I’m an author of novels and screenplays. At one time, I kept them separate. I liked writing books and then I would write screenplays. But after writing “A River in the Ocean,” I immediately started to put together the screenplay because simply enough, I just didn’t feel I was finished with the story yet.
I am a single father of a wonderful daughter who is just starting to sprout her own wings and fly. I hate this time in her life. I want her to stay four. But, she’s growing into her own and I want to be supportive. I still cringe every time I hear the word boyfriend. But, I’m growing up too.
What inspires you to write?
This is an interesting question because I’m not quite sure of the answer, not fully anyway. I want to tell interesting stories. I want people to enjoy what they read when they pick up my books. But where the inspiration first comes, inspiration can come from anywhere.
I could get a thought or a concept for a book from something I watch on television, a conversation I had or something I observed at the mall. I never know when something is going to hit and I love having my phone on me rather than years ago when I had to find a piece of paper or a napkin to write down thoughts.
Tell us about your writing process.
When I write, there is no writing process set in stone. Most of the time, I get thoughts and I write them down. If they seem like they belong with other thoughts, I keep them together. As those thoughts grow, they seem like they are beginning to form a story. That’s when I start to outline it and then I work toward discovering what it is all about. It is at this point that I begin to actually write.
But writing a novel in itself is a journey of discovery. The story starts to live and breathe. Then, it takes turns by itself. It’s fun to work through a book and find a better story lying underneath than what you thought you started with in the first place.
One time I wrote a book by knowing how it ended. Then, I worked backward to the beginning. It was actually fairly easy because I was able to add the twists and turns that make a story challenging, all the while knowing how it ended. So while that remained a mystery for the reader, it was the easiest way for me to write it and keep the mystery alive.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I get to know my characters is about the best way to answer that question. I think them through and know how they would act, how they would talk if they were real. I do not think I’ve ever had a conversation with one of my characters though. But, it does sound like something I would do.
What advice would you give other writers?
The best advice I was ever given was to just get started. Don’t worry about making that first sentence the best sentence you’ve ever written. Don’t get all flowery and try to make it poetic or prestigious. Just get started on your story. You’ll be able to get back to the beginning when you get to the end.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
The emergence of Amazon’s extending reach has a few people upset, confused, and frustrated. But, that’s because the publishing system has changed. Some people aren’t welcome to that kind of change. I’ve embraced it!
While I still seek publishing through traditional publishers, I release my books through Amazon. This gives me an advantage in many ways. I get to market a unique version of my book that won’t be available once my book is picked up by a traditional publisher. Plus, I get to show a publisher my numbers which helps them decide. I think the new publishing resources have leveraged the playing field, and that might frustrate some gatekeepers in the industry. But, it works for me!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I see the future actually coming full circle. Centuries ago, writers published their own books through a printer. Then, they placed them locally and were happy. One day, it dawned on someone that they could capitalize by offering services to writers. Publishing companies started publishing books. Agents started representing writers. The industry was born and grew into what we know of it today.
But, publishing resources have been made very reasonable for all writers. The gatekeepers complain that any crap can be published today. But, I’ve complained that crap has been published for years and it passed through the gatekeepers. They want to corner the market and the market shifted. So, the future of publishing is actually just a paradigm shift. Think of publishing on different terms and get ahead of the curve.
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print