Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
Not until I was forty.
What makes writing your passion?
It's wonderful to escape into your own fiction. Even more wonderful if someone publishes it and people read and enjoy it. But the real joy is disappearing into that made up abyss.
How long have you been writing?
Well, if I told you that you'd know how old I am, wouldn't you?
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
I was excited beyond belief. I had written my first book and my agent got me a tao book deal. I remember thinking, "Holy crap! I've got to write a second book."
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
All of my characters are based on people I know or have met along the way. I find it amazing that no one ever seems to recognize themselves... Which is a good thing.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
I'm sure, as with most writers and artists in general, it's self promotion. You just want to do the work and hope it flies on its own; but it doesn't.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
You can't just think, think, think. You need to write. Write the first word of a sentence and the second word will follow. Even if it's junk, you can always go back and change things, and 95% of the time you do.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
I enjoy the creative process too much to stop. Even in the days when I needed a "day job" I found a way to make it creative; thus it never became boring.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Tragically, my younger self never listened to anybody. That said, I might tell my younger self, "Don't join the Marine Corps. People are going to shoot at you with real bullets."
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I do read them, even the bad ones. The bad ones are always good for a laugh. I almost always start book events with, "Okay, this book isn't for everyone..."
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
As with the bad reviews, everything is subjective. It's always nice to get a good review, but it's always from the eye of the beholder.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Hah, almost everything I write is a takeoff from something I've witnessed or something in which I've participated. Of course you change the names, the settings, the stakes, but it all needs to be true to life.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
In my latest novel, "Careless Love," I can honestly say there's a piece of me in all the male characters; from the evil Ray, to the happy-go-luck Ronnie. They all reflect emotions that have at least floated through my head, though not necessarily acted out.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Well, hopefully the cover gives the reader some insight as to what they're going find in the book. But if the cover doesn't pop a reader isn't going to look at the inside.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I love talking with readers, but to be fair, I love talking to anyone. I walk through life posting this disclaimer - Be careful what you say, you may end up in a book some day.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
I was an actor for many years. I've been in shows where fans wait outside the stage door asking for autographs. I find that a little unsettling. I don't wan't people to think I'm any different than they are.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
Tom Wolfe. I admire the research he puts into his books, and his writing is flawless. Though I have to admit I'm a big fan of writers who interject a healthy dose of humor into their work, Carl Hiaasen, Elmore leonard, Donald Westlake, etc.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
After a book is published I really feel no ownership. It's out there, it's on its own, and I've moved onto something else. I have a removed relationship with the past. You can't change it so leave it alone.