Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
What makes writing your passion?
How long have you been writing?
I suppose if you include my technical writing experience as a process engineer, I would have to say forty years or so. During that time I tapped into my creative side as a part-time musician and songwriter, always stressing the lyrical content of my songs. But it was the summer of 2007 when, at the urging of my wife, Janet, I was smitten by the creative writing muse following our off-the-beaten-path trip to the quaint, historic town of Greenwich, Cumberland County, NJ. That's when the gears started turning in my head, combining my love of history with my career experience in the biotech consulting field, resulting in the historical sci-fi time travel mystery of Greenwich: The Final Project.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
As a writer of fiction-- Elated! As an independent author and publisher--Exhausted!
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
I mainly drew on my own experiences as a biotech engineer and my love of history. Particularly South Jersey history and persons of historical note. My characters tended to be an amalgam of people I have known over the years. With even a little bit of myself thrown into the mix.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
Marketing and selling myself. I've never really been good at it. As an indie author/publisher you feel pulled in so many different directions. It would be nice to be able to spend more time writing and interacting with readers than having to deal with the pressures of a constantly shifting marketplace. Not to mention the learning curves associated with acquiring effective online social networking and publishing skills.
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?
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?
Criticism is welcomed if it is constructive in nature and not mean-spirited. Mean-spirited reviews (like "troll" generated posts) reveal more about the reviewer than the work itself.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Definitely exhilarating! I feel accomplished. Connected to the reader.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Yes. All the time. If not to me, then perhaps something that happened to someone close to me. Of course, the connection may not be obvious at first blush.
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?
In real estate, it's called "curb appeal." In the culinary arts, it's "plate presentation." So, the cover fills an essential role: to attract new readers and new buyers. For first-time authors especially, it can be argued that it is the more important of the two, essential for enticing first-time buyers. For established authors, I would say name recognition and story carry the day.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I most enjoy one-on-one, live interactions with readers and welcome participation in meet-the-author book-signing events and festivals. Something I sorely missed during the COVID crisis.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Hmm. Definitely a feeling of fulfillment. Of going full circle. Connecting. And sharing. The "sharing" thing is really what brings fulfillment.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
If I had to choose, I would say it's a three-way tie between Dan Brown, Michael Crichton, and James Rollins. I lean toward fast-moving Sci-fi adventures. Of course, Stephen King would have to get an honorable mention. LOL.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
Stephen King! LOL
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
If I had it to do again, I would probably have chosen to publish Greenwich as a two-part series rather than a single 530-page debut novel. Advice to first-time authors: Keep your debut novel under 100,000 words. Oh well. Live and learn.
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.
What would you say to your readers?
Thank you! A million times, thank you!
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. For the past thirty-plus years, my wife, Janet, and I have called south Jersey our home, and are the proud parents of two grown sons, Kevin and Michael. Now retired from the consulting business, I plan to spend more time on my other interests—storytelling, exploring history, and taking more “off-the-beaten-path” trips with Janet. Delving further into the colonial history of the region, I am currently active with the newly formed American Revolution Round Table of South Jersey, and serve in an official capacity as Secretary.
What is your day job if you have one?
Recently retired, I was a process engineer by profession with an M.S. degree in Chemical Engineering. I spent the major portion of my professional career consulting for the food and biopharmaceutical manufacturing industries and hold several patents in food processing. As a writer of science-fiction, I draw heavily on my engineering experience, gravitating toward the "genetic engineering gone awry" theme.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
Music. I still enjoy playing, and the occasional open-mic performance. Acoustic guitar, banjo, and piano at times. And, of course, reading. Both fiction and non-fiction. History, mainly. Recently I have tried my hand at poetry and creative non-fiction and began publishing on Medium.com. Although I am probably more lyricist than poet.
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?
I am currently putting the final touches on a Sci-Fi Fantasy, Beneath the Maize. Set in modern-day Wisconsin, the story draws heavily on local Native American culture, resurrecting ancient myths that clash with the tenants of modern science. I am hoping to launch sometime in 2022.
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?
Folk, Indie-rock, country-rock, and bluegrass. But appreciate any music done well. Lyrics are important.
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