What is your writing process like?
Unstructured. I put together the next chapter in my head first before typing it out.
How do you come up with ideas for stories and characters?
My fire rescue career and investigative experience combined with my traveling adventures give me plenty of ideas.
What do the words “writer’s block” mean to you?
Never had it. If I can't come up with an idea for a novel I revert to a collection of short stories I'm working on.
How do you process and deal with negative book reviews?
Haven't had any. The only one close was for my YA historical crime fiction The Rumrunner's Boy. The reader was disappointed it wasn't an adult fiction. Actually, many adults like it. The internet is forever and if you really want to trash a book give it one start. Ensure your editing is perfect before self publishing. You cannot delete any reviews
What is the most challenging part of your writing process?
Editing. It helps having a writers group to provide honest critiques and several Beta readers as a final overall look.
How long have you been writing, or when did you start?
20 years already and 13 novels, most with elements of crime in varying degrees, even in my MG and Tween novels. I started putting thoughts together at my fire station.
What advice would you give writers working on their first book?
Turn off your spell and grammar check. It's too distracting to the creative process. NEVER show your first drafts to anyone. Join a writers group - or start one - for feedback. Your book is not a bestseller until it is. Develop a thick skin.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
I let the creative process take over from a vague idea and a 2D character. I'm not big on a back story. I plow ahead with thye plot.
How many books have you written, and which is your favorite?
13 and working on 14. I enjoyed writing my YA/All ages crime writer finalist story The RUMRUNNER'S BOY. I did research on it and added historical references circa 1928 during U.S. Prohibition. That year saw the first car radio and x-rays. A museum in Port Dover, Ontario had some great items on the super fast smuggling boats and evading the U.S. Coast Guard. My grandfather was a rumrunner smuggling liquor from Canada to the U.S. across Lake Erie.
What part of the book did you have the hardest time writing?
The start to every chapter. I like to establish the scene and characters like a stage play when the curtain at a play rises.
What inspired the idea for your book?
My 32 year career as a fire rescue captain, with some investigative experience. Also, a visit to my hometown where I ran into some insane and weird acquaintances who had changed very little.
What was your hardest scene to write, and why?
Romantic scenes are always tough. Gerry's old flame has him in a tizzy and I didn't want to venture into soft porn so I was very cautious.
What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?
If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?
When was the last time you Googled yourself and what did you find?
My name and books had spread farther and wider than I never could have could imagined. The internet is forever shadowing me.