PDB: Can you pitch your latest publication/ project in 25 words or less?
Absolutely: In my new novel, PASKAGANKEE, three wildly different people must come together in a desperate attempt to stop a brutal killing spree in their tiny town (Sorry, that’s twenty-six; I’m a cheating bastard).
PDB: Which books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?
I rarely get a chance to see new films, but on television I’ve become absolutely enthralled by “Once Upon a Time.” So many of today’s TV shows are derivative, uninspired and uninteresting, it’s nice to see something original have a chance to be a success.
As far as books are concerned, a couple of weeks ago I finished reading Les Edgerton’s THE BITCH. Any fan of crime fiction who hasn’t checked out this gem is doing himself a disservice. Edgerton reminds me of one of my favorites, Tom Piccirilli, not necessarily by the writing style, but by his ability to wring emotion out of every sentence. I know it’s early in the year, but any book will have a hard time supplanting THE BITCH as my favorite for 2012.
PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?
Interesting question. When I read, I do it on dual tracks. Half my brain is focused on following the story, the other half on analyzing what I would do if I were writing it. What’s fun is when the author goes in a completely different direction than I am expecting him/her to.
PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television?
If Hollywood came knocking on my door and I had the chance to work on a screenplay adaptation of one of my books I would absolutely consider it. Beyond that, though, I think I prefer the solitude of working on a novel to what would undoubtedly be a collaborative effort writing a film script.
One of my favorite authors, Robert Browne, left movie/television writing behind to concentrate on writing novels, so unless I can convince someone like him to co-author the screenplay for THE LONELY MILE, I think I’ll just stick to writing books. For now.
Unless I get a better offer.
Why, what have you heard?
PDB: How much research goes into each book?
I love the Internet. Researching can be done from the comfort of my couch, and while you can’t always trust everything you read online, you can accomplish a hell of a lot of research now in a minimal amount of time than you could, say, twenty or more years ago. It’s fantastic.
That said, the amount of research I do is different for each book. Probably my most technically challenging book has been FINAL VECTOR, but I’ve spent my entire adult life as a working air traffic controller, so I guess you could say I’ve been researching that one for the last thirty years.
Research is important, because your plot can’t be so far-fetched it takes readers out of the story, but by the same token, I write fiction, so the reality of the world I’m creating can be whatever I want it to be. I’m not trying to recreate Tom Clancy’s meticulous (some would say overdone) realism, all I want to do is write an entertaining story that takes people away from their problems and hopefully entertains the hell out of them.
PDB: How useful or important are social media for you as a writer?
My opinion is we won’t really understand the importance of social media for ten or maybe even twenty years. It’s just too new. The conventional wisdom for authors is you have to build and maintain a strong online presence, and while I don’t necessarily disagree with that, I’m not convinced it does much to get an author new readers, which obviously is critical to expanding sales.
One thing I like about social media—in addition to hopefully introducing myself and my work to new readers—is the opportunity it provides for networking with other authors and publishing professionals. The landscape of writing and reading is changing so fast, it’s nice to be able to get the perspective of others affected by those changes.
PDB: What’s on the cards in 2012?
This year has already been far better than I ever imagined it might be. The latest numbers I saw for THE LONELY MILE were over 12,000 sales this month, just in the U.S. Combine that with UK sales and the giveaway we just completed at Amazon, and there are now better than 60,000 copies of my thriller on ereaders all over the world. It’s exciting and just a little scary.
My goal is to continue building on the success of that book. There are so many phenomenal authors out there trying to get attention for their work that sometimes it seems impossible just to get a foot in the door with readers. I’m going to continue to work hard and see what happens.
Specifically, in addition to PASKAGANKEE, which was just released in January, my goal is to release the sequel, titled REVENANT, early summer, and then a more traditional thriller, PARALLAX VIEW, this coming autumn. I would also love to continue my association with Delirium Books and their acclaimed collectible novella series. I just competed one, titled THE BECOMING, and I’m anxious to see what they think about it at Delirium. I like to keep busy.