Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I recently finished my first book, and am still finding my way in the world of publishing. I have been a professional musician for most of my life, and continue to do that.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My book is called, “Man & Horse: The Long Ride Across America”. It’s a memoir that describes a journey I took with my young horse, Gizmo, back in 1974. We traveled from coast to coast across the United States, seven months and forty four hundred miles. It was a different world back then, and the America we witnessed no longer exists.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Well, I’m probably first and foremost a songwriter, so I look at writing with an eye for a few things: tight editing, staying focused, and allowing the reader (or listener) to place themself in the story or song, to imagine that it’s about them. And of course, I want it to be entertaining.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
There are so many that I can’t possibly list even a fraction of them. I read around a hundred book a year, and have for most of my life. I’m big on science fiction, but read everything from Louis L’Amour to Richard Feynman, from Margaret Atwood to Neil Gaiman. I like smart writers, people who can make words flow and create imagery in my mind.
What are you working on now?
I produce records for artists these days, so I’m in the middle of 3 projects right now; a folk rock project, a country record, and a classical album. I’m also starting a new novel, a fictional tale of lost treasure, hippies, bandits, and bounty hunters, that takes place in the 1960s down along the Texas -Mexico border. Oh, and there’s aliens, too.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Mine’s on Amazon, so I reckon that’s been the best outlet so far. I have a blog and a Facebook page, along with Twitter, Google Plus, and various social network things, as well.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Well, since I AM a new author, I would never pretend to know what’s best. In fact, can you give me any tips?
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
When working with horses, never wrap a lead rope around your hand. When driving a big truck, never wrap your thumbs around the steering wheel.
What are you reading now?
I generally read two or three books at the same time. Right now I’m reading “The Master Switch”, by Tim Wu, “Pickers & Poets”, edited by Craig Hillis, and I’m revisiting Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Mars Trilogy”, since I had just finished his book, “New York 2140”.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’m working on a few song ideas, which is an ongoing pursuit. I have a doctorate in music and work at a university, so I do a lot of research. As such, I end up writing a lot of academic papers. Reading them is boring, but researching and writing them is always interesting.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Hmmm, let’s see….. “The Way Things Work”, a good star atlas, like “Burnham’s Celestial Handbook”, and since I can’t cook, maybe a cookbook with recipes for wild plants and critters.