Monday, November 11, 2013


My apologies for the delay in getting this one posted. Things have been rather hectic here at Nash Central (hey, I kinda like that) with deadlines stacking up so... without further ado, on with the questions.

Doctor's orders.
One of the perks of being a writer is getting to meet some of the most interesting people. Whether it is at conventions, store signings, through the Earth Station One podcast, writer’s groups, on social media, and sometimes just from people I run into on when I venture out of the cave I call my office, and they have questions. Sometimes they are about writing or what I’m working on. Other times they’re out of left field. I thought it would be interesting to share some of them along with a few answers. Regardless of where they come from, here’s a few of the latest.

Check out past installments of Sometimes I Get Asked Stuff... Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, Part 4 here, Part 5 here, Part 6 here, Part 7 here, Part 8 here, Part 9 here, and Part 10 here.

Everyone's an editor.
Q: What is the most helpful piece of writing advice you ever received?

I’ve received a lot of advice in this area over the years on how to write, what to write, when to write, who to write for, and on and on and on… Probably the best advice came when I was just getting started from a writer who told me that no one would care about my book as much as I would and therefore no one would be as big an advocate for promoting my book than me. Turns out, she was right.

Q: How much of you is in your books?

A lot. Every character has a little bit of me in them. Some, more than others, of course, but I like to have something I can identify in each character and I often write little odds and ends from my life into their story. It could be anything from a place they worked to something the character experienced.

Q: What's your favorite Bat-Family book that's not Batman?

Nightwing. Kyle Higgins is telling some fantastic stories with this character.

Q: Who is your biggest fan? Husband or wife? Family member? Lover? Pet? Teacher? Student? Total Stranger?

I really can’t say. I know I have fans because I do receive fan mail and people come up to me and ask about the books. Not sure who the biggest might be though.

Q: How do writers do a "cover reveal"? Post on FB, blog about it? Have a contest?

The correct answer is “whatever works best for you and your book.” I usually tease a blank cover or simple cover design until I'm ready to reveal the full cover. I do the reveal on my website and then post links to the site on social media. That's worked for me so far, I think.

Q: What's genres do you write?

It varies. I've written thrillers, pulp, adventure, detective, horror, sci fi, fantasy, super hero, media tie-ins, and even a western.
Smile you sonnuva...

Q: What are your top 5 movies?

2. Raiders of the Lost Ark
3. Tombstone
4. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Sir! He's dead already!
5. Star Wars (A New Hope)

The order may change, but these 5 seem to stay near the top of my list.

Rounding out my top 10 are Thor, Empire Strikes Back, Iron Man, The Avengers, and The Thing. At least today. Ask me tomorrow and you might get a different answer.

Q: What’s your favorite Forest Whitaker movie?

He has a small, but memorable role in one of my favorite movies, The Color of Money where he hustles Paul Newman's Fast Eddie in a pool hall.

Q: Have you ever written anything under a pseudonym?

I've never used a pseudonym, but I did come up with a couple of pen names should I ever need them. So far that hasn't been an issue. None of the publishers I work with have had an issue with me using my own name. I have written a few things where I was not credited. This happened after the fact because I believe in credit where it’s due and don’t take on writing assignments where I won’t get credit. I like to be able to talk about projects I’ve worked on and promote them. That’s hard to do when our name isn’t on it.

Q: Which is more difficult for you ... starting or finishing a book?

Finishing. Really, it's the middle that really slows me down the most.

Q: How does your protagonist like to spend his days off?

In Evil Ways, Harold Palmer likes to spend his days off from the FBI with his wife, Beverly, and daughter, Lucy.

In Deadly Games!, John Bartlett spends his days off doing anything and everything
he can to forget the things he deals with on a daily basis. He also drinks a little too much.

Q: When choosing to work on an old, unpublished manuscript in hopes of finding a publisher or self-publishing, do you revise, revise, revise ... or do you simply re-write from beginning to end?

I usually revise, revise, revise, and revise some more until it’s ready.

Q: Do you stress when technology interferes with your daily routine?

Technology is a wonderful thing… except when it doesn’t work.
Sure. Like everyone else, I don't like it when technology decides not to work the way it should.

Q: Hardback, Paperback or E-Book? not what you are published in, what you like to read a book in?

I’ve read books in all three of these formats. My personal favorite is hardback, but all are certainly viable and I’m sure I’ll continue to read books in each format.

Q: Give me your thoughts on 1st person versus third-person subjective (Deep POV).

I personally prefer 3rd Person Narration myself. I’m much more comfortable with it, plus I like to write stories with multiple characters going off in multiple directions so this allows me to move back and forth in the action without having to have one character there for all of it.

That said, I do play with 1st Person POV every now and again. For some stories, I find it works better than others.

Q: What's the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to your protagonist?

In Evil Ways, Harold Palmer journeys to Sommersville, GA to visit his brother, Franklin. Harold calls him “Ray” because it is his middle name. No one else knew that and suddenly, everyone takes great delight in calling Franklin “Ray” because he doesn’t like it.

Q: "Your protagonist is the kind of person who..."

