Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
A bit later in life, I decided to fulfill a long-held dream to write novels. I began in 2008 and in 2010 published "Currents Deep and Deadly," the first book in the Darcy Farthing Series.
What makes writing your passion?
I've been an avid reader all my life and especially enjoy mystery and crime stories. At a very young age, my reading led to the idea that perhaps I could come up with compelling stories, become a published author, and work from wherever I found myself. The appeal of this lifestyle never left me even though I did not act on it for many years. I love creating characters and dialogue and making them as honest and realistic as possible.
How long have you been writing?
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Definitely an elated feeling of accomplishment, although I subsequently re-edited and republished the first book to make improvements.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
This is a difficult question. It seems that Darcy and the rest of the series characters somehow evolved themselves. Darcy has a small component of a person I knew many years ago, but the rest simply represent different elements of human diversity including good and evil characteristics.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
For me, it has been the enormous competition in my chosen genre and difficulty reaching enough readers to feel that the books are truly successful.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
Writer's block has not been much of a problem for me. My many years working as a government analyst/researcher taught me the value of brainstorming a free flow of ideas. Invariably, one or more of these ideas trigger my story and character development.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
I've definitely slowed down my writing lately to concentrate on marketing the books I've published. I don't like to give advice, but I agree with those who say you should write for yourself, not worry too much about genre, and not expect to get rich from the effort.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Don't wait. Start writing now!
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I do read reviews. I've had only a few that were less than satisfying. I take criticism as a lesson for future writing. If one person felt that way, then others might as well. On the other hand, I think a writer should weigh the overall response to the book and not worry about a few outliers.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Great satisfaction that my efforts are appreciated and the story and characters resonate with readers.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
I have incorporated a few personal things that happened to people I know. However, the whole cruising venue that underpins three of the books came directly from my own travel experiences aboard cruise ships.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
None of the characters are like me physically or emotionally, but the humanist philosophy of the main character, Darcy, and her honest and fearless approach to life are attributes I admire. In that, she is perhaps a sort of alter ego.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Actually, I do not think the cover is as important as the story and I adhere to the adage "don't judge a book by its cover." I read many books by well-known authors that do not have a compelling cover. However, in the world of self-publishing, I think the idea that one must attract readers with a flashy cover has taken hold to the point where competition for the most colorful and creative cover can distract from attention to the value and quality of stories. I think this reality is one of the artifacts of on-line marketing and digital communication.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I used to do many book signings in Barnes and Noble stores and aboard cruise ships. I very much enjoyed talking to people about my books and many other topics whether they bought the books or not. I can be very extroverted for relatively short periods of time but revert to a more introverted style for writing, where I enjoy many hours of solitude.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
I've not gotten to the point where I'm "recognized" for my writing. When people tell me they loved a book and it is obvious they appreciate the work, it is the best feeling ever!
Who is your favorite author? Why?
There are many, but Diana Gabaldon and Anne Rice stand out. This is a little odd because I don't have any desire to write about supernatural events. I just believe the research and effort they put into their work and the quality of writing is outstanding. James Michener is also a favorite again because of his enormous historical research efforts. My gauge is that while reading, I could not put down their books and I learned something new.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
I do not have that kind of dream because I am too much of a realist. My dream now is that I could sell enough books to recoup my sizable investment in writing, publishing, and marketing.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
I have heavily edited with some rewriting, the first two books in the series, and republished them on Amazon. I believe they are improved and as a bonus they are offered at a lower price.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
Not interested in switching places with anyone.