I'm a fan of literary works, but for pure pleasure I enjoy crime fiction. Elmore Leonard, George V. Higgins, and James Lee Burke are great, but I'm are big fan of Dennis Lehane.
Describe your desk
As a father, husband, and caregiver of two dogs, my desk is any place I can sit and be undisturbed. Sometimes I sit at the desk in my bedroom, sometimes it's the kitchen table. It all depends on how or where I am when I get the chance to write. Ideally I would have my own writer's shed.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Alexandria, Louisiana. It's a strange melting pot in that it is centrally located. I'm of the opinion there are at least four distinct regions within the state: New Orleans, South Louisiana (Cajuns), North Louisiana (Rednecks), and Cenla (the Alexandria area). It's too far south to be considered redneck, and too far north to be Cajun. Accents, of any origin, have never been a problem for me since the area has plenty to choose from.
When did you first start writing?
School. I cannot remember what I first wrote, but that over the years I was always complimented on my writing ability. Writing has always been a therapeutic for me, and writing fiction is the best way for me to explore, and learn, more about the world and myself.
What's the story behind your latest book?
A friend emailed me an interesting news story from the New Orleans area. After I read the article the plot for "Frank Winston" seemed obvious. So, I set out writing a story with grumpy old men in the mob. They weren't gangsters, just low level old guys who are asked to do jobs for the younger higher ups. It seemed like an interesting situation, not to mention the vehicle they were driving.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I still want to be published traditionally. I decided to start self-publishing as a means to get my work out there in the world for others to read. I figured it would be a good means of getting my short stories out there, while I work on larger ideas. But, who knows? I may self-publish my novels as well as my short stories.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is a release for me. Through writing fiction, I can explore any thought or idea I desire. Building a world means you have to have people (or creatures) that have any and all character traits no matter if I agree or disagree with their ideals. Just because the its fiction doesn't mean the characters have to be plastic. Showing the gritty aspects of life also help me realize the better qualities life has to offer.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have a wife, three kids, and two dogs. Life is busy.
What are you working on next?
I'm currently working on another short story that will be part of a series I'm planning. It's a series in the sense that some of the minor characters make appearances in each of the stories. These minor characters are the main characters in a novel I'm still in the process of completing.
Who are your favorite authors?
Kurt Vonnegut and Dennis Lehane are my top choices.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first book I can remember reading by myself was "Wild Timothy" by Gary L. Blackwood. I don't remember how I came across the book, but that it was one of the first I read all by myself. It talked about a kid who got lost in the woods, which I found interesting since I enjoyed camping, hunting, and hiking. I don't remember much of the book now so maybe I'll see if I can find a copy and revisit it.
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