Jan 15, 2014

Interview

When did you realize that you wanted to become a writer?
It was never a conscious decision. I sent an email to an old friend telling of a youthful indiscretion. With my permission, he posted it on his blog and one thing led to another.

Is being an Author all you dreamed of, or did it just happen? The best and worst thing about it?
I always thought that it would be cool to be a writer, but that was all. I never thought that I would sit down with pen in hand, so to speak.
The best thing is the creating. I do that in the wee hours of the morning when things are quiet. The worst thing is actually two things; the first is the editing, it never ends! The second thing is the promotion. But thanks to people like you, the job is at least tolerable.

What was the very first thing you ever wrote?
I wrote a 164,000-word novel about the largest mass execution in American history. It took two years; one year for research and one year to write the story. As I researched, the story grew until it encompassed forty years of my protagonist’s life.

What made you create (your book)?  How did it come to you?
What made me create my book? A very good question!
I was trying to find an agent for my first book. I was repeatedly told that 164,000 words were too many for a first-time author. So, after a year of rejections, I said to myself, “If you want 80,000 words, I’ll give you 80,000 words!
 I had just finished reading Huckleberry Finn for the third time, so I sat down at the computer and the words just flowed. Within a month, I had signed with one of the biggest literary agencies in the country. Now they are talking to producers about making the book into a movie. However, I still want my first “child” to have its day.

Who is your literary hero?
J. D. Salinger . . . not for his writing, but because he never did a book tour in his life. He wrote for himself. True, when he was young he wanted his stuff published, but he got to a point where he realized it was all in the process, the creating. 

How much of your characters are based on your traits or someone you know personally?
In Redemption, the traits I gave my characters are based on my observations of humanity as a whole
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Describe your main character in six words.
Now this is a hard question . . . do you want six characteristics or a sentence? I’ll try both.
Strong, moral, kind, a defender of the weak, loyal, altruistic and a killer when need be.
A man in a man’s world.  

Describe the world you’ve created in six words.
You are relentless with these six word questions. But thank you, they force me to think. Okay, here goes . . . GOOD, BAD, WITH SHADES OF GRAY. (NO PUN INTENDED)

What scene was your favorite to write?
When Tom told Huck that he had come to the realization that pejoratives are harmful to people.
Here it is: “It’s just this Huck. I want you to know that I’ve changed my way of thinking. You notice that I don’t use the word nigger no more, I mean anymore. I think it’s hurtful to colored folks.” 
 
 What scene was the hardest for you to write?
The last sentence of the book.
“Well . . . on those cold nights, I think of Molly Lee and what might have been.”

What are you working on now?
I have two novels, both eight chapters in. I’m writing short stories on my blog, and as
always  . . . I’m editing what I wrote before.

Goals? Accomplishments? Improvements?
GOALS: To keep breathing. ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Taking care of my dog. IMPROVEMENTS: Learning how to better love my fellow man (and woman).

Are there any authors or books you recommend?
John Steinbeck, David Baldacci, Lee Child and Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha).

What's your favorite thing to do when you're not writing?
Reading.