Evil Ways’ Harold Palmer is the kind of person who takes too many chances.

Q: What writing trend makes you want to quit writing all together?

None. Sure, there are trends I don’t like, but there are those who do like them so I say let them have them. The nature of trends is that they will eventually pass and another will take its place. When that happens, I will still be writing what I like to write, regardless of the latest “hot” trend.

Q: What excuse to you use most often to rationalize procrastinating on your writing? 

Interruptions and distractions. I get them all the time and I’ve not learned how to ignore them. This is definitely an are where I need improvement.

Q: What was your introduction to New Pulp?

Being invited by Ron Fortier to be part of the writing team on Lance Star: Sky Ranger.

Q: I LOVE stories of great character development! Which of your characters went through the most challenging changes during a single book or series?

In Deadly Games!, John Bartlett went through the biggest change, I think. This is a man who was all but broken when the story begins. He was living his life by going through the motions. By the end, he’s starting to put things together. Will he be able to keep it together is something I’ll explore next year in the Deadly Deals! Novel. Tease.

Q: What’s the best ESO podcast to go back and listen to?  What’s one of the more memorable ones you can think of?

Good question. I think the last few we've done have been pretty good.
Earth Station One Episode 186 – I Ain’t ‘Fraid of No Ghosts
Earth Station Boo 2 – Electric BOO-galoo
Earth Station One Episode 185 – The Films of John Carpenter
Earth Station One Episode 184 - ESO Delves into The X-Files

I also really enjoyed these topics:
Earth Station One Episode 182 – Our Number’s Up! ESO Reviews Person of Interest
Earth Station One Ep 171 – When Monsters Attack – The Pacific Rim Movie Review

I think the best thing to do is find one with a main topic you like and try that one.

You can find a full list of ESO episodes here.
Visit the ESO Network page here and Facebook group here.

Q: I've got a novel I'm working on now. I've always gone through publishers, but I think I'm ready to go indie. How would you recommend that I go about this? If I go through Amazon for e-book downloads and through Lulu for physical copies, is that a good plan?

That is a good option. Personally, I would use Amazon for both paperback and ebook for simplicity and price. Amazon owns
CreateSpace, which is a similar set up to Lulu, but the base price for the books are so much cheaper that you can sell them at prices that are competitive. Once you upload the print version, it will ask if you want to make a Kindle version. Click yes and you're off. Createspace has a step by step process you can follow.

Amazon has the KDP plan if you want your books only sold through them. If you want other places, you can upload ebook versions to Nook and/or Smashwords. Smashwords offers a free ebook download of a book on formatting your ebooks, which I highly recommend. It will help you out a lot.

Createspace doesn't do hardcovers. Lulu does. If you want a hardcover option, Lulu is a good option.

Q: Do you manage to write (even on days when you feel that you don't want to)? Share your tips for perseverance.

Yes. It’s harder on those days when you don’t feel like writing, but you have to do it, especially when you have deadlines. Deadlines are great motivators, especially when they’re close. Part of being a professional
writer means that I have to just suck it up and do the work.

Q: Are you participating in NaNo and what are you planning on writing?

No. Nothing against NaNoWriMo. It is just not something I participate in, mainly because I write all year long. Setting aside one month to write doesn't make sense from that perspective.

Q: As a writer, do you love or hate NaNoWriMo?

I don't really love it or hate it. As I mentioned above, I don't participate in NaNoWriMo because I write all year so setting aside a single month to write isn't really much of a difference for me. If NaNoWriMo works for some writers, then that's great. I don’t have anything against the idea. It's just not something that works for me.

Q: What was the biggest unplanned plot twist a work in progress ever presented to you?

Nightbeat audio CD cover
In my story for the Nightbeat: Night Stories collection for Radio Archives, reporter Randy Stone reconnects with an old flame who is trying to leave her mobster husband. When I started writing the story, I knew exactly who the villain was and wrote with that in mind. As I near the climax of the story, one character’s dialogue made me realize that the villain was not who I had originally planned it to be. I re-read the story so I could plant clues and set up this reveal and was surprised to find they were already there. I guess I was subconsciously planting these seeds. The twist made the story so much better than it would have been before. I love it when stuff like that happens and the characters determine the story.

Nightbeat ebook cover
Shameless self promotion time. Nightbeat: Night Stories is still available as an audio CD, audio download, and ebook. Also for Kindle and Nook.

Q: What was the inspiration for your current work in progress? What turned your head and made you want to build an entire book around it?

My current project was an assignment from a publisher so agreeing to work within the parameters of the series bible, I came up with a story hook that I liked and went from there. Once I had the hook and the character in place, I started moving the story forward from there.

Q: What was the last mean thing you did to your protagonist?

I let my protagonist get shot. Not going to say which one because I don’t want to spoil it.

And I think that is a good place to finish this round of Sometimes I Get Asked Stuff… Do you have any questions you’d like me to answer? Post them here as a comment or send them along to and I’ll answer them in a future installment of Sometimes I Get Asked Stuff...

Also, please sign up for my mailing list. Drop me an email at and I'll happily add you to the list.



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