Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
I've written plays and live shows since I was fifteen or sixteen. Later, two of my mentors and friends were writers, Parke Godwin and Marvin Kaye. I learned early on, the discipline of the work and the joy of when you have a good writing day
What makes writing your passion?
I am a professional entertainer and have always been very creative. Writing allows me to create entire worlds and entertain people I have never even met. There is nothing better than working on a book or a story and when you've released it into the world the pride you feel.
How long have you been writing?
At this point over 50 years.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Fear and trepidation. Like most writers I have a fear that my work is "not good enough." On one hand I am glad the book is out there, on the other hand, I am afraid people won't like it.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
As writers, we create entire worlds, but we have to people them with characters that will appeal and pull the reader into the story. If not the story is flat and unappealing. But if you create fully rounded characters, the reader will go anywhere you want to take them and will enjoy the ride.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
The difficult part is that authors must do a lot more than previous generations. You have to constantly be promoting and pushing, as well as writing new books, and running ads, etc. It can be overwhelming.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
Wire a page or two in longhand,, as recommended by Julia Cameron in "The Artist's Way." This technique works to really get you unstuck and start the words flowing.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
Always hire a cover designer and someone who knows what they are doing, don't do it yourself. Your three most important selling tools are your cover, your blurb and your keywords.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Start writing novels earlier than I did. I only really started writing daily in my forties.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
If they have good points I consider it for my next novel. I've been lucky as most of my bad reviews said things like "My mom bought it and I haven't read it yet- 1 star." or "This author is using words I've never seen before." You can't help but laugh at reviews like that.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
I am always glad when someone enjoys one of my books. It means I took them on a ride to another place, and they had fun.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Constantly. But most are little day to day things that reflect real life, real marriage, and living in this crazy world.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
My lead in Fire InThe Mind - Doctor Leonard Wise is a younger, much more educated version of myself. Also he is a psychic and I am skeptic.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Very much so. and unfortunately I see many amateurish covers theses days. Cover designers are not that expensive, and it is worth the investment.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
As a professional entertainer, I am most definitely NOT shy. I enjoy talking with people and getting to know them. It's great fun to see other points of view.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
If I get recognized (which is rare) it's usually from my shows as a magician. But I am always pleased when someone likes what I do or have written.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
Dean Koontz. His characters have such depth, and like me he enjoys the weird stuff.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
Stephen King, Dean Koontz, either oddly be great.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
The one joy of self-publishing is that I can update and improve books I've all ready released any time I want. I recently started to work with a new editor, and we went through my entire IN THE MIND series and improved all the books.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
No one these days.
What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.
I don't even think about them.
What would you say to your readers?
Thanks for being a reader! I hope you enjoy my books, you're the reason I write them.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I have been married to the writer Debra Snow, for Twenty-Five years, and we have a very wonderful life together. Wow! Two writers and both of us know how to not get on each other's nerves. I have a 35 year old daughter from a previous marriage who is a cartoonist! Creative people run in my family, sometime faster than we should.
What is your day job if you have one?
Professional magician and entertainer, semi-retired.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
Record audio book version of my novels
Did you have a happy childhood?
My childhood was so long ago, back in an age of dial telephones and black-and-white televisions, the I can't even recall many of the events of that ancient time period.
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
My father wrote a novel, which I saw him do daily, and it felt magical. Interesting we found a copy of one of his attempts, and looking at it now, it wasn't very good. But his working on it did inspire me.
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
I have several new books coming up: The Werewolves of Washington Square- The third and possibly final book n the NYPD Wizard Detective Series. A new standalone horror novel called Digger about a gravedigger who fights the undead. And the eleventh Doctor Wise book: Justice In The Mind.
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
We must stop trying to indoctrinate children with things that will not help them in life but are "current" agendas. Stick to the basics,: reading, writing, math. Education is supposed to prepare children to go out into the world, find a job they like and live a good life.
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
All my wishes have been already granted.
What is your favorite music?
Broadway show music.
Share a secret with us 🙂
I'm six foot four. If you saw me, it wouldn't be much of a secret.