Updated: Feb 11, 2020
Q: How did you become a writer?
A: It was a long process becoming a writer. Prior to writing my first novel, I wrote short stories and published a monthly newsletter. When my daughter bought me a copy of PURSUIT OF HONOR by Vince Flynn, I was immediately hooked on both the genre and Vince Flynn as an author.
After reading PURSUIT OF HONOR, I wrote three chapters of my first book, OUTSOURCED. Work commitments caused me to put my writing aside, but just over a year later, I returned to the manuscript and committed to finishing it. Prior to completion, I was at a writer’s conference where an acquiring editor from Kensington Publishing critiqued the first three chapters. She encouraged me to finish the manuscript and approximately nine months later I finished the first draft.
Q: Where do you get your book ideas?
A: As the saying goes, “Art imitates life.” Many of the topics I write about are based on real life events. My background gives me a unique perspective on world events, one I attempt to translate to the page in a way readers can connect with.
Q: How much of your work is autobiographical?
A: Some, but certainly not all. Jonathon Steele, the main character in OUTSOURCED is a former police officer and SWAT team member. Jack Warner, the main character in SUBJECT 27 is a police detective. Many traits of those characters are based on my career in law enforcement. Much of the writing that deals with interrogation, firearms, and tactics comes from first-hand knowledge and experience. The weapons I write about are ones I am familiar with. Like most fiction writers, I combine purely made up events with true-to-life facts.
Q: Is it hard to become a published writer?
A: It is hard. There is so much competition if the goal is traditional publishing, which is the route I’m pursuing. It’s difficult to get your work noticed by an agent or editor. It can be frustrating at times, too. This business is so subjective. The worst part is when you get conflicting opinions about your work from professionals in the publishing industry. But, if it were easy, everyone would do it.
Q: Which authors do you read?
A: In the thriller genre, I particularly admire the work of Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, and Daniel Silva. A publisher’s dream reader, I have read all their books. Other writers who have captured my attention are Michael Connelly, Linda Castillo, David Baldacci, and Hank Phillippi Ryan. An author I have recently discovered is Megan Miranda. There are others I read, but these are at the top of my list.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a writer?
A: Write! Write something every day. It’s so easy to get sidetracked from your writing goals. Thinking about writing and planning to write don’t count. That’s not putting words on the page. Commit to your writing goals and reserve a protected time every day for your writing. Write something every day, even if it’s only one paragraph.
Q: What comes next?
A: First, acquiring literary representation with an agent who is just as passionate about my work as I am. Second, completing the first draft for the follow up to SUBJECT 27. The second installment of the Jack Warner series has Warner investigating another kidnapping only to discover he is the true intended victim.