Monday, November 12, 2018


And we're back for the 46th installment of Sometimes I Get Asked Stuff… WOW. 46 of these things. Who woulda thunk it? You can check out all of the past installments of Sometimes I Get Asked Stuff... hereIt's been quite a while since the last time I did one of these so let's dive right in, shall we?

Q: What inspired you to write your first story/novel?

There was this urge to tell the story and I wanted to see if I could do it.

Q: Why do so many writers care about the small and irrelevant things, [ex] Page count , and font to name a few? Quality not quantity. Writing is a way to express your views, to open and build worlds. If you want a short story to have 2 pages, great! If you want the same story to have 50 pages , awesome! But it shouldn't matter how long it is, how many words it contains. It should be the quality of immersion of the world. Word choices don't truly matter , nor does even word correctness , ( Think of Shakespere , who invented words and slang ), just write. Worry about the small things after you are happy.

I can't speak for all writers, but I work for publishers. Those publishers set the word count based on pages and cost to the reader. If I want to write for publishers, then I have to tell the story within their guidelines.If writing is your hobby and you are doing it for fun, then by all means, do whatever you want. If your goal is to be published and your books distributed for sale, there are guidelines that you have to adhere to if you want to make that goal a reality.

Q: Are you interested in creating characters that reflect your political beliefs? Should you create characters that reflect your political beliefs?

I try to avoid politics because it never ends well. Politics makes even the nicest of people turn into raging assholes, no matter which end of the political spectrum they fall.

That said, I write thrillers, sometimes political thrillers, and when writing about politicians, politics will be discussed. My job is to be as honest as possible. I'm not here to preach or push an agenda. I'm here to entertain.

Q: What's the most recent line of dialogue in your work-in-progress?

“If they will not walk the true path, if they cannot, or will not, embrace the destiny laid out before them, if they cannot see the truth, then they… will die.” (from Hunter Houston: Horror Hunter Book 1).

Q: Other than your protagonist, who is your favorite character in your work-in-progress?

Archer Snow. He's the grandfather of my main character in my SNOW series and has quickly become a fan-favorite.

Q: Do you edit as you go? Why or why not?

Yes. I read over the previous writing session’s work before getting started. I usually give it a clean up before diving into the day’s new writing. I also get ideas for things as I’ve going and sometimes go back and add in details where they need to go. It all depends on how the words are speaking to me.

Q: What’s the movie you can quote the most lines from?

JAWS, Star Wars, Tombstone, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Die Hard, probably dozens more.

Q: Who is your favorite Looney Tunes character?

Yosemite Sam.

Q: What's your "Go To Movie"? That one movie you'll watch above all others given the choice.

JAWS, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Tombstone, and The Replacements.

Q: What movie or TV death his you the hardest?

Spock in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. It was heartbreaking.

Q: Do you think a book can be so well written that it markets itself? I need your opinion on this, please.

No. All books need marketing. All authors need to promote.

Q: How do you feel once you finish writing a book? Relieved and happy? Or let down and sad?

Relieved, accomplished, and tired.
Party hard, writers!

Q: Is it just me or is it a writer's thing? When I read someone else's book, the typos, inconsistencies and grammar mistakes jump at me like fleas on a hot plate. But when I read my books, the hundredth times, I still miss some. It's like those pesky little weasels are deliberately hiding from me!

When you read a novel for fun, you don’t know the story so your brain immediately pounces on the mistakes because they stand out. When reading your own work, you know the story and subconsciously fix the mistakes as you read it. It happens a lot.

It is very cold where books are sold.
Q: How do you react to a book unit sale? To me it is an event. Do you have a ritual celebration of each book sale? For me it was playing the closing credits of Kill Billl2.

I’ve not seen Kill Bill 2 so I don’t get the reference, but I appreciate each book sold. I don’t throw a party for each sale, but I’m thrilled whenever I see one go to a good home.

Q: What's the biggest thought that goes through your head just days before your newest book is released?

Did I do enough pre-promotion? I wish it would hurry up and get here! Shouldn’t you be writing?

Q: What is the most challenging thing in creating a comic book?

As a writer, I would say finding and keeping an artist. Even when you're paying them, it takes a lot of work keeping them on deadline based on experiences I've had.

Q: Where did the idea for your current work in progress come from? Overhearing a conversation? The news? A shocking "what if" out of nowhere?

My ideas generally pop into my head from that magical wherever they come from. I'm sure there were things that my subconscious picked up on around me, but when the idea hits, it just hits. I wish I could explain it.

