I'm trying to come up with something inspirational here, but all I'm getting is the harsh reality of an alarm clock placed out of reach from the bed. It doesn't even have a Snooze button. I am not a wake up person, quite the opposite, I go to be inspired; it can be a good business day, a nicely rounded chapter, or a scene with sizzling dialogue and sticks a grin on my face all the way to my bed and carries me over the next day.
Who are your favorite authors?
There are three or four authors that influenced me. The first one, Mario Puzo. The Godfather was the first book, aside from the bible, that I've read more than once. During the 90's I became a fan of three power players: 1) Ken Follett, got hooked on Triple, but it was The Pillars of the Earth that made me a real believer. 2) Tom Clancy, and the early Jack Ryan adventures that defined the Techno-thriller sub-genre. My favorite of those early books is Patriot Games, followed closely by Executive Orders. 3) Clive Cussler, Dirk Pitt adventures were above and beyond. My first one was Deep Six, and it was great.
So given the above, is it really a wonder why I write thrillers now?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I enjoy a good book-wouldn't dare to call myself a writer if not-but I'm also a sucker for movies. As a family man, I enjoy watching flicks with my kids. Lights turned off, popcorn and refreshments. I gotta say, Netflix is the best seven bucks I spend every month.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Reading is a solitary activity. Discussing books, however, is a social event. I have a couple of friends with whom have informal book clubs every month. Most of my books come as suggestions. Which is a good thing because it allows me to read outside of my genre. Yes, I've read more than one Women's Fiction and Romance. If not in the book club, then recommendations from friends or new books from authors I already know.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
As a matter of fact, yes I do. It was a very short story that I typed into a Smith Corona--yes I am that old. The piece revolved around the minutes previous to a suicide. The man reminiscing about his life, his mistakes and how the world would be better off without him. I saved those three pages, and later retyped them into a Word document. Some years later, those pages served as the epilogue to one of my novels. It just fitted perfectly.
What is your writing process?
Since I write both short stories and novels, the process is a bit different for each. For short stories I can just sit and write, wing it, see where the story takes me. It is a liberating process. The last time I tried that for a novel, I ended in a brick wall with a dead main character in chapter 12. So now, for novels, I work an outline.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first novel I remember reading was The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo. It had a powerful impact on me, because up until that point I had never envisioned or imagined whatever I was reading. It was Victor Hugo who made me see beyond the written letters and paint the pictures inside me head. You never forget that piece of fiction.
How do you approach cover design?
By calling an expert. If possible, request three options, and then choose the one more appropriate for the novel. I would fill out artists' questionnaires and even offer an early draft so they can get hooked on the story. So far I've have no regrets.
What do you read for pleasure?
Fiction. Especially readers, it is always good to checkout the competition. I've discovered some recent authors that I like and stick to them, but based on recommendations from friends, I don't mind reading unknowns.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
For pleasure reading, a monochromatic e-readers (E ink, Paperwhite, or whatever new name they come up with), because they are so easy on the eyes you can read for hours. Just like print books.
I also carry a Tablet, but that's when I need to mix business with pleasure by checking emails or reviewing documents.
Describe your desk
I wish I could! Honestly. The recent house move I went through meant I had to sacrifice my given writing nook and I now become and laptop-carrying errand, moving from dining table, to lawn chair, to small folding table in front of a sofa, to a public cafe, so...can I get away from this one by saying something grand like my office is the world? Thanks! :-)
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