Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m a blogger by nature – I’ve been operating Hooks and Harmony (http://hooksandharmony.com) for about seven years now. It’s a site dedicated to Beatles-type pop music and 80s music.
The Death and Life of Mal Evans is my first novel.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The Death and Life of Mal Evans originally started as a non-fiction book – trying to create the ultimate Beatles fantasy album made up of songs that the Beatles released as solo works. I felt as if there was a story behind these albums that I created, though, and I used Mal Evans, a long-time assistant for the Beatles who never got recognized for all his accomplishments, as the protagonist and narrator.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I love to write in Starbucks. Writing at home has too many distractions; somehow I can tune out the white noise and busy atmosphere at Starbucks and get a lot of writing done there. Most of my book was written there.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Nick Hornby and Dave Eggers’ succcinct, conversational style and humor have always drawn me in. At the same time, Frank Conroy can paint a picture with such clarity and give his characters such life that it’s spooky. If I could have a writing style that meshed the three of them together, I’d be happy.
What are you working on now?
I’m marketing my book night and day. After that I’ll pay some attention to my neglected blog.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Friends and word of mouth so far. It’s hard to get noticed nationally with a self-published book; I think we’re all still looking for that secret sauce. But locally, it’s a lot easier with book in hand to sell to people.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write. Write more. A mentor once told me, “If you don’t write, you’re not a writer.”
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.” – Stephen King
What are you reading now?
Duel for the Crown: Affirmed, Alydar, and Racing’s Greatest Rivalry (I’m a big fan of horse racing).
What’s next for you as a writer?
I really don’t know. I have a few ideas floating around in my head, but I’m content right now to just keep blogging.
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?
1. A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson
2. High Fidelity – Nick Hornby
3. Carter Beats the Devil – Glen David Gold
4. Body & Soul – Frank Conroy