Friday, February 1, 2013

What's your routine regarding writing? Anyplace special you go to write?

I write everything in my home office. Nice computer set up, everything on Microsoft Word. What may be unique is that I write everything in the morning. Early morning. Typically between 4:00am and 7:00am. Those are my peak times where I’m the most creative and can get totally absorbed in the story.

That’s writing.

Now editing is a different story. To edit, I’ll wait a few days to let what I wrote settle. Then I’ll print it out maybe 10 pages at a time and I’ll read it out loud. I’ll use accents in the right places for the various characters. This helps get the dialogue more natural and really helps to polish the writing.

A lot of times it looks fine on the printed page, particularly to the author. But when you hear it, you can tell it’s off. Anyone else reading it would detect an unnatural flow. It would bug them. You miss it as the writer. But you pick it up when you hear it.

Writing’s the easy part in a way. It’s the hour upon hour upon hour of editing that takes more time – but is so necessary to have a nice finished work.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Who most influenced your writing, and who most influenced your reading?

I had a close friend in high school who influenced my reading. We both read a lot of sci-fi back then. Isaac Asimov was huge. Some Robert Heinlein. Stranger in a Strange Land – who could forget that?

Then somebody turned me onto Stephen King. He had a new novel out called The Stand. Wow – that book rocked my world. I was in my late teens and a friend of my mothers handed me the book and said it was interesting. I remember thinking – this book is about 800 pages and some woman in her forties thinks it’s interesting. I don’t think so.

But I started reading it because I had nothing else to do one night. No TV, no ipods, no internet. This was the dark ages of the late 70’s. Well, we had TV but not in my room.

I finished the novel in maybe 3 days.

So Stephen King has been very influential to my writing. And Thomas Harris. I think Cheslov is a cross between Randall Flag in The Stand and Hannibal.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

If you could change anything in today's world what would it be and why?

I’d change our political system, the one we have here in the US. It’s terribly broken. Some people say our country is the next Greece. Well, Greece can not possibly fix their financial problems without getting bailed out by another country, notably Germany.

But the US – we could fix all of our deficit problems, go from deficits of 9-10% of GDP to only 2% of GDP (that would put us at the bottom of the list of industrialized countries in that ratio). All by ourselves. The Bowles – Simpson bi-partisan deficit reduction recommendations would do it.

But our political system has devolved to the point where this country is paralyzed.

I think it’s a result of the non-stop scrutiny of 24 hour news channels. People tend to posture non-stop. Meanwhile, nothing gets accomplished.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Do you feel a deep connection to any of the characters in "inSyte"? If so who and why?

Hmmmm. Deep connection? Can’t say that I do.

Each of my characters is a work of fiction. Are there life experiences that worked their way into my novel? Most definitely.

At it’s core, inSyte is a character driven novel. Each character’s motivations are always clear so the plot is easy to follow without being predictable. I also strive for nicely understated humor to break up the intensity.

You always know who’s head you’re in, ie the point of view in any chapter is quickly apparent. The perceptions of the characters are different for the same circumstances, which adds depth.

And I have a lot of dialogue. Dialogue speeds up pacing and is an important element in making a book read quickly. Dialogue also helps to illustrate the characters.

My characters are multi-dimensional and interesting. Even the smaller characters are well-drawn.

My novel is a thriller and there’s plenty of action and tension. I paid a lot of attention to the dialogue to add tension by inter-cutting, avoiding having people speak in complete paragraphs and even sentences. Showing the impatience, projecting a more natural flow.

More than just dialogue, there are a number of physical conflicts. Otherwise known as fight scenes. The various fight scenes have been described by reviewers as horrifying and terrific. This is not a novel about fighting, by any stretch, but there is physical conflict. Great fun.

Anyway, back to the connection – no, I don’t feel a connection. They are all made up.

But my favorite is Cheslov. He was the most fun to write.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Do you feel your writing style differs from any other authors? Why or how?

Of course my writing style differs from many writers. Just as you can look at the top commercial novels of any decade and see differences in the writing styles.

It may be better to illustrate who my writing is similar to. Kirkus Reviews described my writing as equal parts Crichton, Clancy and King.

I could not ask for a better comparison ;). Pretty high company.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Will books become extinct?

Just a matter of time before books become obsolete. But not extinct.

Continuing from my answer above, there’s just no need for paper books. Oh sure, there will always be collectibles. It will always be fashionable and tasteful for homes to have books.

But in a decade or two, when broadband is truly ubiquitous and the computers and ipads and cell phones we use today are the size of a blood cell and you have access to every novel ever written for your virtual reading pleasure – well it becomes easy for one to imagine that physical books are obsolete.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Which do you think will gain the most profit e-books or print?

ebooks, definitely. They already have the most profit per item. Eventually they’ll overtake print books on total volume.

My mother is 80 years old and reads two or three paperbacks each week. I asked her recently if she would like to read ebooks. She could save a lot of money and I showed her how nice they look on an iPad.

Her response? No interest whatsoever. Of course she wasn’t raised on computers and displays the way people below the age of about 35 were.