Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota. I had many childhood adventures that possibly could be material for future writings. I had never planned to be a writer and I took the minimum English class requirements to graduate from college. I attended medical school and practiced medicine for decades. I had once promised my high school English teacher that some day I would write a novel. I kept that promise decades later by publishing The Tower Of Babel: NASA's Great Endeavor
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
For me, the first story was not read but was heard on a 45 RPM record player. It was a Walt Disney production of Treasure Island. I listened to it so many times that I almost had the entire story memorized.
When did you first start writing?
I have had a very busy life and never had the time for writing until I departed active medical practice and went to work on the Mars Project at NASA's Johnson Space Center.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I wrote was on a single sheet of paper when I was in elementary school. It was neither memorable nor repeatable. It might even have had to have the "adult content" sticker placed upon it.
Who are your favorite authors?
Michael Crichton graduated from medical school the same year as did I. Being a scientist myself, I can appreciate the science in his writings. Jules Verne also had the vision to take his day's technology and extrapolate it to the future. James Michener was always accurate in the historical settings for his stories. Andrew Roberts meticulous description of events, and analysis of why they happen, makes him a great historian and author. General Lew Wallace, territorial governor of New Mexico Territory, had to deal with the issue of vengeance as he tried to bring an end to a feud known as "The Lincoln County Wars". His great book, Ben Hur, was about how the quest of vengeance totally consumed the main character during most of the story. I very much like Ian Fleming and Arthur C Clarke. They knew what they were writing about instead of just publishing implausible fantasy. I love Melville's allegoric tale, Moby Dick. Actually, the list goes on and I will probably lose the readers before getting to its end.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
My favorite is the Bible. It is not only a book of religious inspiration; but a great synopsis of ancient history and a window into the minds of primitive humans. My second book is the 1953 edition of Comptons Pictured Encyclopedia that my parents gave me for Christmas when I was nine years old. I read it a couple of times from cover-to-cover. I still have it saved in good condition. My third favorite is not a novel; but a brilliantly researched and written book of World War II history. It is called, Masters and Commanders: How Four Titans Won the War in the West, 1941-1945. Too many books are tied for 4th and 5th to mention any individually.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy is to share experience and truth with others. I have learned much from my patients over the years and have much to say. I once had a patient who was four years old when he lived in Tombstone, Arizona in 1881. There have been many Hollywood versions of the Gunfight at the OK Corral. This man told me what it was really like. I knew a man who served in U.S. Marine Fighter Squadron VMF223. This was the first fighter squadron to land on Quadalcanal and he was the first member to put wheels down on the newly constructed airstrip. He was an Ace within a week. His recommendation for the Navy Cross was hand-written by Admiral Halsey. His story will not be told unless I tell it. I plan to publish his story under the title, Wildcats Over Guadalcanal.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The revelation that I have been blessed with another wonderful day to see my loved ones and to pursue my interests. Each day brings opportunity to contribute something possitive to the collective human experience.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
It appears to me that electronic publishing is the future and paper book publishing is going to decline. Electronic publishing is full of opportunity for a good indie author. I am at retirement age and have no writing track record to present to a traditional publishing house. Even if I were to write the World's greatest classic, I would never find a publishing house that would even look at it. I am free of the rules and constraints imposed by a traditional publishing house and can write as little or as much as I wish. I have learned much from my patients and my life experiences and would like to share some of it my way.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I just signed on with Smashwords. I realize my success or lack of it will depend upon me; but Smashwords will give me the opportunity to be seen by millions of readers.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
All of them. The more, the better.
What do your fans mean to you?
I don't know if I will ever have "fans" but I hope the readers of my book will feel that it was worthwhile and that it somehow enhanced their own life experiences.
Describe your desk
My desk is a standard office desk located in the study of my home. It has an I-mac computer sitting upon it and the desk is covered with useless clutter.
What is your writing process?
I start with a chapter somewhere in the middle and let total chaos be the rule of the day. Later, I pick up the pieces.
How do you approach cover design?
First I draw the cover art. Then i go to the Create Space "Cover Creator" and find the best fit. Finally, I run it past the cover gurus, Robert A V Jacobs and R.C. Drake, for helpful comments.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
My book was mentioned in the opening remarks at the International Space Elevator Consortium annual conference. I had a small bump in sales after this. Other than that, I have not marketed the book yet.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Magnificent Endeavor is about my view of future NASA activities and achievements in the next decade. It is about a space race with China. It is about the life of the main character.
What are you working on next?
Preliminary titles are Wildcats Over Guadalcanal and Patient-Centered Health Care Reform.
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