Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I went to film school and thought about being a director. I loved directing and making films but I found that it was very hard to get the movie out the way you wanted it. Too many hands and egos always got in the way of the muse. Ultimately, I ended up at a word processor writing scripts. The work was more fun and the food was much better. after twenty-five years of this nonsense, I decided to write novels instead. I have two books self published on Amazon and another on that’s under development.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is “The Beethoven Incident”. I have always had a love for great music and time travel stories, this book gave me the chance to work with both. I tend to sit on my stories for a long time, this one had been clanking in my noggin since 1991.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Same as above. I don’t plan my books, they usually just come to me in a big gush all at once and just pick up momentum in my head until I finally sit down and start writing. The process can take years in my head, but the writing generally comes out in quick spurts, usually just weeks or days sometimes. When I sit down to write, the book I already done and it’s just typing.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I know this sounds like a cop-out, but just about every book I’ve ever read. I am very impressionable to such an extent that I tend to fall in love with whatever I’m reading at the time. When I’m reading Tolkien, he’s the best. When I’m reading Joyce, he’s the greatest, etc. I guess that is why my books have no particular common style. Each one has its own way of speaking.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on a new novel called “Spooks”. It involves a story set in the near future when a person can buy themselves more time after death from a company called “Phoenix Corporation”. For the price of a funeral, you can trade in your moral remains for 6 extra months among the living. Of course, this is a popular idea until something goes wrong. Like all books by me, it does.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I am still working on that. I have tried coordinated free promotions with other sites with only marginal results, so far, my best results have been with free Amazon Promotion and a combination of Facebook and Twitter, I find I can actually tweet and generate sales just by tweeting: TWEET=sell TWEET=sell, etc. My books started out slowly, but I am doubling my sales every month as my reader base grows, I am finally selling books to people because my name is on them. That takes work.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Be tenacious! This walks hand-in-hand with being realistic. Every good writer has had many doors slammed in their faces before they got something good to happen to them. Some of the greatest books and stories ever written or filmed were rejected by just about everybody before somebody gave it a try. This business was designed to break your heart and it will if you let it. Believe in your work and above all: believe in yourself. If you have talent there is always someone out there who will try to make you pay for it. Don’t expect to publish a bestseller right out of the box. You have to work hard to get to that.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Walt Disney would have people come to him ideas and he would say: “That excellent! Now, take it back and see if you can make it absolutely delightful!” When I was studying screenwriting we were told be heartlessly critical of our work. I can remember people running out of the groups in tears. But he was right, you have to be your own severest critic if you want to reach the next level in your writing. Always ask yourself, “Why would anybody want to read this?” and be honest with yourself. That’s how you get five-star reviews
What are you reading now?
I have a long list. At the moment I am Reading Sara Alexi’s newest one, “The Gypsy’s Dream” but there is a very long list, including a re-read of Gibbon in preparation for a sequel to “The Galley”.
What’s next for you as a writer?
What a question! I keep plugging away at my published works to increase sales, sooner or later I think they may click into big enough sales to leave them awhile and spend more time writing. I’ve got enough material for another twenty books already If I can just get more time to work on my writing.
What is your favorite book of all time?
That’s a tough one. It depends on what I am looking for. If I want to read about human beings almost anything by Shakespeare or Dostoyevsky is good. If I want science fiction, it’s toss-up between Bradbury or Ellison. But the one that owns my heart would have to be “The Lord of the Rings”, Tolkien’s prose reads like music.