When Did You Start Writing?

I wrote my first story when I was five. Every one in it died. I actually still have it, my parents kept it, probably as a defense in court if it ever came to that.

Do You Plan Out Your Stories?

I used to be a “pantser” then switched to plotting things out, though those plots were extensive, usually about 20k words. I’ve recently switched back to being a pantser once I realized my outlines were getting longer and longer. A little bit more and they’d be a book, so why bother!

What’s a “pantser”?

Someone who writes by the “seat of their pants”, in other words, just starts typing and sees where things go.

What Are Your Writing Habits?

I usually plot out an entire book over several days, then begin writing in earnest, usually able to finish it in about two weeks. Then there’s the editing, proofreading, etc, etc. If I’m in “pantser” mode, then skip those first few days of plotting, and add about a week to that writing total.

How can you write so fast?

Unlike most writers, this is not a part-time job for me. This is my job. And passion. When I get “in the zone”, I can write between 5-10k words in a day. But I do have one trick up my sleeve that helps me do this. I’ll never tell what it is, though.

Come on! What’s the trick?

Okay, okay. I use a tool called Freedom. It shuts down your Internet for a preset amount of time. I just set it for anywhere from 2-8 hours, depending upon how behind schedule I am, then start writing. This means I’m not distracted by emails, checking the news, getting pissed at the decline of Western civilization, or compulsively checking various stats us writers find interesting. Find out more here: https://freedom.to/ (and no, I have no vested interest in this company and that is not an affiliate link).

Do You Believe in the Crystal Skulls?

If I say no, will you still buy my book? Do I believe that they have magical powers from Atlantis? No. But if my research that showed that Hewlett Packard scientists couldn’t explain the Mitchell-Hedges skull is valid, then how do you explain them?

Do You Know George Lucas?

You’d think so. When I heard that the new Indiana Jones movie was called Kingdom of the Crystal Skull I nearly flipped out. The bastard had stolen my idea! Actually, they say imitation is the greatest form of flattery, but I’m pretty sure that he got his inspiration elsewhere since I’ve never met the man, and the book, although written in 2005 before the title of the movie was announced, hadn’t been published yet.

Who Did the Research for The Protocol?

My father volunteered to research the weapons, military units, geographical locations, etc, included in the novel. The research was extensive and essential to the success of the novel. So although I’d like to take the credit, I can only take credit for any errors. In fact, he does most of my research, though I have several subject matter experts I also draw upon.

Where did the idea for The Protocol come from?

I wrote a post on it. You can read it here.

Are your books available in print?

Yes, you can buy them on Amazon and most other book websites, as well as order them at your local book store.

When will you be writing the next Zander Varga?

I don’t have a specific date yet, but I will eventually complete this series.

Are you a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

A good friend read the first Zander Varga novel, The Turned, and he’s a big Buffy fan. He mentioned to me the similarities, and asked if they were intentional. I said no. I’ve never watched an episode of the show. I did see the movie years ago, however, and remember enjoying it. Any similarities are purely coincidental. They say great minds think alike, so being in the company of Joss Whedon isn’t a bad thing. They also say fools seldom differ, so I hope he’s got a good sense of humor.

Do you put a lot of yourself into your characters?

Absolutely. Eldridge’s experience at the hospital when he was a boy, battling the nurses, happened to me, and I hated doctors for years. I’m a diabetic just like Shakespeare (which made me get over my hatred!), and have gone through much of the emotions and trials he has.

Okay, do you hate Jags or something?

I owned a 2000 Jaguar XK-8 convertible. It was the most beautiful car I ever owned. It looked incredible broken down in my driveway, fabulous broken down on the side of the road, and absolutely stunning every time they washed it at the dealership after repairing it. Oh, and the little anecdote Aynslee relates in The Redeemer? That actually happened, sort of. My Jag broke down less than ten miles from the dealership the day I bought it.

But no, I don’t hate Jags. No, really!

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