I'm an avid reader. I love a well-told story. Picking five out of the hundreds I've read are tough, but I'll give it a try. 'Gone With the Wind', by Margaret Mitchell. A wonderful historical saga. It's contains vivid descriptions of the old South and the trauma of the Civil War and how it affected everyone. Scarlet O'Hara shows how tough a person can be when faced with adversity. The second would be 'Crime and Punishment', like Dickens, Dostoevsky created an impoverished environment for his protagonist. It's a study in human behavior and what a person is driven to do when faced with starvation. It's also one of the first psychological thrillers. Had the Russian Czar understood the author's description of desperation and need among his citizens and done something about it, the Russian revolution would have never occurred. I like 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. I'm impressed by the author's use of moral courage against narrow-minded bigotry. I like 'Silence of the Lambs', by Thomas Harris. I don't read horror very often, but the author created the super villain, Hannibal Lechter who is both vicious and brilliant. Who else would know the perfect wine to go with sauteed human brains. I like 'The English Patient'. It's just a well-told historical romance with multiple story threads and a heart-wrenching tragic ending.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read political and technological thrillers. Lately, I've been reading Nelson DeMille's books. I think I've read sixteen so far. I've read most of Clancy's books and all of Crichton's books. It's a pity they've both passed away in the last year.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle Fire HD, but I also use my laptop or pc for e-books. Often I use the audio feature of e-books when I'm driving.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I use Facebook a lot. Also I'm with people a lot and most of them know that I'm an author. I give my books as door prizes to help raise money for social clubs. That helps gain recognition. I do what I can to help other authors. I've made presentations at writer's conferences. I feel comfortable talking about creative writing. I try to get writer's to go back to the make-believe land they lived in as children. Children, of course, have unfettered imaginations. That's exactly what an author needs.
Describe your desk
L-shaped and neat. I have a printer, speakers, and an almost new computer. I buy the software and hardware that gets the job done. This includes a high-speed Internet connection. I love to load my stories with as much reality as possible. It makes the fiction much more believable to the reader. Good tools help all phases of writing. Researching the details helps me present the best I can to the readers.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Cleveland, Oho. I lived with my parents until I joined the Navy. My father took me to work one day. I saw what factory work was like and how little it paid. That experience changed me from a poor student to a student for life. Along the way I've learned that the best motivation is an open mind. Once you think you know everything about anything you stop growing. When that happens--well your ego blocks opportunities to reach additional goals.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing short stories for my children. Several times I went to my daughter's first grade class to tell these stories to the entire class. She's in her forties now. I'm still writing.
What's the story behind your latest book?
As I said before, I read a lot. I picked up a book that had great acclaim last summer. I'm not into trashing another author's book, so I won't mention the title. I just thought it wasn't well done. It wasn't in my normal mystery--thriller genre, but it dealt with things in life that I know a great deal about. That book is called 'Savor' and it's not for children.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I started creative writing rather late in life. I was a business consultant in the nuclear industry. I wrote procedures, tech. manual changes, and technical reports. I started doing creative writing and attended writer's conferences to help with the conversion from technical to creative writing. As I learned from studying and participating the process of becoming published, I saw how many people were writing books. Getting published through one of the few publishing houses seemed like a daunting task. I simply didn't think I had enough time to wade through the established system. Indie publishing gave me a chance to get my books to the readers. So far readers haven't thrown rotten vegetables at me and I'm a big guy who doesn't move to fast.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy is getting a response from a reader who enjoys what I've written. Once in a while one of them comes up to me and shakes my hand--that's heart-warming.
What do your fans mean to you?
The most important person in the publishing industry is the reader. I'm the safari leader. I know the territory. I want to take the reader with me on an exciting journey. When the reader becomes a fan, I know I've done my job. Without readers there are no fans. Without readers or listeners, there wouldn't be a need for story tellers.
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