My next project is a novel about a young woman who relocates to rural Vermont in an effort to start over after a breakup with an abusive husband. She is drawn into the life of the community but soon realizes that she has not totally escaped her past. In the meantime I continue to churn out short stories, murdering people as I go.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors are James Michener and Dasheil Hammet. The first has a magical knack for comprehensive panorama. The second is a master of the "subjective only" view of the story, which is very immediate and captivating.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I am up and around before my better half, with the purpose of putting on her coffee and orange juice, feeding the three cats and bringing in the papers, before she is up and preparing for her work. After that I take a brisk walk, often swim and then settle down at the word processor.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When not writing I follow the news on cable, read the newspapers and other informative material, visit the Y for a swim and palaver with friends, do some household chores and when possible watch baseball on television. Some of the time I must give our cats the attention they deserve.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I browse to find what might interest me.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, I remember my first story. But it wasn't worth keeping or sending anywhere. It was a story about people who meet at the Unemployment office.
What is your writing process?
I rely on inspiration and then follow where it leads. For example, the idea for my book on Smashwords, "And The Next President Is . . . . ." came to me when I read of an event in Nevada when a senator's campaign staff kept him alive after a stroke had struck him shortly before the election, until the votes were cast and he won. Then he was allowed to die. The idea for a book that I half finished several years ago, before I abandoned it, came to me while I was at mass. I could hardly wait to get home to start work on it.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
When I was young I looked forward to the arrival of the Saturday Evening Post in order to read the fiction. From this you know that I am no longer young. I believe the first story I read was "The Smuggled A Bomb."
How do you approach cover design?
I follow free association to arrive at a cover design, simply wondering what would a cover have to connect to the story.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
My favorite books start with three by James Michenor: "Tales of the South Pacific," "The Source" and "Centennial." I also very much like "Cape May Court House," a narrative of solving a true murder, and "The Strange Conduct of the Dog in the Nighttime," a brilliant story told from the perspective of an autistic young man.
What do you read for pleasure?
My reading for pleasure focuses on historical fact and fiction and scientifically based tales.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I prefer kindle for e-reading.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
To date none of my marketing techniques seem to be very effective. But I'm glad you asked, at least you are interested.
Describe your desk
How do I describe my desk? Perhaps if you visualize the top of a dumpster just before collection time-------
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a polyglot Jersey City, New Jersey, neighborhood, among an extended Irish family, replete with uncles and aunts, cousins and brothers. The Irish are famous (or notorious) for storytelling. I grew up enjoying hearing and telling yarns, jokes and reminiscences. So I try to incorporate the outlandish, the poignant, the sadness and the joy from my youth. I try to apply the philosophy from Ecclesiastes: "For every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven."
When did you first start writing?
I began serious writing about 1985, when I wanted some interest after my divorce, while coping with caring for my two sons.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I discussed the idea for my book "And The Next President Is . . . . " earlier. Because I have been a student of and often an activist in politics, and a practicing lawyer, I applied my experience and knowledge of the good and bad of public life to the tale.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I'm not sure that it is motivation.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I'm waiting to see if I have "success," other than to publish my work.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy in writing is to captivate the reader and simply tell a story.
What do your fans mean to you?
Pleasing my fans, and having them telling me that they enjoyed the story, is the most important part of what I do.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.