Q: Indie creators. Had a morning thought. When crafting your story, are you using real world figures. Is the President in your book, the current President of the United States? Or are those type of figures fictional?

I created a fictional president for one story where he was a main character so I continue to use him. President William James Montgomery appears in the story, Freelancer: The Traveler Sanction. He was originally created for a novel called Blood Shot, which has since been re-titled and is being released as a serialized novel Suicide Bomb on my Patreon page. The character will also get a small mention in Evil Intent and I have plans for him to appear in a new story, both coming 2019.

Q: Do you prefer having a publisher or do you self-publish your books?

I prefer the best of both worlds. I like being a hybrid author. I can do my self-published work and still do assignments for publishers. It’s a balance that works for me.

Q: What inspires you most every spring?

Deadlines. They seem to follow me throughout all 4 seasons... not that we actually have all 4 seasons here in Georgia. We usually skip spring and fall. and go straight from winter to summer. Seriously, I turn off the heat and turn on the AC the same day.

Q: Have you ever thought it was the end of the work in progress, but discovered that it was oh, so not THE END?

Yes. Sometimes, those pesky characters have just one more surprise for you. The twist at the end of Deadly Games! came straight out of the character. It was not something I had planned from the beginning, but I listened to the character and got one more chapter than planned and a better ending.

outside office
Q: Do you always start writing your book at the beginning? Or do you sometime start at the end, or with an event someplace in the middle, then build the story around it?

I generally start at the beginning because that works for me. The opening chapters generally flow pretty well for me so it makes sense to start there and see where the characters take me.

Q: Have you ever been discouraged to discover that someone either is, or has, written a story very similar to the book you're working on?

It happens. If I discover it while I'm writing it, I may make a few changes. If I find out after the book is out, I chalk it up to coincidence and move on.

Q: Do i need a degree in order to be taken seriously as an author ?

Absolutely not.

Q: Who do you trust? Who do you go to for plot snag ideas? Character names? Marketing advice? Cover design comments? Who's opinion do you trust most?

I have a small group of friends who are creative, writers, artists, and publishing professionals. I bounce ideas off them from time to time. We have a nice little support system between us.

Q: What is the coolest, most valuable thing you ever learned from another author?

Learn to market your work because no one cares as much about your book and/or characters as you do so what makes you think they'll be able to talk it up better than you?

Q: Are you a early morning writer? Or are you a late night writer?

It varies these days. I used to write at night and through to dawn, but those days are long past. I miss those days. I usually do a small amount of writing during the day, but also do admin, interviews, assorted writing-related work. At night, I try to knock out a couple thousand words or so.

Q: Do you write articles for magazines, and/or short stories for publication, in addition to full novel writing? What is your trick to time and deadline management?
I used to write articles, but it has been a while. I do work on the occasional short story around my novel work.

Q: When you're not writing, are you a lover of television programs and films? Are the shows and movies you watch in the same genre as you write? AND ... do any of these shows or films come from BOOKS?

I watch way too much TV. Some of the shows I enjoy are from books. Game of Thrones is excellent. I binge-watched the first 7 seasons in December and January. As a comic book fan, I enjoy the CW DCU shows as well as Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Marvel's Netflix shows. Daredevil season 3 was excellent. Elementary is based on Sherlock Holmes books. The recently cancelled Hap and Leonard is also based on novels.

Q: When you write with an ink pen, do you have a favorite pen? And ... be honest ... can you actually READ your handwriting?

About the only thing I write with a pen is a shopping list or if I have to scribble down a plot idea on a notepad. My handwriting is not very neat.

Q: Where do you find your inspiration for world building?

I usually start by looking at the world around me. Even if you're writing an alien world, if you start with real world ideas you can add the sci fi trappings onto them, but they will still resonate with your readers who subconsciously recognize the foundation of your world building.

Q: How many characters have you created over your years of writing? Enough for a football team? A small city? Enough to populate a whole planet?

I could probably populate a small city by now.

Q: When creating characters, do the names, or the personalities reveal themselves to you first?

It varies. Sometimes I start with a name, but as I get to know the character, the name changes as a result. The SNOW books are a great example of that. Abraham Snow was like the fifth name I tried before it stuck.

Q: If you have a plan, how much writing are you planning for the remainder of 2018? One book? Several books? A variety of writing projects? Tons of research and plotting?
Yes. There is always a plan and that plan is always in flux as deadlines shift, etc. Lots on my plate for the remainder of 2018 and I'm behind schedule again. I fall back on the Leonard Snart (TV's The Flash's Captain Cold) rules of planning: "Make the plan. Execute the plan. Expect the plan to go off the rails. Throw away the plan."

