Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Growing up on Long Island, we studied New York State history in 7th grade. That, coupled with family vacations up and down the Atlantic coast to historic sites, kindled and fostered my love of early American history. Treks to old French and Indian and Revolutionary war forts and battle fields remain fond memories to this day. New York during this period has provided the setting for a number of my books.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote my first story when I was five or six (and illustrated it as well). When I was ten, I "borrowed" my father's typewriter and created my first novel. I think II still have it around here somewhere, but I don't think I want to look for it :-)
What's the story behind your latest book?
The Partisan's Wife is the final book of The Serpent's Tooth trilogy, which I started writing way back in 1979. These books took me from the electric typewriter I received as a high school graduation gift, through my first electronic typewriter (with self-correcting tape), to a Commodore 64 and into the PC Age. In 1984, I had a 180,000 word manuscript and an agent, but after a few years of collecting some very encouraging rejection letters, I put it away. Twenty-some years later, I pulled out of mothballs, dusted it off, and rewrote the entire book as a trilogy. It was published in 2012 by Books We Love.
What do you read for pleasure?
When I'm writing, I rarely read for pleasure, but when I do, it's mostly biographies, histories, social histories and journals. With so many books on the market today, I try to limit my real pleasure reading to the types of books I like to write. Historical fiction, historical romance, fantasy, and good westerns.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Right now it's my Kindle. Who knows what innovations will replace our current ereaders in the future?
Describe your desk
My desk is always a mess. Clutter everywhere. No matter how hard I try to keep this ordered, it never lasts. Physically, it's a large L-shaped computer desk with shelves for my most-used reference books and some of my favorite novels. I also keep my favorite program disks close at hand, because you never know when they'll be needed again.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've been an indie author since 1998. At the time, it was a realistic alternative to the submit and wait for months game required by the traditional publishers. It was also new and revolutionary. It was like being a pioneer.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
That would be when the internal critic takes a hike and my muse assumes control. I find I'm more open to exploration and characters appear full-blown out of nowhere, leading in directions that prove innovative and exciting, often changing the course of many a story.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Marketing has to be a major way to spend time. Researching the best sites for getting out the word. When not working on my writing, I love cooking, photography, music and sports.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I browse all the great venues for ebooks and if something looks good, I'll give it a try. Reviews help, and so do my fellow BWL authors.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
While not the first story, The Diary of Anne Frank had an immense influence on me as a person.
How do you approach cover design?
I leave it to our designer.
What do your fans mean to you?
Of course, without fans and readers, I'd be writing in a vacuum. No one wants to do that.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Having recently suffered through some health issues, the mere fact that I'm alive is more than enough to motivate me.
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