Interview with Howard Weiner

What do you read for pleasure?
Fiction. My favorite, "go to" authors are Vince Flynn, Lee Child, Stuart Woods, Daniel Silva, Brad Meltzer, John Grisham, and David Baldacci--to name a few. I really miss Laurence Sanders and his over-the-top character Archie McNally. Archie was over-the-top, at once beyond belief but somehow very real.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I'm still very new to indie publishing. Finding out what works--and why--with Amazon, Draft2Digital, and now Smashwords is an ongoing trial by fire. I've learned writing is a breeze compared to marketing your own books. It's a humbling experience.
Describe your desk
Well, I'm a neat freak, when it comes to my desk. By contrast, my workbench in the garage is both an EPA superfund site and a landfill. My desk holds my Apple iMac, one spiral bound notebook and two pens.

Maybe I need the help of a mental health professional.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born and grew up in the northern suburbs outside of Washington, DC. Back in the day, DC was a much smaller city and the suburbs closer to the city boundaries. Many of my neighbors' fathers were employed by the federal government or the military. People moved in and out on a regular basis--often four years for their "DC Tour of Duty." That meant friends suddenly appeared and just as suddenly disappeared as their parents came and went.

Everyone had a story. Where they came from most recently, places they've been before that. There was always a narrative coming my way. And, to people whose lives were characterized by periodic moves, the life of someone who still lived where they were born called for my own narrative.

These introductions had to be brief and to the point and skewed toward the interest of my friends.
When did you first start writing?
I spent 40+ years in the IT field where I was always writing. While technical writing is a different beast there is still the need to know your audience and to engage the reader.

My first foray into fiction started with what is now my third book, Bad Money. I wrote the initial manuscript in the early 1990s, over 25 years ago. At the time, I was traveling a lot and spending too many weeks in and out of airports. The plot line about someone claiming the wrong luggage in baggage claim happened to me, although without the calamitous experience of the main character in my book.
What's the story behind your latest book?
A joke shared with a close neighbor that has gone terribly wrong. One for the Price of Two, is about the male half of twin siblings who follows a special forces military enlistment with a civilian career working as an assassin for a violent crime family. Unfortunately, he finds the work does not pay well, but his employer is unwilling to allow him to seek additional work elsewhere. So, he takes on a second identity--that of his twin sister to become an assassin for a rival crime family. To all involved, it looks like there are two assassins when in reality there is only one.

Over time, both assassins establish their value and reputations among their respective small worlds. All goes well until one crime family tasks the female persona to eliminate her male counterpart.

There's a surprise ending I don't want to share. You'll need to read the story.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Creating a plot and characters that are believable, even if the circumstances bringing them together is a bit unusual.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. Writing can't be like screaming into an empty canyon where only you hear your voice in the echo.
What are you working on next?
The Big Lowandowski. This is a sequel to my second book, Serendipity Opportunity.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
iPhone 8 Plus
Published 2018-12-08.
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