow Boulevard in St. Louis MO. It was as a backdrop for The Walking Dead. As you can see, I came away in one piece.
5. How do you come up with ideas for your books?
I try to write in as many different genres as possible to avoid being pigeonholed or categorized. I also try and draw upon my life experience as much as possible to make the stories as realistic as I can. Although I specialize in historical fiction and suspense/thrillers, I have written in genres as diverse as horror, women’s fiction, action/adventure, romantic comedy and steampunk.
6. When did you write your first book?
It was in sixth grade when I put together a spy novella, Enemy Ace. Lots of it was ripped off from my Ian Fleming collection but it was a major writing experience for me. Interestingly, the major protagonist, Fritz Hammer, appeared in a few of my novels decades later.
7. What are your hobbies when you’re not writing?
I’m a powerlifter, I’m at it five times a week. At this stage of the game, if I let it go it will be lost forever. I’m a musician and publish songs by my band The Spoiler at www.bandcamp.com. I also paint and post pics of my paintings on Facebook.
8. What does your family and close friends think of your writing?
Most of them have been very supportive and cannot fathom why I have not came upon my fame and fortune. I remind them that most legendary writers are acknowledged many years after their death.
9. What was one of the most interesting things that you learned about yourself when you published your first book?
It was much like the aftermath of having my first record produced and printed. It is a bittersweet experience, knowing that it is the first step along a new journey: the marketing process. I found I had the maturity and vision to continue pursuing my goals.
10. How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?
I have published over thirty novels. My favorite is Nightcrawler, the first of the Sabrina Brooks series. Tiara, the Northern Ireland suspense/thriller, is a close second.
11. What do you think makes a good story?
Dynamic characters, a compelling plot that discusses relevant issues, lively dialogue and powerful conflict/climax storylines and subplots. I haven’t had any of my critics accuse me of not meeting this criteria.