When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I started my first novel when I was ten. It was a sci-fi time-travel-western. I wrote about forty handwritten pages before other childhood interest pulled me away. As a junior in high school, I wrote an organized crime novel with a love interest exactly like a girl I was dating at the time. After high school I fell in love with being cop and didn’t write again for another twenty years. Although, according to my fellow uniformed compatriots, most of my police reports were works of short fiction.
What inspired you to write your novel?
I was working a surveillance out in Lucerne Valley, flat desolate desert. We were watching a meth lab. When not on point, the chase cars could to do what they wanted, as long as we were immediately available to the radio in case the suspect went mobile. Some detectives watched portable TVs in their cars, some played softball and others just hung out. I always kept five or six books in my backseat for these types of investigations. I came down to my last novel and started to read it. It didn’t hold my attention. I thought: “I can do better!” So with a yellow pad and pencil I penned my first four novels, and found it much more difficult that I’d thought.
How did you use your life experience or professional background to enrich your story?
I write mostly crime stories and I employ actual events and characters, good and bad, to populate my work.
Are any characters based on people you know?
Yes, but not one individual. Usually they are an amalgamation of several colorful folks who I had the pleasure or displeasure to meet.
What writers have inspired you?
I happened into intensive reading at a young age. My earliest memory of novels are of Treasure Island, The Hobbit, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, The Bronze Bow and many others.
Later on as an adult I continued to read sometimes staying up all night with Lonesome Dove, Shogun, Papillion, The Thorn Birds and other epic novels.
And still later I got into crime novels by:
Ross MacDonald, John D. MacDonald, James Lee Burke, John Sanford
Just to name a few. I still read widely in this genre usually three to four novels a week.
What is the writing process like for you?
I’m retired now but when I was working I always got up at four in the morning and wrote until seven when I left for work. Now I get up and first thing I write a minimum of a thousand words a day and don’t quit until I do.
What is the best piece of advice about writing that you’ve ever received?
Mark Clement a great writer and mentor told me early on the most important thing to have as a writer is perseverance. And that is so true. I have had several agents and have completed many manuscripts several of which were shopped to as stand still in New York, before The Disposables was picked up by Oceanview.
What is the worst piece of advice about writing that you’ve ever received?
I can not think of any single piece of bad advice I have ever received. And that might just be a product of my cup being half full.
What’s next for you? Any new books in the pipeline?
I am always working on a manuscript. I have many already completed just looking for a home.
Any final words you would like to say about yourself, your novel, or life in general?
Couldn’t have done it without my wife, Mary.