My creative side thrives early in the morning (like 5:30am, early) and later in the evening. I spend a lot of time researching my topics and refer to folders full of past research and writings. I also read a lot of books and articles by all kinds of authors - to learn and grow in my own writing style and process. I also drink a lot of coffee while I am working on a new article or book.
I will sit down and just free type for hours - I write whatever comes to mind. I will complete an entire article or book in several sittings and then spend days re-writing, editing and going back to my research to verify what I have typed.
What do you read for pleasure?
For pleasure reading I will devour just about any mystery/drama - especially if it is cop or espionage related.. My favorite author was Vince Flynn - who tragically passed away recently from cancer. His style and story telling was absolutely amazing. His brother is a friend of mine and a cop in Minnesota and made Vince, the writer, more personal to me as I read his great books.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle is my e-reading device of choice. In fact, over my morning coffee, it is the first source of reading for the day.
Describe your desk
My desk is an organized mess! It usually looks like a tornado just came through my office - but I know where every bit of paper or resource material is located. However, once a week I have to organize it neatly - because Friday's are cleaning days and my wife likes to see a clean desk!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in several places - all of which have influenced my writing. I was dropped off at an orphanage in Dublin, Ireland when I was 3 days old and lived there until I was almost 2 years old. Then, I was adopted by an American family and I lived in Kansas City, Missouri until I was 12 and then a small town in Ohio.
I learned a lot about my Irish heritage growing up - even located my birth mother when I was almost 40 years old. So my writing style has been greatly influenced by not only where I grew up but the circumstances that led to how I grew up.
When did you first start writing?
I have always been a writer - just not a published one, until recently. I was a lawyer and a cop for the better part of 30 years. So the kind of writing, or as I call writing - story telling, has been apart of virtually my entire adult life. The type of writing I did over those 30 years - legal documents, police reports, policy manuals - all prepared me to start writing both fiction and non-fiction books.
I learned to research material, organize my thoughts, put them down on paper and then go back and re-write my material. All these skills have made me a better published author.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is a reflection on my 26 years as a cop on the killing streets of one of the top 25 most violent cities in America. When I retired from law enforcement I had been on hundreds of homicide scenes. I had worked and commanded the undercover drug unit, commanded the Detective Section that included the Homicide , Robbery and SVU units. I had seen a lot of death and destruction in those 26 years.
After I retired I sat down and started writing down a lot of the stories I had been a part of and the lessons I learned from them. These writings morphed into my latest book - 26 Years On the Killing Streets.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I decided to become an indie writer for a number of reasons. The most important reason - I wanted to control my writings and ensure they were published. The second most important reason - I wanted people to have easy and affordable access to material that I am passionate about and that I believe can add value to people.
What do your fans mean to you?
I really don't write for myself. My writings are for my readers and fans - I write to add value to peoples lives, to make a difference where they are at. It is very important to me to get feedback from my readers on books I have already published and to find out what topics are important to them for future books. I am thankful for their loyalty and quite frankly, if you don't have readers you are not really an author - you are more like a kid who is keeping a diary and hoping no one finds it.
What are you working on next?
My current project is a fiction piece, tentatively titled DRT (Dead Right There). It has a lot of fictional characters who are really based on people and places I worked as a cop. This book seemed to grow out of my last book, 26 Years On the Killing Streets - which was a non-fiction piece. I wanted to write a full length novel that shared the real drama of cops dealing with dope and murder on the streets of urban cities across America. I hope my readers enjoy reading it as much as I am enjoying writing it!
Who are your favorite authors?
I do a lot of reading, so it is hard to narrow my "favorite" authors. But there are several that I am very partial too -John C. Maxwell is by far the best author on Leadership that I have ever read; Vince Flynn was my favorite espionage writer, but he tragically passed away from cancer and I will miss him greatly; And of course no library is complete without James Patterson and Catherine Coulter. I am also a very avid fan of John Sanford.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Even though I am "retired" from full time law enforcement, there is one thing I absolutely look forward to every morning. We live in Colorado and I am inspired every morning as I watch the sunrise. We live at 7,000 feet on the Front Range in Southern Colorado and the sunrise's every morning are SPECTACULAR! A hot cup of coffee and a beautiful sunrise should get anybody moving in the morning - they do me!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I am not writing I am still very busy. I do a fair amount of speaking - I belong to Toastmasters and we have a saying, "Speakers, Speak." I am very active in our church and living a life of faith is central to our daily lives. I'm not a gym rat, but I do try to work out every day - it keeps me energized and the time in the gym or jogging outside, with head phones on to my favorite classic rock station, allows me alone time to really run ideas through my head and to reflect on the upcoming days events and opportunities.
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