You can check out all of the past installments of Sometimes I Get Asked Stuff... here.
Not even close. I accomplished quite a bit, but never as much as I think I will.
Q: Have you ever played Cards Against Humanity?
I have not.
I write to fit the characters first and foremost, no matter their race, creed, background, or sex. I don't start by thinking, "I need to write a strong female character" for example. That's just not how my brain works. I start with finding out who the character is and then build from there.
Q: If you could make any comic, all expenses paid, you call the shots, what genre would it fall under?
Q: When’s Snow Storm coming out?
Soon. I promise. Please, put down the pitchforks.
In all seriousness, Snow Storm is finished (finally!) and off to the publisher where it will go through edits, come back to me, then back to the publisher for formatting for an ebook release. Shameless plug: you can still pick up Snow Falls as an ebook here or here or here to prepare yourself for the oncoming Snow Storm.
Q: How do you decide which stories to do in novel format as opposed to a comic?
Good question. Sadly, it's one I don't think I have a really good answers for, however. A lot of it is based on instinct. When I start thinking up the story, I sometimes see it in one format or the other and that's the one I stick with. There are exceptions, obviously. Samaritan started as a comic script that never went anywhere so I wrote it as a prose short story and sold it. Snow Falls was originally envisioned as a TV project, but since I have no connections inside the TV business, I turned it into a novella. It doesn't often go the other way for me though. I don't take a prose idea and turn it into a comic, for example.
I hope that helps.
Two and a Half Men. Lots of laughs, beautiful women, and booze.
Or, Magnum p.i. That would be fun too. At least until people started shooting at me.
Both of those shows prominently feature a beach.
Q: Who is your favorite CONTEMPORARY author, and why?
Michael Connelly. I really enjoy his novels and have a great time reading them. I know that when I read one of his novels, I’m going to be entertained. I’m excited that Bosch is available on Amazon Prime now. I watched it recently and loved it. Fantastic show.
Q: Of all the scenes and all the books you've ever written, published or not, what scene are you most proud of?
That’s a tough one. A few leap out at me. There’s a scene in the recently released Hollis P.I. anthology where Nate Hollis and Irma Deuce are sitting in a car waiting for a bad guy they want to question to show up. I thought that scene played out really well. The dialogue was flowing that day. If you’d asked a year ago, I would have said when Harold and Franklin Palmer meet for the first time in Evil Ways. I love the scene with them getting reacquainted in the restaurant.
Writing that first novel. I wanted to see if I could actually do it. It was definitely a challenge.
Q: Authors often cross talents with television writers. Have you ever thought about writing a television series? What kind of series would it be?
I would love to write for TV. My ebook series featuring Abraham Snow (book 1: Snow Falls is out now, book 2: Snow Storm is coming soon) was an idea that was
Q: What real life personal experience have you used in your manuscripts?
In Evil Ways, Harold and Franklin Palmer are brothers. I based their personalities off of mine and my brothers, which makes them really come to life for me and I tell some personal stuff in detailing their relationship. Other personal experiences have made it into other stories. It could be something as simple as talking about past jobs or other things I experiences. I love the outdoors and used to hike a lot. You’ll see the outdoors portrayed often in my tales.
Absolutely. I wrote a story for Radio Archives’ Nightbeat: Night Stories anthology/audio book. It started out in my head as a pretty straightforward story. Our heroes old flame is back in town, trying to get away from her mobster husband. It was going along as planned until I started writing the final showdown between our hero, reporter Randy Stone and the mobster. Stone tells the bad guy that he knows that he’s behind everything, but then the mobster says something in the dialogue that made me realize that the bad guy I had planned was not the actual villain of the story. After my “AH HA!” moment, I went back to add in the clues that would make the reveal make sense and was surprised to find that they were already there. I guess my subconscious knew more than I did.
That's a tough one, but for me, Byrne's FF nudges ahead of Simonson's Thor.
Q: What is the inspiration that makes you write with single minded focus? A deadline? Shouting characters? A planned writing schedule? A brand new project?
Deadlines are great motivators. Also, when starting a new project, the first third just pours out of me. Back before I was a professional writer with actual deadlines from publishers, I followed the muse wherever it led. Sometimes this caused amazing things to happen, but more often than not it left unfinished projects in its wake.
I’ve been working on and off on Evil Intent for the last ten years. I wasn’t tired of it, other projects just kept getting in the way. I do have plans to get it released this year for Evil Ways 10th anniversary.
Q: Have you ever changed the name or the description of a main character more than half way through or after writing the whole story?
Not often, but it does happen. In Evil Ways, Franklin Palmer was Ray Palmer through most of the novel until I realized that’s also the name of The Atom (who is
Q: What is your favorite moment as an author from 2014?
WOW. That’s a tough one. The first thing that comes to mind is sitting in a standing room only room with a few hundred people as we all watched “Conspiracy of Innocence”, the Starship Farragut episode I wrote. I got a little emotional when the credits flashed up on the screen with my name just as the Farragut was flying by on screen. It was a magical moment.
This is tough as these are my babies so the answer will change every time I’m asked, but Domino Lady is near the top of that list. She’s a character I’ve returned to more than others so far. Runners up would be Benjamin West from Deadly Games! and Rick Ruby from The Ruby Files. Also, I did write a fan film script where I got to write Captain Kirk so that was a thrill. Watching that one favorite scene of mine is a thrill every time.
Q: Which is the LEAST favorite character you ever wrote?
Ravenwood - Stepson of Mystery and The Avenger. Eventually, I found common ground with both, especially since I'm working on a novel featuring one of them for publication next year. I also felt like my villain in The Big Bad II was not my best villain.
Q: Personally, when I write a book I open Microsoft Word and start typing. However, I'm aware of a lot of technological software products out there that help authors write - Scrivener, Dragon voice writing, MasterWriter, etc. Do you use any of these tools, and if you do, why do you like using them?
Q: When creatively drawn to a different project, do you go with the Muse, or stick to the plan?
It depends on whether or not there's a deadline in front of me and/or a publisher waiting. If yes, I plow forward. If no, follow the muse. Sometimes following the muse can be a good thing, if you can afford the detour.
It depends on how soon the next thing is due. I do a lot of work-for-hire so those deadlines tend to be tight. I have, in the past, finished the polish on a story, emailed it to the editor/publisher, took a deep breath, exhaled, then opened a new file and got to work on the next story.
I used to take a few days off from writing after finishing a story, but those days are behind me.
I just recently finished up Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham. Right now I’m reading Alex Kava’s Breaking Creed and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan is on deck. It’ll be my first time reading the Tarzan novels.
Q: What's the most fun you ever had while writing? Was it writing a sexy scene? A humorous scene? An adventurous scene? Or was it the research you did to create the scene?
Q: Do you write on vacations and holiday breaks? OR do you write through it all? I MEAN REALLY WRITE, sitting down at a computer and pounding away, not just mentally plotting or thinking about writing.
Yes. Today is July 3rd and I'm at the writing desk playing catch up. So much to do, so little free time available these days.
email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll happily add you to the list.
If you’d like to check out my work, you can find my books at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, Smashwords, and more.
For those in the U.S., Happy 4th of July. Stay safe and have fun.