I have four books published that are available on Amazon. In Valerie’s Retreat the forty-one-year-old protagonist meets a wonderful man sixteen years her junior. Even though they seem to have nothing in common since she is a Head Teller at a bank and he’s studying for a doctorate in Archaeology, the pair clicks. This is very similar to my wife and me. My wife was 39 when we met and our third date was her fortieth birthday party. The practical jokes she had to endure from her family were vicious. Now, we’ve been married over 14 years and enjoy boating, reading, writing, and attending all the Special Olympic events our daughter participates in.
What inspires you to write?
The actual impetus for me to begin writing came while I was reading Three Weeks With My Brother by Nicholas Sparks. When I got to the part where he received a million-dollar advance, I thought, “Holy cow! He’s a good writer, but I know I can do this, too.” I’ve been writing since that day in 2004.
Tell us about your writing process.
I start with a general outline of the events the character will face. After that it’s really more about the character. Once I know the person, the plot seems to come without much effort. I type in Word with the outline a couple of lines lower than the scene I’m writing. As I finish part of the outline, I delete it. Sometimes I have to delete the outline because the story goes a direction I hadn’t originally intended. I usually don’t know how one of my stories will end. I hope that makes them more unpredictable for the reader.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I do. While writing Valerie’s Retreat, Valerie didn’t want me to include so much information about when she was abused as a child. The reader must know about those traumatic events to understand the reasons for her behavior as an adult. I put it in; she wasn’t happy.
What advice would you give other writers?
Have someone who will read your book and tell you if it stinks. That’s harder than it sounds, because most people won’t want to hurt your feelings. Also, this person needs to be an avid reader. Find out if your manuscript is mentioned in the same sentence with big-name writers. If not, you need to get some honest critique before going forward with its promotion.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
We decided to self-publish when the start-up cost of creating a Kindle ebook and a CreateSpace paper book dropped to zero. A Spy At Home was our first self-published book. We thought the spy who feels like he wasted his career and reconnected with his family after retiring would be well received by the public. Most of the reviews for A Spy At Home have been very positive. With every book we release we try something new. We’ve hired a public relations firm. They accomplished nothing. It was a colossal waste of money which insures we won’t make that mistake again. We’ll be creative and make all new mistakes with the next book. For new authors I’d say don’t start trying to promote a book unless you plan to make a five year commitment. Readers are bombarded with so much advertising that getting through the noise takes a long time.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I hope that we, of all readers,are willing to give indie authors a chance, figure out a way to reach the masses. In a perfect world the oligarchy ruling the publishing world and dictating what most people read would be overthrown. That’s not likely to happen, but I do see a day when the vast majority of books sold are ebooks. Another 10 to 20 years.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
Valerie’s Retreat is a Romantic Thriller.
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print