What inspired you to write your first book?
The story of Victor McCain came to me in a vision. No. Wait. That’s not right. In truth I have always wondered what I would have done if I had been Johnny in the song,”The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by Charlie Daniels, and had a face-to-face meeting with the Devil. This novel allows me to find out.
How did you come up with the title?
The characters came up with the title. In writing the book, the title evolved naturally.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The message is that we are all faced with choices in our lives; some of them small, some of them life changing. We often don’t spend a lot of time thinking about those choices. What would you chose to do if your soul was on the line?
How much of the book is realistic?
I’m trying to keep it as realistic as possible throughout the book. While the book is a supernatural thriller, there are aspects that are based in science and actual locations. I’m currently researching several aspects that are important to the plot.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Many of the characters in the book are based on people I’ve known or things I’ve experienced, as far as how the characters in The Hand of God react to situations. But neither I, nor my friends, have had a face to face with the Devil. Or if they have, they aren’t telling!
What books have most influenced your life most?
Every book I read has an influence on me in one fashion or another, but If I had to pick out several it would be The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle and Ten Little Indians by Agatha Christie. As a young boy, these books introduced me to other places and people and my imagination took off with every page.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I have two: Jim Butcher and Nelson DeMille. I don’t think anyone paces his or her book as well as Jim Butcher. The Dresden novels always leave you wanting to turn the next page. Nelson DeMille’s John Corey character is the kind of character I would love to write.
What book are you reading now?
I’m currently reading The Alienist by Caleb Carr.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
While he is not exactly new to the public, Craig Johnson is new to me, and I love his Walt Longmire mysteries.
What are your current projects?
I am currently working on finishing my first novel, The Hand of God, coming in November 2012, from Otherworld Publications (yes, a shameless plug). Once finished, I’ll complete my second novel, Jericho, which will introduce private detective Rudy Jericho to the world.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Dewey Hensley, my former college English professor and writing mentor. I would never have had my first story published if he had not insisted I mail it out in order to receive my final grade. He saw the writer I could be, and made sure he arrived on the scene.
Do you see writing as a career?
I would love to do nothing but write full time. With any luck, I can convince enough of you to buy my books to make that happen!
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I remember reading Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening in 6th grade and thinking,”I can do this.” Of course, I couldn’t write poetry as well as Frost. But the idea that I could be a writer was born.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The Hand of God is about one man’s journey to discover himself when presented with situations he never dreamed could happen.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Writing takes time and with running my own company I struggle with blocking out enough time to write, but I’m committed to doing so and now make sure I have time to write every day.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Nelson Demille is my favorite current author, although I could have chosen anyone of a dozen. I love the mix of a great plot with characters that have a real personality. Everyone of his books is a great read.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet, but as the series continues, I look forward to traveling to faraway lands (I hope my publisher is reading this for future reference. A book set in Australia would be a great idea for a second book.)
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
So far, writing the book has been a relatively easy thing, as Vic and the other characters are fighting to get out of my head and onto the page.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write every day, seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year. And find other writers to network with as you learn the craft. Having people to bounce ideas around with and let you know when you’re full of crap is a wonderful thing.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Yes, buy my book. And tell all your friends to buy my book. Or, buy 10 copies and give them out as gifts. Just saying.
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
The main challenge for me is the logistics of writing. At one point, I made excuses as to why I didn’t have time to write. I’ve learned to make excuses to others so that I do find time to write.
What genre do you consider your book(s)?
I write supernatural thrillers as well as mystery novels.
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
I haven’t yet, as I have a lot of characters in my head with something to say. If I hit a wall, I’ll ask them to help out!
Do you write an outline before every book you write?
While I do have a general idea of how I want my work to go, I just write and see where I end up. Sometimes this means putting the car in reverse, but I have yet to need a GPS device.
Have you ever hated something you wrote?
Yes, but that’s what the delete key is for, to remove such foul things from my word processor.
What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?
The one I’m currently writing, the supernatural thriller.