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... here
Q: What program do you write your first drafts in? Why?
I use Microsoft WORD. It’s an older version. It’s what I have so it’s what I use.
Q: You're in line at the grocery store and the answer to your writing conundrum leaps into your head in vivid color and detail. Will it make it to your manuscript? How do you capture ideas when you are away from the keyboard?
I’m very fortunate that I can generally remember these things later, or at least until I’m back in the car where I can jot it down on my phone and email it to myself.
Q: What is your stance on adverbs?
Sometimes they are needed, other times not so much. I play it by ear and if I go overboard, hopefully, the editor will rein me in.
Q: Writers: if you've created a private eye, tough guy/gal or spy, why not tell us a little about your characters?
I have a character named Abraham Snow who will headline a series of ebook novellas (paperback collection to follow later). Snow is a former undercover operative. After nearly dying in the field, he "retires" but finds life a bit boring so he takes on assorted gigs and helps people.
In the first story, SNOW FALLS
, Snow interrupts an assassination attempt and gets involved in tracking down the hired killer and the client who hired her.
You can learn more about Snow Falls at Bookxy here
Also, check out the amazing cover art by Dennis Calero.
Snow Falls is now available at Amazon
, Amazon UK
, and Amazon Canada
Sean Taylor and I created a pulpy p.i. character named Rick Ruby, who headlines his own anthology title for Airship 27 called The Ruby Files. Vol. 1 was nominated for several pulp awards in 2013, even managed to snag a couple, including best new pulp character. Vol. 2 is slated to come out sometime this year.
About The Ruby Files
GANGSTERS & GUNMOLLS
It was the 1930s and America was locked in the grip of the Great Depression. Gangsters controlled the major cities while outlaws roamed the rural back country. It
|Bobby and Sean|
was a time of Speak Easy gin-joints, Tommy-guns, fast cars and even faster dames. This is the world of New York based Private Investigator Rick Ruby, a world he is all too familiar with. From the back alleys of Gotham to the gold laden boulevards of Hollywood, Ruby is the shamus with a nose for trouble and an insatiable appetite for justice. So if you’ve got a taste for hot lead and knuckle sandwiches, tug your cuffs, adjust your fedora and light up a Lucky, a brand new pulp detective is coming your way.
Created by pulp masters, Bobby Nash and Sean Taylor, Rick Ruby echoes the tales of Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe while offering up his own brand of two-fisted action. Joined by fellow pulp smiths Andrew Salmon and William Patrick Maynard, these modern scribes of purple prose present a quartet of tales to delight any true lover of private eye fiction. Covers by Mark Wheatley. Vol. 1 interior illustrations by Rob Moran. Vol. 2 interior illustrations by Nik Poliwko.
You can learn more about Rick Ruby and The Ruby Files here
Q: What is your newest writing project? The one you can't wait to start, or the one you just began recently? What's new in your writing world?
I’m currently scripting a graphic novel adaptation of Edgar Rice
Burroughs’ novel “At The Earth’s Core” for Sequential Pulp
/Dark Horse Comics
, going over editor notes on the Ghost Gal novel for Raven's Head Press
, and making notes on two other projects on deck and ready to go. There never seems to be a shortage of work.
Q: Are you a fan of nonfiction books that help improve your writing, editing, or author marketing skills? Which book is your favorite?
Not really a fan. Nothing against the books themselves. Just not the type of stuff I like to read on a regular basis, but I’ve read a few. Stephen King’s On Writing
and J. Michael Strazynski’s The Complete Book of Scriptwriting
are a couple I have enjoyed.
Q: When an unplanned new character arrives on the page of your current work in progress, do you point to the door and demand it leave? Give it a chapter or two to see what it wants? Or sit perfectly still and make no sudden movements
for fear of what it plans?
I usually write the character and watch to see if he or she really fits. If so, then the character stays. If not, well, there’s the door. Ha! Ha! On one of the novels I’ve been working on around other deadlines, I started a new chapter and needed to get away from my main characters for a bit to break up the pace. I started writing a chapter that introduced not one, but two new characters. It was a great scene and one of the characters tied in beautifully, but at the end of it, I wasn’t sure about the other. Was he a one off or was he more important to the story? It was two chapters later when I realized his connection to one of the main characters and it all clicked into place as though it had been planned from the beginning.
I love it when that happens.
Q: What is the appeal of writing the Green Hornet and Kato?
I like the characters. They're fun. That was the foremost reason to do it for me.
Another aspect is that these characters come with a pre-existing fanbase, which means getting my work in front of potential new readers that might
like my story there and follow over to my other work.
A bonus to all of that was that working on existing popular characters like The Green Hornet and Kato brought with it press. I did a number of interviews as a result of working on the two GH books I provided stories for, which helped promote my other work.
Of the three volumes Moonstone published, I have stories in two of the Green Hornet
anthologies-- Green Hornet Casefiles
and Green Hornet Still At Large
Q: If a big time mainstream publisher called, would you answer?
Sure. I'd listen and if it felt right, I'd certainly give it a go.
Granted, I am not only self-publishing, and I do very little of that because I don’t enjoy doing the production side of things.
Q: Do you have a writing buddy? Where did you find him/her?
Not really. I do have friends who are writers and sometimes I bounce questions or problems off of them.
Q: Sometime we wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Sometime we're upset with something in our lives ... but we still write. Emotion and creativity come are often two sides of the same coin. Do your moods show up in your manuscript? Does your usually sweet main character suddenly become a harpy or a bully when you're feeling off?
I try to keep it separate, but it’s not always easy. Mood can be a very powerful motivator. Today was one of those days. The biggest impact it had on my writing was keeping me away from it. I don't write well when I'm irritable.
Q: What's your number, that number of book sales that means success to you?
I don’t have a specific number in mind. Sales are obviously important, but how I measure success is not solely based on sales.
Q: At this moment, what is your favorite thing about being a writer?
I like telling stories. Being a writer allows me to do that. I love 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 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.
You can find my books at Amazon
, Barnes and Noble
, and more.