The little ways you surprise yourself every time you sit down to write. I outline, takes copious notes, do research, and about a dozen other things to prepare to write a novel, but most of it--I'd say 65% of it--goes out the window when I get into the narrative. That's the fun part for me. Writing the book is not all that different from reading a book: in both cases, I want to get lost in a vivid world, I want to find out what happens.
When did you first start writing?
. . . when I was a pimply, angry teenager. I kept a journal of my thoughts, most of which involved spewing bile about the rest of humanity, but it was good therapy and good practice.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Sure. It was about a pimply fourteen year old whose mother sends him down to the post office for stamps. While he's standing in line, he sees a pretty girl from his school, and she's in a hurry, and he's nervous and can't speak to her, but he does let her cut the line. I've published six or seven stories, and only one of them had the emotional resonance of that first story. I discovered, after writing every day for more than nine years, that I'm much better with novels. Short stories are tough. Maybe the toughest of all.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Right now, I'm doing a blog tour for my debut mystery novel GO GO GATO, and it's worked pretty well. I've gotten to write some guest posts about building the perfect mystery and how to maximize your writing time. I'm also giving away some free copies of the book, which you can enter by following the link below.
The second Eli Sharpe novel entitled SPLIT TO SPLINTERS will be released on April 1, 2015. It's about a Hall of Fame pitcher turned real estate mogul whose four daughters and wife are all vying for his vast fortune. Right now, I'm about 20,000 words into the third book in the series, which is about a female knuckleball pitcher who's receiving death threats. And about two months ago, I wrote a straight up pulp crime thriller called A SUNDAY IN ALPHABET LAND that I'm shopping to agents (fingers crossed!).
Who are your favorite authors?
I love crime fiction, so Ross MacDonald, Raymond Chandler, and James Crumley are my favorites. THE LAST GOOD KISS by Crumley and THE DROWNING POOL by MacDonald really made me want to write my own P.I. series.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My wife and son, first, and writing second. For me, the rest is just background noise. That said, I am an avid Boston Red Sox fan, and I enjoy a glass of George Dickel on the rocks and good sushi on occasion.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Teaching my sixteen month old son Harry Huck how NOT to hit his father. I read a lot, too. At the moment, I'm obsessed with the Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben and the Colson Quinn series by Ace Atkins. I also really enjoyed READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline and SHARP OBJECTS by Gillian Flynn.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I write book reviews, so I definitely read the reviews and criticism of other readers. I do this on Amazon, Goodreads, and Smashwords. Personally, I judge a lot of reviews based on grammar and punctuation. Just saying.
What is your writing process?
Workman-like is how I would describe it. I write every day from 2pm to 4pm, no matter what. Nothing on my desk but my laptop (sans Internet and games) and a cup of coffee. Nothing on the walls but my outline. No music. No cell phones. No living things within a hundred yards. Window open, office door closed. What can I say? I'm OCD.
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