Interview with Greenskills Press d/b/a/ Greenskills Associates LLC
What inspired you to become a writer?
It started with my parents, a homemaker and an ex-Marine, both writers and publicists, a grandfather who was a construction contractor and me, an architect that has seen plenty, and who just loves to tell stories. My dad did a lot of writing for his radio and ad agency jobs, and Mom had always wanted to be a writer and never went through with it. They had always said I had the ability to be a writer, and I’d always wanted to but needed to earn a living. In a way, I felt I owed it to them and to myself to finish what they started. And in my profession, my favorite activity was always describing the projects and getting people excited about hiring our team. I gravitated toward the marketing side of the business, writing proposals, reports and publicity for my firms. This resulted in millions of words cascading from my pen and then from my computer screen over the years. That’s a lot of writing practice when you think about it.
What are you working on next?
I'm beginning the next Patrick MacKenna mystery, Design for Dear Life. This will be prequel to the other two, Crimes of Design and Fatal Designs, set in his hometown,which was also mine, Chicago, withbits notorious reputation for crime, public corruption and gangsters. It concerns Patrick's early struggles to become an architect, his missteps and the reasons he had to become an amateur detective: his irrepressible quest for challenge, which always gets him in trouble. The story asks the question: Can an architect in this town work for a Mob under boss, while jilting his beautiful daughter in favor his new love, recently emigrated from Ireland to work in his father's pub? We'll see about that one as the story uflods!
Who are your favorite authors?
Among my favorite mystery, true crime and suspense writers are Tom Clancy (the Hunt for Red October, Truth Faith and Allegiance), Anne Perry (The Beautiful Mystery), Michael Crichton (Dragon's Teeth, Jurassic Park), Ken Follett (The Eye of the Needle) James Lee Burke (The Neon Rain, The Tin Roof Blowdown),Truman Capote (In Cold Blood) and Stephen King (Christine, Carrie) and one of the best handbooks for authors, On Writing. In nonfiction, I have always enjoyed James A. Michener for the historic sweep, backstory and sense of place in his blockbuster novels (Tales of the South Pacific,The Drifters, Texas) and Caribbean, which incidentally made a great travel guide for our trip to Spain. In history and biography, they include Ron Chernow (Alexander Hamilton), Laura Hillenbrand (Seabiscuit, Unbroken) and Rick Atkinson (his moving World War II Liberation Trilogy) . Among the classics, I admire Hemingway's short stories, William Faulkner (Soldiers' Pay) and John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath). In humor, I love James Thurber's short stories, Betty MacDonald (The Egg and I), and Eric Hodgins (Mr. Blandings Builds sis Dream House). As you may have guessed by now, when I'm not writing I love to read.
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