Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m based in the Washington, DC area and am a banking/ corporate attorney by day (but please don’t hold that against me).
I’m a Gemini whose head has always been in the clouds. From a young age, my mother scolded me for not paying attention; when I was bored, I would make up stories in my head. I’ve been writing since I was about thirteen years old.
I’ve been caught air-guitaring in public. I love to laugh, and am the “go-to” person if a friend needs someone to laugh at his lame jokes. In true Gemini fashion, I indulge both my logical personality as an attorney as well as my creative fiction-writing personality. I loved law school and even miss it, which has led my friends to conclude that I am certifiable.
I’m a political junkie who has respect for all views and who admires the political involvement of Americans. Indeed, I love nothing more than a solid political discussion where all views are represented.
An irreverent Gen X’er, I write gritty contemporary romance, with plenty of sarcasm. I’ve self-published two books and will self-publish two more in 2018. In addition to that, I’m working on two other novels, to be released sometime in 2018-19.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book, to be published around March/April 2018, is a contemporary romance titled Thunderstruck, which is set during a fictional political campaign.
I had the idea to write a romance where the protagonists are running against each other in a political campaign. I’ve volunteered in local and statewide campaigns; and it is a fast-paced environment that (I think) works well as the background to a romance.
Also, a story (whether romance or another genre) should have a problem and resolution, and, in this case, in addition to whether the couple gets together (it is a romance, after all), there is the additional question of which one of them will win the political campaign.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I’m not sure if this qualifies as “unusual,” but I constantly take notes on idea for scenes, dialogue, and plot lines. Whenever an idea strikes me, whether I’m at the grocery store or wherever, I take notes on my phone. Later, at home, I add the details into the main outline of my book.
I end up with a lot of material that I don’t use, and I keep that in a separate file, to either use as short stories or in some other way.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Ken Follett is my favorite author, and he’s taught me a lot regarding how to build a story, how to develop characters, and how to structure pacing. His novel Eye of the Needle is my favorite thriller of all time; it features a strong female lead (as do all of his books), excellent pacing, and an interesting story with flawed characters.
What are you working on now?
In addition to Thunderstruck, which I mentioned above, I’m working on a book titled Your Scorpio Child, which is kind of like a parenting handbook that is not without humor. It’s geared particularly for parents of Scorpio children. In addition to being an attorney and author, I’m also intro astrology.
I’m also working on another standalone novel, Chaos Theory, which is a thriller and also a romance. After that, I’ll tackle the last novel in the Law School Heretic series.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Goodreads is an excellent platform that can help an author’s career, and can put an author in touch with readers. Goodreads has helped me in several ways. First, it’s allowed me to get in touch with fellow authors to do cross-promotional work. Unlike a website like Facebook (whose members don’t all read), Goodreads is a site specifically for people who read.
Goodreads works best if you get involved as a reader first, read and review books, participate in group reads and help fellow authors. Don’t just go to Goodreads to promote your books; readers do not like to feel pressured. Think of it as a community where you are constantly learning about reading, writing, and reviewing; and meeting new people.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
You will get bad and mediocre reviews; don’t sweat it. Not every person will like every book. If you pick a classic book that you enjoy, and look at the ratings, it will have some one-star reviews. Don’t feel the need to read every review of your books. If you do read your reviews, let them wash over you and move on to your next project. Do not get into arguments with reviewers. In one or two mediocre reviews I received, the reviewers did include constructive feedback which was helpful.
It’s also a good idea to thank reviewers who leave you good reviews. A simple “thanks for taking the time to review my book” is sufficient.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
A seasoned author and publishing expert told me that authors should write what they are passionate about, and readers will be drawn to that. Authors should not write what they think people want to read. Don’t try to write a book just to sell books. Even big publishers are unable to predict the market and consumer tastes much of the time. Also, always be respectful when discussing your own opinions, e.g. political and otherwise.
What are you reading now?
I just finished He Who Pays the Piper, written by Alex Breck, one of my new favorite indie authors. He writes thrillers, many of which are based in his native Scotland. He has an excellent eye for detail and his characters are seriously flawed but nevertheless sympathetic and engaging.
I’m currently reading Not Perfect: a Novel, by Elizabeth LaBan, about a woman who tries to cope after her husband disappears. It’s a bit chick lit and a bit mystery.
What’s next for you as a writer?
In 2018, I plan to self-publish two more books (mentioned above), then work on two additional novels. I’d also like to get involved in more local events at independent book stores, hopefully with other authors. That will be something I’ll be working on soon.
I’m also writing short stories, including flash fiction, which I’ll be submitting for publication at several different magazines.
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?
I would take Eye of the Needle and Pillars of the Earth, both by Ken Follett. They are two of my favorite novels which I never get tired of reading. I would also take Fahrenheit 451, which is a timeless classic. Indeed, its message still holds true today.