Q: What about writing makes you HAPPY? Even JOYOUS? The beginning, the end, the inspiration, the aftermath? What brings you the most pleasure when you write?

I love and get a big thrill out of the creative process. It makes me happy.

Q: Competitions and awards ... Do you submit your books for competitions and awards? What have you won?

I don't usually submit my own work. I have been fortunate enough to have some of my work nominated for awards and honored to have won a few as well. It is a great thrill to be nominated by your peers and/or your fans, depending on the type of award. It's humbling to realize that someone took the time to read and then nominate your work.

Q: How much research do you put in to the big scenes ... the battle scenes? The travel and/or unique location scenes? The discovery scenes? The character background revelation scenes?

It varies. I do whatever I feel I need to in any given situation. Sometimes, I admit it, I just make stuff up.

Q: On a Friday, what drink or cocktail would your main character (and YOU) have to celebrate a productive week? I want a MOJITO!

Abraham Snow likes to relax with a beer, but I think he would probably enjoy a Mojito as well. I don't drink so I generally wind down with either a glass of tea or a Mt. Dew.

Q: What is your favorite scene that you have written? Or one of them if there are too many to choose from.

I wrote a scene in EVIL WAYS where brother Harold and Franklin Palmer meet up at a diner after not having seen one another in a few years. It's one of my favorite character interactions in the novel and it's pure brotherly love/annoyance.

Q: Are you BIG on locations? Does environment act as character in your writing?

Yes. Location is important.

Q: Which is better An extrovert, who is a writer or introvert who is also a writer

I'm not sure one is better or worse than the other. They are simply different types of writers.

Q: What do you do when you are tired of continuing a book which you are writing

You have three options. You can quit. you can work on something else and then come back to it, or you keep writing the book until it is finished and your deadline has been met.

Q: Are you a start to finish kind of writer? Work non-stop on one project until it's finished? Or do you jump around from project to project, shifting focus?

Part of that depends on deadlines. If they are tight, I work one project from beginning to end. If not, I have been known to juggle a couple of open works in progress at the same time.

Q: What's the first thing you ever wrote and felt really proud of?

I wrote a couple of short pieces in high school and college I was Evil Ways holds a special place as it is the first prose work I was able to sell to a publisher so I am very proud of it. It is probably the most "me" of anything I've written to date.
really proud of at the time. There have been a few comic scripts that really just felt like I had captured lightning in a bottle. Sadly, the three that come to mind never progressed as the artist on each flaked out on me and didn't finish the pages,

Q: What's you favorite place to relax ... away from writing ... and recharge your creative juices?

Oh, to live in a small shack on a beach for a year (as long as I have wi-fi and air conditioning). I love the beach. The sound of the crashing ocean waves is so relaxing. Sadly, it's been 8 or 9 years since my last beach visit. I am a bit overdue.

Q: Since writing and editing require activity from different parts of our brains, do you have a separate place, apart from where you write, to do your editing?

Not really. Ideally, when I'm able, I like to print it out and do an edit pass on paper at a restaurant, park, library, the porch, etc, but that is not always feasible.

Q: Where is your favorite place to be creative? The shower? The porch? Out on a walk? What place gives you the air to breath and let the creative ideas flow!

My best ideas hit me just as I start to slide off into sleep or int he shower, or driving, basically anywhere I can't immediately write them down.

Q: What's you favorite place to talk about writing with other writers? Critique groups? Conferences? Writer group meetings? GoodReads? Twitter? Facebook?

In person is always great. I have writer friends I can talk the ins and outs, ups and downs of writing with because we have similar understandings. I also enjoy meeting other creators at conventions and conferences, groups, and on-line.

Q: Does background music help you write a scene? Get you in the mood? Or irritate and interrupt your flow of ideas?

It can help. Sometimes certain songs get tied to certain scenes, locales, or characters. Hearing that song puts me back in their mindset.

Q: What's the strangest place, situation, or time when a fantastic book idea came to you?

Nothing strange comes to mind. I do remember being at a convention once. My table was next to the up escalator. The escalator broke and sent the plates flying out of it. The repair team came by and climbed into the bowels of the escalator to correct the problem. Curious, I watched and my first thought was, "Hey! There's enough room in there to hide a body!" That went into my murder scenario file. I will use it one day.

