Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
I wrote songs and poems as a teenager, plays and short films in my twenties and thirties. My first novel came later. Much later.
What makes writing your passion?
I love how a book can transport us. The feedback on my first book was almost all positive, inspiring me to continue. Mostly though, I look at writing as something I can do well beyond retirement age. I don't want to retire, ever!
How long have you been writing?
As i mentioned, I started small when I was young. I started my first novel about 6 years ago. It took me 4 years to finish.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Curious. I really had no idea how good (or bad) my book was until readers discovered it.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
I'm not sure what you mean by my choice of characters. Some are based on real people. To be honest, they all are.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
The business side. I chose to self-publish because I couldn't imagine getting a book deal with a publisher and I had to get into the market. It turns out I'm not as entrepreneurial as I used to be.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
I keep going because I'm determined t make a living as an author.
I could say the usual things- be disciplined about your work, find a good editor- but I think it's important to encourage artists to " feel the fear but take the leap anyway", You'll never know if you don't try, right?
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Take the promises you've made to yourself as seriously as the ones you've made to other people.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
Reviews- the bane of the author's existence. "Drowning" has really only had good reviews so far but far too few to make an impact on sales. I look at any negative comments as informative. They've actually done more to influence my work in a positive way.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
I'm gratified by the reviews so far. It makes me think I can actually do this well enough to make a living.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Many times. More than one character shares part of their "back story" with the author, and a few events in the story come from personal experience.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
Like I said, many of my personal experiences have made their way into my books. I share the beliefs (and some experiences) of both protagonists and antagonists. Unfortunately, not the good looks . They're all better-looking than me.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
It's unfortunate, but yes, I've learned that nobody will find your book without a good cover.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I'm grateful for the exchange I've had with some readers, and know more now about what they expect.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Like I said, it's gratifying to get positive feedback in the form of reviews. I have not been recognized in public as Dean the Author. I'm okay with that. I like the idea of maintaining some anonymity.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
I don't really have 1 favourite, but I admire several- Ian Fleming, Dan Brown, Lee Child are some of the contemporary authors whose success I aspire to. William Shakespeare is my all-time fave though.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
Any of the 3 authors I mentioned. Please tell Hollywood about me!
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
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.
Never met one or had that experience. I know they're out there, under a bridge or in their mom's basement. I can't say right now if I would choose to ignore them or blow up the bridge. Time will tell, I suppose.
What would you say to your readers?
Thanks for buying my book, and please tell your friends!
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I live in Freiburg Germany with my wife and son.
What is your day job if you have one?
I teach Business English to working professionals in a wide range of sectors.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
I love hockey, especially watching my son play. I follow the Calgary Flames (my hometown team) and occasionally I go to games here to watch our local team. I also like cycling in the forest here and playing golf in the summer. Playing Texas Hold 'em with a few buddies is my favourite way to spend an evening (when there's no hockey on).
Did you have a happy childhood?
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
I left "Show Biz" for what was supposed to be a temporary hiatus.
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
I'm knee-deep in the Something in the Water series, with Books 2 and 3 and a a pair of "companion books" to the series. Book 2 will be published soon. They follow protagonist Burns and a new task force, and will do so until all the antagonists are dead. and there are no threats to humanity.
Could go on for a while...
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
I've been a teacher for a long time (in different countries) and the one thing I think is missed most is
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
To write (and publish) bestselling novels.
To see my stories on the big screen.
To be financially rewarded for my work. Critical success would be nice, too.
What is your favorite music?
I have a fairly broad range of genres in my library (Yes, I have a digital library and I still own a few CD's, even though I stream a lot of music). I grew up with Classic Rock, survived the Disco Scare in the Seventies, explored Jazz and Alternative in the Eighties, owned a couple plaid shirts (but no ripped jeans) before Grunge was a thing. But there are very few artists I like enough to buy their records these days, especially Pop music. Rock is almost dead, and that makes me sad.
Share a secret with us 🙂
I would, but then I'd have to kill you.