Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
I began writing in 2013, the last year of my professional career. I wrote my first novel on long haul airplane flights and foreign hotel rooms.
What makes writing your passion?
Every novel is based on a theme and every theme is some issue that I'm upset about. Writing a story that illuminates the issue is my way of cimmunicating to a broad audience.
How long have you been writing?
Since 2013. Before that, real life kept getting in the way.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Elation. Then I realized that there are far too many books and too few readers. Writing becomes a marketing business to get visibility. That's the downside.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
My process is first a theme, what do I want to say. Then a story that will illuminate that theme. Finally I cast characters that fit the story, like a movie director casting actors. The characters must be believable in their roles.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
The amount of time I spend running the "business."
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I've never experienced writer's block. I'm a plotter so I always know what comes next. And I like my stories so I want to finish them.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
A writer is a person who is compelled to write, who has no choice but to write. My advice to young writers is: make sure you have something to say, then say it.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Don't worry about your problems; it's going to turn out okay.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I do. Depends where they come from. Trolls should be ignored. Constructive criticism is very useful. I learn from those reviews.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Happy that someone enjoyed my work.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
There is no such things as fiction.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
Like Quentin Tarantino and Alfred Hitchcock, I'm somewhere in all my books.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Absolutely. First thing a browser sees. Also the title. Then the back cover copy. If those aren't appealing, there's no sale.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
Happy to connect.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Who is your favorite author? Why?
Joseph Kanon. He writes historical, international intrigue. I can't do what he does but it's my favorite genre.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
Joseph Kanon. He's not GMA every day, but he's known to his fans.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
Sure, my first novel, Defiled. It was a "starter" novel and I didn't know much about writing back then.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
Paula Hawkins. She writes stories similar to mine but is far more popular. Or maybe Harlan Coben. His stories are similar, too.
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.
Get a life.
What would you say to your readers?
If you like what I write, stay tuned. More is coming.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I live with my wife and rescue dog in suburban Atlanta. We have one daughter and two grandkids. Grandkids are our reward for not strangling our children.
What is your day job if you have one?
Retired now after a long career developing computer systems for global corporations.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
I play golf and trout fish in North Georgia.
Did you have a happy childhood?
I had a very safe, comfortable, stable, and traditional childhood.
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
Not really. I read a lot as young person and always thought I'd try to emulate my favorites as I grew older.
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
I've published four novels and three nonfiction books. The one I'm working on is the only unpublished book. It's a coming-of-age story set in 1965, a tumultuous year in which to grow up.
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
The fundamentals: reading, writing and arithmetic. And life skills.
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
I wish I were fifty.
I wish I had met my wife earlier in life.
I wish I had started writing sooner.
What is your favorite music?
Classic rock and roll - Beatles, Stones, Chicago, Blood Sweat and Tears, etc.
Share a secret with us 🙂
I've voted for every winning president since Nixon, no matter the party, and I'm still not happy with politics.