Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
As an actor, I naturally started my writing career with plays. I have written seven full-lengths and one one-act.
Around the turn of the century I turned to novels after adapting a radio play I wrote to the novel form.
Since then, I have written five more and am now working on my seventh.
What makes writing your passion?
To tell a story and at once explore the mysteries of this life in my own creations fills my soul like no other activity. Have Pen Will Travel.
How long have you been writing?
I wrote my first one-act play around 1988 and have never stopped since then.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Well, of course I was excited. Then came the real sweaty work, trying to market it.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
Good question. I suppose I like writing about people who are thoughtful, intelligent and seeking understanding, expiation, or both. I love to put people in situations that have perplexed me.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
In pursuing an acting career in New York, I experienced more rejection than most people would in ten lifetimes, soliciting agents and casting directors.
That is the most heinous part of the job, execrable but unavoidable.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
So far (knock on wood) I only had that once, when I went into a profound depression after the death of my sister and the sale of our ancestral home.
Some days little comes, but that is part of the process. To just sit and free-associate has, at least up to now, led to breakthroughs.
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 wouldn't know what else to do with myself.
I think all authors are different and work differently. I just say be patient and enjoy the process--IN YOUR OWN WAY.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Live in the real world, in which unemployment among actors is at any given time 85 to 91 percent.
I imagine it's much the same for authors.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I try to learn from them.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Everyone loves to be praised, especially when it's your children that are being praised.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
All the time.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
Jason Kelly, in my first novel, "The Dogs...Barking".
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
I honestly don't know. You know the old adage about judging a book by its cover.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
Oh, I love to hear from my readers and love to communicate with them. One complained about the high-fallutin' vocabulary and I answered her comments in a way that she much appreciated.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
That is the greatest high in the world. I always take time with people who are gracious enough to show interest in my work.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
William Shakespeare, because he is the greatest story-teller of all time. My favorite novelist is John Steinbeck for his prodigious knowledge of human nature.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
William Shakespeare. But I certainly don't expect that.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
I actually did rewrite my first one, after I got a lot of complaints about the esoteric vocabulary. (I was trying too hard). And since then, no one has read it has complained
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
William Shakespeare except that I don't think I'd like living in that era.
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 I say? I suppose I'd say, "Hey, you probably need to get laid."
What would you say to your readers?
I sincerely hope you enjoy my stories, and if they speak to you and make you think about your life and life in general, then I couldn't be more gratified.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I live in Charlotte, NC but grew up in Laredo, TX. I am a single old curmudgeon, having made horrendous choices in the women who've shared a bit of my life.
What is your day job if you have one?
I'm a retired and recovering actor/interpreter.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
Well, I write, I read, I do research, I sing in my church choir (or try to). I used to walk my dog before I lost her. I bike ride some. I love doing presentations/book signings.
Did you have a happy childhood?
No, honestly. My parents were wonderful but first, I was born depressed. (Thank God in Heaven for anti-depressants!). I was the youngest of five very jealous, competitive and pretty mean kids.
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
I had to do something creative when there were no acting jobs.
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
Can't divulge that.
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
Stop indoctrinating with social theories and teach the three Rs!
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
A thousand more wishes.
What is your favorite music?
Classical and classical pop, especially from the Forties.
Share a secret with us 🙂
There are no solutions, only trade-offs. Life is never and never will be fair.