In my early twenties, I spent time bouncing around the globe carrying a guitar, that I didn’t know how to play, and a notebook full of constipated gibberish. As my twenties came to a close, I was still doing the same thing, but I had worked Greece, Amsterdam, Israel, Mexico and counted shipping out on the ‘Laker’ that didn’t follow the ‘ Edmund Fitzergerald’ of Gordon Lightfoot fame to the bottom. I settled into a great career teaching ESL on Montreal, met the love of my life in my classroom and raised two beautiful know-it-all kids.
Anyway, life is great and all the while my career gravitated toward Internet-ready teaching modules. Wow! Someone wanted to pay me to be creative. Working on the Internet stuff got the juices boiling again and I pulled out all those tombs of introspective tales from my twenties and thirties. Low and behold, some of the writing was okay. It needed polish, and it slowly got readable.
Twenty-five years on and I made a discovery! By the way in my life, it seems to take twenty-five years to accomplish changes. I discovered fiction instead of rehashing my life over and over again. Eureka! Writing a thriller set me free. When I wasn’t writing about myself, it was fun and a real pleasure-at least until I had to listen to beta readers and editors.
I’m about to retire and I’m on a roll!
What inspires you to write?
Conspiracy theories have always been deep in my psyche. Maybe it was the mushrooms in secondary school or Black Sabbath at 78! We really believed we saw things. What I am getting at is that life is the best teacher. My stories shine with spots of my past that have their emotional baggage. Like an actor digging deep to an old experience to help let those tears roll, I cast back into my past and let that energy intensity my character’s experiences.
Also, I dream of creating something like John Irving’s ‘The World According to Garp’ or Leon Uris’ ‘Battle Cry’. At twelve years old, I read Uris’ lines: “This is my rifle. This is my gun. This is for fighting and this is for fun.” and my first real book lent to me by my older sister opened up a door to reading pleasure that has never diminished.
Tell us about your writing process.
When I try to write outlines I get bored and frustrated. This has pros and cons. The con: I have to do a heck of a lot more editing than someone who can outline. The pro: I am free to dance through my prose without constraints. Character sketching blossoms from looking for unique names on the Internet. What would a person named Kefira look like? What would she wear? Even more important…What does her skin smell like when she is aroused?
Writing is like teaching for me. When I felt bored in front of my class, I knew my students must have felt multiples of that boredom. Time to energize the process. As I said before, writing pure fiction liberated me. Last, but not least, the first audience. My wife holds no punches. She listens compassionately with a rubber mallet behind her back. When the prose don’t flow, she lets me know, unconditionally.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
The words bounce around in my head until I can’t hold ’em in anymore. Usually during the night, I have an irresistible urge (that is not a problem with my prostate!) to write. From four to six am I can produce my daily requirement of 2000 words. That is on a good day. Most days, I have to type 4 or 5 hours to get 5 pages of final copy.
I am not aware of interacting with my characters. It is more like the characters using me as a mouthpiece. At the end of a 5-hour session, I am exhausted and usually go for a long walk with my wife in the forest.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write 2000 words a day. It doesn’t matter what you write. Don’t think you have to write your book every day. The writing thing is like a muscle. If you don’t use it, you lose it! There’s another one of those andropausal references.
Oh Yeah! Don’t forget to dance and laugh. Tango is our greatest passion.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I always wanted to publish a book. Last year I bought myself an e-reader. When I realized that thousands of people were publishing on Amazon, I was ecstatic. What I didn’t understand was that there is a reason that big publishers take 2 years to get a book to market. Ahhhh! Editing and marketing are a nightmare.
Now I am over the initial buzz and plunging headfirst into marketing and re-editing my work.
Thanks to some really smart people taking the time to critique my book, I am growing as a writer and getting ready to launch a paper version. Will it sell? Who knows, but I will know I gave it my all. That is what is important. Paying the rent would be nice too!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
There is a dirth of mediocrity out there in Indie publishing land. I have tyo believe my work falls in the top 25 percent. That being said, I think Indie publishing is in for a shakeout. The reality of the leveled playing field created by Amazon presented unprecedented opportunities for new writers. In my opinion Jeff Bezos had a vision that rejuvenated book publishing. Now the market is going to be the arbitor.
I am learning more and more about marketing and I intend to be here to publish again.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Political intrigue, espionage thriller
What formats are your books in?
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