Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I write about the universal ideals of love, loss, regret, and death—and the emotions associated with those ideals. I’ve written eight novels. My work has been hailed as “Gritty, entertaining… real. Romance for the non-romantic.”
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My last novel is A World Without Music. I was inspired by the title, which came to me first: imagining a world devoid of music. Also, My dad served in the South Pacific during World War II. With the number of vets coming home suffering PTSD I wanted to write something that our young men and women in the Armed Forces might find inspirational.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I find my muse in a good cup of coffee or glass of bourbon (depending on the time of day) and a cigar.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
My favorite author in my youth was Samuel R. Delaney, a truly gifted writer of science fiction, and later, Gene Wolfe. I’ve read a lot Joseph Conrad’s work, truly one of the giants of the early 20th century and for whom I as named.
What are you working on now?
Working title: The Girl Who Loved Cigars.
The premise: It’s said that those who experience a life-threatening event see their whole life flash before their eyes.
What if a fetus, at the moment they feel their limbs about to be torn asunder in abortion, see their whole unlived life flash before their eyes?
Young Marla is haunted by nightmares of being in the womb, terrified by the prospect of having her whole life—everything she’ll ever have and everything she ever will be—taken from her.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’ll let you know when I come across it.
Seriously, I was told to become successful I needed a website, so I got one. Then I was told I needed to blog, so I started blogging. I recently read both are a waste of time because all writers do that and have websites. I’m looking for the coming thing; but if I knew what that might be it would already be here.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don’t be so quick to self-publish. Learn from your rejection letters, and revise and polish, and revise and polish.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“To excel the past we must not allow ourselves to lose contact with it; on the contrary, we must feel it under our feet because we raised ourselves upon it.” —José Ortega y Gasset
What are you reading now?
No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy: The Life of General James Mattis.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Complete my current work in progress and get it published.
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?
How to Build Wooden Boats: With 16 Small-Boat Designs, the complete works of H.G. Wells, the complete works of Edgar Allan Poe, the complete works of Joseph Conrad.