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INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
What initially got you interested in writing?
The Destroyer series. I read a lot of them in the 1980s. They are what taught me what a ghost writer was and made me realize just how much work went into series. Before Remo and Chiun I had never considered that some of my favorites (Tarzan, Doc Savage, Conan) were daily grinds, so to speak. I had just taken their origins for granted. When I realized that people can actually write as their 9 to 5, day-to-day job, and not be a world-famous best seller like Stephen King, I was interested.
What genres do you write in?
Tricky question… Primarily, I write a set of series all in the same Supernatural Military Thriller universe. They’re somewhere between Pulp and Men’s Adventure. But they contain element of urban fantasy, horror, and science fiction.
What drew you to writing these specific genres?
I’ve always like Men’s Adventure and Pulp. I also enjoy spy novels. Basically, action. When it comes to movies, I love horror–the more cheesy the better. Yes, I am a B-Movie junkie. Corman is King, etc.
I was watching Supernatural one day and realized there was a glaring absence of gubmint monster slaying. X-Files, Fringe and even Hellboy all had the weight of the Federal government behind them. I decided I’d do a military version of Supernatural. I mean, what’s cooler than an AH-64 Apache taking on a shapeshifting dragon. Or a supersoldier hunting vampires with an AA-12 automatic shotgun (yes, I loves the gunfu).
Most of all, though, I love the Pulp family of genres because they focus on action, rather than talking.
How did you break into the field?
KDP–Kindle Direct Publishing. I know some folks like to turn their nose up at self-publishing, but when you publish on Kindle, your books actually get read. Vanity publish, and you’re going to end up with a garage full of dead trees. Kindle let me finally push past the gatekeepers and their slushpile moats, earning me extra money.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
That good triumphs over evil, that actions speak louder than words, and that the military are the good guys.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Finding the time to write! I work full time, have two kids, a wife and a dog. Plus, I’m a B-movie junkie and an X-Box addict. There’s not a lot of time left over. Ideas are never a problem–I keep a log of ideas for future projects. And writing itself comes easy. It’s that darn time that holds me back.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
There are lots of things rewarding about writing, but for me the best thing is spending my royalty money on my kids. In 2014, I did considerably better than now and we took a surprise vacation, they got new laptops… it was like Christmas all year long. Now Kindle Unlimited has stolen away my customers and I’m just not reaching as many readers. So now I’m stuck debating myself over whether or not the time I’m spending writing is worth it–it takes away from time I could spend with my kids, but isn’t bringing in the extra money it used to.
Back to the question however, nothing beats getting paid for something you love doing, then treating your kids to a nice surprise or three.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
If you want to sell or tell, or even better, a mix of the two, then do it. Writing isn’t hard. Finding more than a handful of readers is hard. There’s a ton of us out here, and the barriers to sharing our work are gone, much to the traditional publishing world’s chagrin.
Temper your desire to write what you want with a realistic understanding of what the market will buy. Then just do it.
Don’t expect to be an overnight sensation.
Don’t fret over imperfection. Mistakes happen and the beauty of ebooks is that you can go back and improve them. They aren’t committed to paper.
Finally, the best advice I can give is also the best advice I ever got: the money flows to the author. Don’t spend your lifesavings on cover designers, book doctors and self-proclaimed marketing gurus. You’ll find more shady individuals wanting to prey upon your literary aspirations (and wallet) than you will actual readers when you first star out. Do as much as you can and reinvest what you earn to continually improve your product.
What type of books do you enjoy reading?
Men’s Adventure or Pulp. I like the over-the-top action, the shot page count, and the page-turning suspense.
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?
Well… I worked for 17 years in the Prosecutor’s Office as an investigator. People always found it interesting. I found it depressing–experiencing real-life crime was not fun at all. TV justice is a far cry from reality. I eventually had more than enough of child abuse and domestic violence cases and retired to a far less stressful job. People often tell me I should compile all my many stories in a book, but as I said it’s just too depressing seeing victims rarely get the justice they deserve. I prefer to stick to science fiction and pulp criminal justice.
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
I think the Amazon Author pages are pretty great. You can find mine at http://amzn.com/B0089W99VC