1. Give us a brief synopsis of your latest work.
The Recluse Storyteller is about a recluse named Margaret, who watchers the happenings of her neighbors and then tells stories about them to herself. Unbeknownst to her neighbors, her stories hold deep secrets which could and do eventually alter the lives of everyone who unexpectedly comes into contact with Margaret.
2. What got you into writing?
I’ve always dabbled in writing, even as a kid. I remember writing song lyrics especially. I went to college, not knowing what to major in, and eventually majored in English. I didn’t let my poor SAT scores stop me. In college, I especially enjoyed writing poetry. And then I just stopped writing for nearly twenty years, frustrated that I couldn’t write any coherent sentence. That all changed seven years ago when I came to my new teaching position. I wrote a play with my students for us to perform. From that point on, I was hooked. Now I’ve written 11 plays and 3 novels with a 4th in the works.
3. What genres do you like to read and write?
I write general fiction. I know; it sounds boring. I don’t like to write genre fiction; some might call my work literary fiction, but I also think it has strong commercial qualities with well-developed characters and fast-moving plot-lines. Reading? Actually, as strange as it may sound, I don’t read fiction anymore. Honestly, if I have time to read, then I’d much rather be writing. But I stay up on the news and world events. I feel that is important for a writer.
4. What is your process for developing characters? Do you people watch and base characters off of what you see? Or are your characters complete figments of your imagination?
My characters are mainly a figment of my imagination. I have, at times, taken some character traits from people I used to know, but I always morph it in ways fitting to the story. I really enjoy creating characters. They do become friends after a while, and if one has to die, it is tragic.
5. How much time and effort do you put into marketing?
A lot. I wish I could put in more, but I’m not a full-time writer. I’m also a teacher, a drama coach, a softball coach, and a father. Time certainly is limited. But I go through promotional seasons in conjunction with my new books where I will do a lot of interviews, advertising, and searching for quality book reviews. Promotion is hard, but extremely important. I’ve learned to like blogging which I do on a daily basis.
6. Do you have any works in mind that you’ve not yet written? If so, what are they?
I started my fourth novel about 3 weeks ago and I’m about 33,000 words into it. It’s based on a short play I wrote called “Almighty Might”, about a man who stands in front of the presidential palace of his country and just waits for a revolution. It’s been really fun to write. I can’t wait to get back at it.
7. If there is one thing that stands out about your writing or your stories, what is it?
I like writing about the emotional connections between people. My stories tend to have integrated, winding plots, but they are always driven by emotion and relationships because, I believe, there is nothing more fascinating than that. We all can relate.
8. What inspired you to write your most recent story?
After I wrote my first novel, Beauty Rising, I challenged myself to write my second, and in fact, I don’t release a new novel until I’ve already finished the next. So I had an image of a woman looking over a balcony and seeing a man in a red hat. I wondered what it take for me to develop such a simple image into a complete novel. It was a challenge. And so Red Hat the terrorist was born – one of the four recurring stories that the recluse tells.
9. Where can potential readers find your work?
My books can be purchased at any major on-line outlet. Paperback copies are available as well and can be ordered through your local bookstore or through an on-line retailer.