Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing. In my youth I wrote poems and some song lyrics. I wrote essays in school and in college worked for the student newspaper, which led to writing journalism pieces and magazine articles. Soon, articles led to books, and more songs.
What makes writing your passion?
I really love the research part of it. It begins with an idea in my head - a title, a vision and then I start researching the material - time periods, geographies, legal terminology, mystical elements, etc. Then putting it all together in a book that I hope turns out as well as I envision. I have to be in love with the story, so that's what keeps me going.
How long have you been writing?
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Well, it was a non-fiction book years ago on the power of music - which was my background (I'm a professional vocalist) - and I was able to snag a traditional publisher. I was thrilled, of course. And had visions of a best seller. But that didn't happen. Nonetheless, my wellspring of inspiration just started overflowing and many books followed.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
I always have in my head the lead character when I get a story idea. From there all the other characters complement the main person. I think adding characters comes as a natural process in developing the story - which ones are vital, which ones are secondary, and which ones make the plot juicier.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
The marketing, marketing, marketing. It's a real time suck. Fortunately, there are so many services available, like Book Shelf, that help make the tedious chore easier and provide the visibility that is so important to an author.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I put it down. Go do something else. This sets my mind free to allow ideas and inspiration in.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
Do it only if you love it. Only if you are compelled to write. Keep writing junk until you write something good. Then keep improving. With each book I write, I strive to make it better than the last by learning from other authors and learning new techniques. I haven't written my best book yet, but I just keep the love of storytelling as my guide and feel one day I will write that great one.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I do read my reviews. I'm fortunate to have no bad reviews, but if there is some criticism there I try to be objective and respect that reader's opinion. We have to have reviews - they are so difficult to get in such a competitive market - and everyone is a jewel.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Delighted! And I use quotes from it in my promotions.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Book covers do draw you in. They are very important, but the story is the thing for sure.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I don't connect with readers but they are welcome to contact me through my various author pages. I belong to several FB writers groups and we communicate regularly.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Who is your favorite author? Why?
Too many to mention. So many genres. Anne Perry for Victorian mysteries; Mark Helprin ("Winter's Tale) for his lyrical and visionary prose. Colleen McCullough for "The Thorn Birds" romantic saga; Paolo Coelho, Joseph Campbell, on and on.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
Probably some might need polishing. But, no. It's best to move on to new projects.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
Any author making a living from their writing! Ha.
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.
What would you say to your readers?
Keep reading. And please write a review as soon as you are done. Authors need you. We couldn't survive without you.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I am a Philadelphia native and now live in Southern California.
What is your day job if you have one?
I'm getting ready to retire in January after 13 years at the same company as an activities and entertainment coordinator.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
I used to go to movies a lot. No more. I used to tap dance. But my knees hurt.
Did you have a happy childhood?
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
What is your favorite music?
Everything that is danceable and singable. I grew up singing standards and jazz, but I'm a closet Rock n Roller.
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