1. How do you dream up your characters and situations?
I believe that most of my characters are based, in part, on people I have met in life and through my travels. I find if I do this it makes the characters feel to be more alive for my readers.
The situations you find in my stories are at time situations I am confronted with or have been confronted with during my lifetime. In my first book Jason the main character relives situations he experienced when his step father beat his mother. I lived through these situations as a child and know the terror that is there for a young and impressionable mind.
2. What are your quirks, so readers can understand you as a writer more than your advertising spiel.
I tend to be more of a smart-alecky person when I interact with people I know. I try to think of and deliver a quirky remark if the situation calls for a little light comic relief.
I always drink my coffee black and abhor hot tea however I will drink iced tea if the weather is hot enough.
One thing I do if I do write is I take out my hearing aides (I have lost 50% of my hearing from my days in the army) and tune everything out except for my writing. I try to literally live what I am writing as I write it.
3. How do you develop your characters?
I mentioned before that most of my characters are based on people who I have met. I try to place the characters in the story and give as many of them as possible a unique personality.
They sort of grow as the story goes on and tend to take on a life of their own.
I will go back hundreds of times and reread what I have written to make sure that each character is doing what they should be doing and if they do something that is out of character for them and the personality that have developed for them. I will write the passage until their reaction is right.
4. What are you reading now?
Believe it or not I am currently rereading the Harry Potter series. The series has turned out to be an exceptionally profitable franchise for its author and every author has the dream to emulate such success.
I just finished Crimson Fire and loved what Mirren did with the story. I am sure I will go back and reread that story again and again.
5. Why do you write and what drives you?
I write because I must. Every author will tell you the same thing. There are stories in each of us just wanting to burst out and be told. The action of writing these stories is like a relief valve for the truly creative and this makes room for other stories to bubble up inside us and rise to the conscious surface.
6. Who inspires you?
One of the persons who inspires me would be Robert A. Heinlein. Heinlein was a superb story teller and wrote many stories that he shared with us.
Another man who inspires me as a writer would be Issac Asimov. The man was a genius and he chose to put this geniality into the worlds he created.
The person who really inspires me is someone who gets knocked down repeatedly in life and gets back up and continues to slug it out until they reach the goal that they have set for themselves. This person is a true inspiration to me and the reason why I still write today.
7. What inspires you?
What inspires me. This is a question that has no simple answer. What inspires me can change from day to day. It can be something as simple as a child saying, ‘Thank You’ for some kind act that has been performed for them or a blue sky on a scorching summer day.
Inspiration is ever morphing into something else for me and as fluid as molten lava. Sometimes listening to music inspires me or the silence in the middle of the night when I cannot sleep.
8. Is there a single thread/ idea/ belief which appears everything you write?
I think the single thought that finds its way into every story I write is that anyone, Man, woman, or Child is ever adapting to the situations they face in life. This adaptability is the reason we as mankind can live in some many different climates on the planet. Also, the more terrible things that happen to us the stronger we become. Darwin stated that the strongest of a species will survive and I see this every day in real life.
Another idea that creeps into my writing is that the idea of compassion for each other is a desirable trait to have. Without compassion for your fellow human being you are no better than the most saves lifeform on the planet.
I stated above that experiences in life make us stronger. My belief in this statement is strong. The point is that our adaptability is the strongest trait that we as humans have.
9. What book/ story/ movie do you wish you’d written?
I wish I has written the screenplay for “Battlefield Earth”. L Ron Hubbard did an amazing job telling an Epic saga that was butchered in the screen play. There could have been 4 movies made for that book and I believe it could have been a major blockbuster franchise.
10. How often do you think of an idea, but see it’s been done? What do you do?
Like every author out there this happens daily because just about everything has been done before. How many reiterations of “Romeo and Juliet” are out there or “Cinderella”?
The true genius of every great author is taking a story and giving it a fresh prospective. Sometimes you change the outcome to make thing fresh. What if Romeo had survived and Juliet had died. What if both had survived.
What if? This is the strongest tool in the tool box of every Author out there. Every story development begins with the question What If… This is what we work with and we try to answer it in a fresh and exiting way to entertain our readers.