Winter has showed its ugly face, so I’m outta here to pick up this week’s first of two featured authors. He jokes about going to Barrow Alaska, but when I point toward the door of the transporter, he laughs and gives me directions to a hillside on Maui looking across a stretch of water between us and Molokai. There’s a small cabin nearby and hibiscus odors waft in the air.
The biggest shock, though, is that the date on the transporter reads 200 A.D., long before any Polynesians venture over to set up shop. I look over and my guest smiles. “It’s a favorite place.”
Okay, on with the interview.
1. Who are you and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?
First, it helps that it’s a small city. I’m a story teller. I like to entertain. I’ve never let the truth get in the way of a really good story, although I try very hard to stay grounded in as much reality as I can. Also I wear hat. Fascinating hats.
2. Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?
I think the most surprising thing people will discover is that is NOT my picture on the cover of my Series. I don’t know who that gentleman is but my publisher has placed him on all three of my stories and I think he does something to enhance the quality of the book, if not the story.
3. What interested you to become a writer rather than something else such as rock star?
Oh I spend a good part of my wasted youth as a rock star, along with several other less elaborate careers. I’ve always been a good story teller. It took me several years, possibly decades to come up with a really good tale that I could spin into not just one but three or more stories.
4. Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?
Mercy. I wrote an entire blog on who I want to invite to dinner. I especially like stories that are witty or that have continuity threads running through them. Living authors include Jim Butcher, Dean Koontz, except for the last Odd Thomas story. I was disappointed in that one. I read everything I could find by Clarke and Heinlein when I was growing up.
I think you might be able to get through the entirety of one of my stories in that amount of time. I think the pace and detail would keep your interest and it’s just a fun series to read.
6. Share your process of writing in regards to: plot and character development, story outline, research (do you Google or visit places/people, or make it up on the spot), writing schedule, editing and number of rewrites.
I spend a lot of time online doing research. Despite my best efforts I can’t seem to actually visit London in 1880. I look at everything I can to get the feel, newspapers, maps, diaries, anything that will help me be in the era. When I’m ready I write non-stop. I let the ideas just come out my fingers. Sometimes I start at the last chapter, sometimes the first. I don’t recommend my writing habits to anyone. I’m non-linear and very chaotic.
7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?”
Sit down and write one sentence for the start of your story. Does it make you want to write the next sentence? Good then write one. If not, toss out that one and try again. Eventually you’ll find the perfect place for you to begin. It’s not easy but it’s not rocket science either. Be determined and you’ll find your path.
8. I saw an amusing T-shirt the other day which read, “Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?
My latest favorite t-shirt: Don’t Panic and Stay Inside the Salt Circle. (thank you Harry Dresden) I think I’ll go with that one for today. It may change tomorrow.
I have the fourth Amber story outlined and about ten thousand words completed so far. Once this tour and other promotions are done I should be able to find time to finish it. The title is still waiting to present itself to me. Currently it is referred to as Amber Something-or-other.
10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?
Best place is the web site, Ambergifts.blogspot.com I don’t update it daily but anything new that is happening will appear there first and there are links to all the other places I can be found on the Internet, especially Twitter and Facebook.