Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have written two to date.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Boy. I would have to actually list two books, because two came out at the same time. “The Art of the Detox” is a book I just recently published, a self-help book of sorts. It has information in it that is useful for everyone on how to master detox–but it’s especially beneficial for those of us suffering from Lyme disease, a nasty tick-borne illness that has become an epidemic here in the United States of America and abroad. Anyway, the book is a rather humorous account of all the herbs I have taken, the bevy of methods I used to detox and feel better with Lyme. I bring it down to a science in “The Art of the Detox.”
My other book, published at the same time is “Hard Time.” Hard Time is a crime novel. It’s about this mobster Tommy Roma, who does most of his life beyond bars for a crime he didn’t commit, taking the blame for his boss, Mr. Spirochete. Roma is unleashed upon 21st century America and he has a bit difficulty assimilating, to put it lightly. The book is, in part, loosely based off to short stories I sold to The Saturday Evening Post and Mystery Weekly Magazine.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I like to write on typewriters, believe it or not. I love the loud, strong sound it makes whenever I’m typing on one. It feels like work, you know? Whereas, typing on a computer doesn’t feel like work. Typing on a typewriter you get a feeling of how it must have felt for the masters–like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, J.D. Salinger/whoever. Many people look at me like I have two heads whenever I tell them I prefer to type on a typewriter. For one thing, it’s a lot of work to type something and then re-typing it on your computer and then the revisions. But not me. I’m a typing fool. I was born to type. It is very cathartic for me–and I get a sense of what the greats must have felt.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I’m really inspired by Mario Puzo: “Fools Die,” “The Godfather,” “The Last Don.” I really like Henry Miller. Not really for the obscenities. I just love his long, fat stream-of-consciousness paragraphs. The man had such an exuberance for life. You could see it, you could feel it just reading those wonderful interrupted tangents of madness he had. Similarly, I was also majorly influenced by Ernest Hemingway and his stream-of-consciousness style. He would just let the character go in his thoughts, his beliefs. It’s like he turned on a faucet and let his characters’ souls pour into us better than any other author could do, past or present.
I also greatly, greatly admire the work of Cormac McCarthy. The novel “No Country For Old Men” left an indelible impression on me. Hunter S. Thompson inspired me a lot, too. I mean, he broke all the rules of journalism, of objectivity, made himself the subject, making the story revolve around him. That took guts. You have to respect that; that and his keen and hilarious political insights.
What are you working on now?
I don’t want to give a lot a way but it’s a novella, of sorts. It has a lot to do with what’s going on today, politically speaking. It’s a very, very humorous book. But I hope it will be insightful, too.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m still testing the waters with book promotions and so forth. I’ve been strictly a short story and article writer these past ten years or so…. I’ve learned and written about The Art of the Detox. Now, I guess, I gotta learn the art of promotion! When I used to blog for The Huffington Post, it was just so wonderful. They’d just promote everything for me. Nearly everything I wrote. I’d see sometimes 800 people commenting on my articles on Facebook, 500 people sharing them. It was unreal!
Now, however, I have to be the promoter with self-publishing. In a way, I wish it weren’t so. In another way, I’m very happy it is so. Self-publishing might have a certain stigma attached to it via certain snobbish circles, but I don’t look at it that way at all. You have total freedom to be the author you were born and meant to be with self-publishing. Let that sink in. That’s fantastic. Nothing to be ashamed of. I spent over a decade of my life having to appeal to editors–desperately vying for their affections with my short stories. And although I had many successes, I had many many rejections too. With self-publishing, I get to be the boss. I don’t have to compromise my work. True, I gotta learn The Art of he Promotion. But so what? That can be my next book.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Sure. WRITE. Subscribe to Duotrope. Look for magazines–online and print–accepting the type of stories you write. Submit, submit, submit. And don’t let rejections get you down. That comes with the territory of being a writer. And don’t stop here, either. Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper. Make your voices heard about anything and everything. Leave reviews. Write reviews for your doctor. If you love him/her say so. If you don’t, say so, explain. If you thought you were stiffed at the local Walmart, Target/wherever because you didn’t get a refund, write to the corporate offices. Writing is so powerful a tool.
Also read as many writers as possible. The more diverse voices you read, the more unique your own writing voice becomes.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”–Mark Twain.
What are you reading now?
“Robin,” a wonderful biography on the late Robin Williams by New York Times contributor David Itzkoff’.
What’s next for you as a writer?
More books. More articles. More short stories.
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?
“For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “The Tropic of Cancer,” “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
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