"Manage"? HA! HA! HA!
Q: How do you manage your Twitter, Facebook, and writing time to be most productive?

Not as well as I'd like. I spend more time on social media than I should, which keeps me from writing. I am working on improving my time management skills.

Q: How deeply do you get caught up in the emotions of your characters? Enough to cry with them? Be angry for them? Laugh with them? Do you sometime need to stop and recognize that the emotion isn't yours, but the character's?

I generally don't get that caught up, but I feel for my characters.

Q: Do you, or have you considered, doing audio books? Tell us about your experience in creating an audio book, or researching the idea.

I have and I am now. I have written for audio and I have read for audio. I did not enjoy reading the audio, but I did it once. Many of my short stories/anthology pieces have been adapted to audio. I am working on a plan now to get the novels in that format as well.

Cue the Mission: Impossible theme...
Q: I'd love to hear why you chose to self publish. Perhaps you're published several different ways, please share how and why.

I am a hybrid author so I do some self-publishing. I started doing it to get my then out of print novel back into print. Later, I had ideas that were a harder sell to publishers so I did them myself. I enjoy self-publishing a little bit. Not a fan of the production side of it though. Still, it has it's positive attributes.

Q: Have you ever taken a big detour from writing to explore other avenues for your creativity. AND ... When you came back, was writing different for you?

Sure. I am also an artist and part-time actor and background performer. I take the occasional break from writing to draw or act, which helps me feel energized when I get back to writing.

Q: Sure. I am also an artist and part-time actor and background
performer. I take the occasional break from writing to draw or act, which helps me feel energized when I get back to writing.


Q: Thinking back to when you first started writing, are you pleased now with how you've progressed? Or do you wish you'd done something differently? Followed trends? Genres? Maybe been more rogue with your approach to writing?

I think I took some missteps along the way. I am pleased with my progression in the fact that I have come a long way from where I was as little as 10 years ago. On the other hand, I feel like I haven't progressed enough. I'm not exactly thrilled with where I am at the moment, but I keep working at it to move the needle forward on my writing career.

Q: As a reader what matters more, length of book or content? As a writer, what concern you more amongst the two?

Content is king for me as a reader, but I am not a fan of these 500 page tomes nor do I like novels that end with "to be continued..." in them. I like a series, but each book should have some conclusion.

As a writer, I write to the same thinking. I'm there to tell a good story.

Q: Why do you write?

Because I'm a writer and that's what writers do. That and procrastinate. We do that a lot too.

Q: What is the basis so that you can call yourself a 'writer'?

If you write, you're a writer, published or not. If published, you'll be an author or a professional writer.

Q: If you write a book and it’s terrible are you a writer?


Q: Is there a difference between writing a movie and a novel ..

You mean other than the format and descriptive paragraphs?

Q: Does your writing routine change during the summer?

Not really. Living in Georgia, Summer means less time writing outdoors as the heat and humidity can be a bit much.

Q: What does your antagonist want most?

In Snow Trapped, my latest release, the antagonist wants to win. He's a thief, but the thrill of the job and pulling off the plan is often more important to him than the money. He doesn't like to lose.

Q: What's the best TV cop drama ever? Best detective drama?

Best TV cop is a tough one to narrow down. I have my favorites, of course.

Justified, Longmire, The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo (really), Nash Bridges, The Shield, Columbo, Castle, Miami Vice, Bosch, and more. At the moment, my top cop show is Bosch. Justified is tough to beat too.

Best detective is a big list too, but I know my favorite. Magnum p.i. is my favorite p.i. Honorable mention goes to The Rockford Files, Matt Houston, Remington Steele, Moonlighting, and Veronica Mars.

Q: How do you come up with the names of your characters in your novel? I’m genuinely curious.

I just pull them out of the sky, I guess. Or store them int he back of my head. Then, I do a Google search to make sure they aren't tied to some other property. I made that mistake once. I'm more careful nowadays.

Q: How do you celebrate completing a writing project?

I used to take a few days off and enjoy something fun. Not so much these days. I may take a day, but there are so many other "adulting" things that need to be done that I just move on to the next project. I am overdue a celebration. I should do something about that when my next book comes out.

And I think that is a good place to stop for 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.

If you’d like to check out my work, you can find my books at AmazonBarnes and NobleGoodreadsSmashwordsBooks-A-Million, BEN
BooksPatreon, and more. If you've read something I wrote and have an opinion on it, please take a moment and leave a review. They can be as simple as "I liked it" or "A good read" but they help a lot.

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

Happy reading!


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