Monday, October 27, 2014


And we’re back for a 28th installment of Sometimes I Get Asked Stuff… I know I’ve said it before, but thank you for the continued questions. I love answering them. Please, keep ‘em coming.

You can check out all of the past installments of Sometimes I Get Asked Stuff... here.

Q: Your Favorite Scarlett Johansson Movie?

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Q: What's your favorite celebrity meeting/encounter?

I’ve met many celebrities working the con circuit so I chose one that was not part of work, even though it happened at a con. On my first visit to San Diego Comic Con, I was looking through comic boxes and accidentally bumped into the guy looking in the box next to me. I turned to say "sorry" to Mark Hamill. This story also allows me a chance to share the video below, which is one of my favorite things ever.

Q: What's makes a good thriller hero?

I like my thriller heroes to have to work toward solving the problem facing him or her in the thriller. I want my hero to struggle a bit with the problem, maybe become a bit overwhelmed at times or they can be a fish out of water in the story. Whatever way it goes, I prefer my thriller heroes not be perfect in every way, but real with all the foibles, good attributes, and bad habits that come with that.

Q: What is your worst writing procrastination habit?

The internet, most notably social media. It’s so easy to get sucked in.

Q: What was the first thing you did after writing “The End” in your last novel?

Opened a new files and started work on the next project. I was on a tight deadline.

Q: What is your favorite genre to read? To write?

For both, it can change with my mood, but I love writing and reading modern day thrillers. They’re a lot of fun. I don’t get to write quite as many of them as I’d like. I also love writing and reading action/adventure tales. I like reading sci fi, but don’t enjoy writing it as much.

Q: Now that notebooks, tablets, and all kinds of mobile writing devices are available, do you write more on the road or outdoors?

I recently started a new day job (hey, it happens) and started using my tablet to write on my lunch hour. I wasn’t sure I would like it, but I quickly warmed to it. I will definitely have to use it more often when writing on the go.

Q: What's you FAVORITE writing snack? You know the one I mean, the one that isn't so healthy and good for you but really makes you a happy writer?

I don’t have any one snack I consistently eat, but I do like potato chips, sweet-n-crunchy peanuts, and grapes.

Q: What is the longest number of consecutive writing hours you ever did? 3? 8? 10? More?

I don’t have an exact number handy, but I do recall a Saturday morning a few years back when I woke early (it was still dark outside) and started writing. Before I knew it, it was dark again and late into the evening. I’d been at the desk all day without even realizing it.

When I was writing full time (I recently returned to the corporate day job life so there's a lot less writing time than there used to be) I spent a good 10 - 12 hours a day working, although with breaks along the way. Can’t do that as much anymore.

Q: How many unfinished manuscripts are laying around? How many of them do you seriously feel can be great books someday?

A few. I expect to finish most of them, but a few have fallen out of favor while sitting idle. You also never know when a piece of an abandoned story worked well in a new story. I never completely abandon anything.

Q: Favorite Rolling Stones song?


Q: What's the best advice you received from another writer?

No one is going to care about your book as much as you do so why do you think they’ll promote it more than you do?

Q: What's the worst or most useless advice you received from another writer?

Don’t suck.

Q: When you're writing, do you compare your work to other writers? Do you read YA when you're writing YA? Read Mystery, Romance, Horror, Fantasy when you're writing those genres? Or do you simply close the door and write?

I try not to compare my writing to others. I used to not read in the same genre I was writing at the moment, but that’s not always possible.

Q: What is the opening line of your work-in-progress?

From Alexandra Holzer’s Ghost Gal: A Haunting We Will Go…
Something bad was coming. She wasn't sure how, but Alexandra Holzer sensed the disturbance before it happened. The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end and her skin prickled as though exposed to a soft electric current, a curious sensation.

Q: When writing the first draft of a novel, do you start at page one and go all the way to the end ... or do you write various scenes, not necessarily in order, then write the bridges?

I generally start and the beginning and write toward the end. Sometimes, if a bit hits me, I might write out of sequence, but it’s rare.

Q: Do you tend to write free standing books ... or do you tend to write series?

A mix of both, although even when writing a series, I prefer each novel to be stand-alone. Then the characters can have another adventure/case/whatever. Sometimes, and this happens to me often, a stand-alone becomes a series because the characters keep talking to me and want another story.

That happened with Sheriff Tom Myers, who appeared in Evil Ways as the lawman of my fiction Sommersville, Georgia. There were no plans to see him again, but when I set part of Deadly Games! in Sommersville, the sheriff just wouldn’t stop whispering in my ear until I put him in the story. Not content with two appearances, he also appears in the upcoming Evil Intent and I’ve come up with a series (yes, a series) of stories focusing on Myers and the Sommersville Sheriff’s Department. All I have to do is find time to write the darn things.

Q: What is the average length of a novel for you? Does it vary by genre?

It varies by genre, publisher, format, and sometimes even the whim of the author.

My original novels (Evil Ways, Deadly Games!, Earthstrike Agenda) are generally around 90,000 - 100,000 words, primarily because when I started writing that’s the average size of a novel. These days, that number has shrunk a bit. When working for publishers on a work-for-hire basis (Fight Card: Barefoot Bones, Domino Lady “Money Shot”, Alexandra Holzer’s Ghost Gal: The Wild Hunt, Snow Falls), the publisher sets the word count.

Q: Have you ever come up with an idea only to see something shockingly similar in a book or movie?

Yes. More than once.

Q: What is your favorite cliffhanger moment from television?

Star Trek: The Next Generation's Best of Both Worlds Part 1 cliffhanger remains one of my favorites.

Q: What is your protagonist doing the first time readers meet him?

In the upcoming Snow Storm, we meet Abraham Snow running for his life as gunmen and dogs chase him. In Snow’s first adventure, Snow Falls, he’s closing in on the suspect he’s been sent undercover to find. Then, things kick off with a bang… literally.

Q: Favorite movie monster?


Q: What do you, as a writer, do while sitting in the auto repair waiting room for hours?

Read. I always take a book with me to anywhere I expect too wait like the repair shop, doctor’s office, dentist, etc.

Q: You have been transported to the location in the last book you read. Where are you?

Los Angeles.

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...

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If you’d like to check out my work, you can find my books at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, Smashwords, and more.

Thanks for listening to me ramble.
Let’s do this again soon.

Happy Reading.


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