I am a retired Lieutenant Colonel and aviator. I have also worked at Dell, Inc. as a Production Manager and Logistics Manager, for Petroleum Helicopters, Inc, as a pilot in the Gulf of Mexico, and as a probation officer supervisor in Jefferson County, Texas. My wife and I live in Dripping Springs where I spend my time writing and working at my church.
What inspires you to write?
The primary catalyst that inspires me to write is that i see something happening or suspect something must have occurred that causes me to become agitated by the outcome of the event. It can be with a person or a nation, or an aspect of a certain policy. I may not be able to affect the outcome in reality but I can sure make a difference on paper.
Tell us about your writing process.
THE TERRORIST MIND is my second published novel and on both of the works, I already knew the ending scene and part of the dialogue for the scene in my mind. I then make a list of my main characters and add a history for them. This also helps to keep their names and spelling correct as I build the plot plus it allows you to determine how they will act throughout the novel. Then I design ways to beat up, murder, maim, and generally harass the characters throughout the plot and to accomplish this I try to maintain a plot outline just so I don’t get lost in the process. I try to keep my events real enough that a mortal person can succeed without almost supernatural powers and my locales as real, with the smells, the items you can touch, and the food you can taste as I can make them without just adding useless words. Hopefully the reader will be lost in the complete domain of the novel.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t talk to my characters but I do listen to them. Once you give the characters the background and the personality traits you want them to display, they start to walk across the pages on their own legs and the farther along the novel is, the less you have control over their outcome, unless of course the transformation of the character is paramount to the plot. One little quirk that I have is that I have my characters sound like some different actors and actresses that I have seen in films and television. It just seems to help with building of the character to me.
What advice would you give other writers?
This is a personal one but I think it applies to most new writers, me included. Don’t get caught up in the world of the writer, such as only reading writer’s blogs, following every writer who made that first big selling book, to the extent that you stop writing. Stop talking and write!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
First of all, I fully and freely admit that the traditional publishing road is the one most of us want to travel. I also understand that unless an agent reads a query letter and can see a manuscript that is 99.8% sure to be worthwhile for a brick and mortar publishing house, they are afraid to invest their time in it. I have a harder time with the query letter than with the novel. So with all that being said and even agree upon, why should I waste my limited time on hunting an agent and then waiting months while the agent hunts a publisher? If I was still in my thirty-somethings, I might do it. I’m sixity-five years old and not that far away from senility so time is of the essence. While I would like to have the marketing backing of a publishing house, my ego can’t be the driver in this so I self-published. But if you go this route, don’t skimp on the editing and cover art. You want to be proud of your product.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I used to think I would always love the feel of a book in my hands. I still enjoy looking at some of my long-time favorites that are on my shelves. But I bought an e-reader two months ago and now I think it is the best thing since sliced bread. Unless I want to get a book autographed by one of my favorite authors, or want a desk-reference type of book, I will go with the digital format. All that being said, a great many of the older reading public will only read a traditional book, so the sales are still there, but I think the e-book will eventually overtake the printed books.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Spy thrillers with the political overtones.
What formats are your books in?