Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a formerly young, vital, active, intelligent male who wandered from the mainstream and found the backwaters more interesting. Poe had his Gold Bug. I was bitten by the genealogy bug early on, in my twenties. It caused me to haunt research libraries whose usual traffic consisted of two-legged relics close in age to the tomes they sought. I was a curiosity among them. The months of genealogical and historical research turned into years which turned into decades. Collected data seems to spawn a life of its own, and the subject characters of my research began taking form in my head. The story of Longshot grew from that experience. My debut novel is Longshot In Missouri. So much for fiction. By the way, I DID say FORMERLY. You read that, right? The Formerly?
I also have published one non-fiction book to date, a self help manual for those wanting to buy a handgun, but know nothing about it. It is concise, short, being only forty some odd pages. It is creatively titled “The Beginner’s Guide to Your First Handgun.” People seem to like it. I know I do – I’ve read it twice already and I may keep on going. Then again, I may not.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Inspiration for Longshot In Missouri is mostly rooted in the real lives of people who lived during the US Civil War years and whose lives were revealed to me from my own historical and genealogical research, The series’ hero, Rob Finn (Longshot) is an exaggerated reflection of my own great-great grandfather, a man who actually lived in Darien and Delavan, Wisconsin, enlisted in the Union Army when he was 42 years old, and returned a changed man. He really was from Ireland, really was a farmer, had children, became a widower and suffered through numerous of the tales in the books.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Hmmmm. How would I know? The question implies there’s a chance that all don’t write at odd hours in man cave offices in basements. Or that not everyone is a disorganized Oscar Madison type who hoards his 40 years of research notes in piles. But I would not know. Those things seem pretty usual to me.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
All of them that I’ve read so far. Sorry. I found that amusing. You probably don’t. It also happens to be true. EEEK! How awkward! Oh hell. Now what?
What are you working on now?
The next book in the Longshot series titled Longshot Into the West (which is nearly done), and a successor to it. Also a soft Sci-fi novel and a growing up in the ’60s coming-of-age series. Maybe that second thing is what you call YA?
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I suck at this and so, happily, am trying to work with a personal assistant who understands and excels at social media. I hope to sell more books so I can pay her more and afford more of her time to do this part of the process. Did I mention that my light does not seem to shine in the morass of social media?
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Seek professional help – it may not be too late for you to avoid this self-torture. Seek professional help anyway.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Don’t read the question above this one or the answer to it.
What are you reading now?
Aside from my email from Monica Haynes (my assistant), I’m reading 1929 by ML Gardner.
What’s next for you as a writer?
More of the same. Write. Publish. Sleep. Read. Repeat. Perhaps increase the sleep parts.
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?
What?! No naked native girls?! What kind of books are you suggesting? Do boxed sets count as one book? Which desert island. Gilligan’s? Dubai? Will there be margaritas? Mojitos? I can’t possibly answer this one without more information. Sorry.