I felt like I had stories to tell. I'd written a few pieces and those that read them encouraged me to continue writing and get them out there in some format, such as independent, personal publishing platforms.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has enabled me to become a published author. By providing a publishing platform for new, independent authors, such as myself Smashwords has allowed me to build my written portfolio.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Creating a character or a cast of characters that are, hopefully, compelling. Coming up with an idea, no matter how fantastic or improbable and crafting a response to that situation or idea is always fun. Also seeing an idea or story concept come to life through the written word is quite a thrill.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on my second novel, a thriller entitled HERO'S BURDEN. I'm also working on a collection of sports fiction themed stories and I have a few screenplays that I am writing.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors are those that write seemingly real, compelling dialogue, as well as those who can tell a good story by making their readers see and feel the action.
My all time favorite authors are probably Steinbeck, Hemingway, London, Zane Grey, Robert B. Parker, and Ed McBain for fiction and David McCullough, Gordon Wood, and Joseph Ellis in history.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Life and the new challenges it presents every day.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading or watching movies or sports. I watch a lot of action movies and I love watching professional football and baseball.
What is your writing process?
First I come up with the general idea or concept for a story, then I develop the main character. From there I work outwards by developing the cast of supporting characters. Then I come up with the major plot points, the issues and events that my main character will confront. I do all of this in my head, I just think about the story for a while. When the story really starts to take hold, when I can't stop thinking about it, then I know it's time to start writing. I alway make a very detailed outline and then work off that. Also I always come up with the ending of a story before I start writing from the beginnning. I feel that if you know where you're going, where you want to end up, then you can get there easier.
What do you read for pleasure?
Coming from an academic background in history I tend to read a lot of American history, anything from the Revolution to the Civil War to the American West and everything in between.
Fiction wise I read a lot of Action/Thrillers because I find them fun and exciting and that is what I write.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't necessarily remember the first story I ever read. Learning to read is a gradual process, it's not like riding a bike where you get that aha moment, but I do remember the first story I ever had read to me. GOOFY'S BIG RACE.
That book, whether intentional or not, has had a major impact on me. It is all about going slow and steady to win the race. It's really a metaphor for life. Go slow and steady. Be good and do good and it will all turn out well in the end.
Go slow and steady, but GO. It doesn't matter how slow you're moving as long as you are moving down the road of life, as long as you keep going, around, over, or through, the potholes.
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