Frequently Asked Questions

What motivated you to write?

  • I have always been an avid reader. I still am. The urge to write came out of the blue. There was no event that triggered me to begin writing. I cannot explain it but I don’t worry about having to understand that.

Where do you get your ideas?

  • That is a good question. I have many ideas and have at least a dozen projects outlined in some stage of development. Ideas just come to me. Many of them come to me when I am driving or swimming laps. Neither is a good place to jot down a few notes.

Do you need certain conditions in order to be creative?

  • No, I really don’t. I have my preferences but I can write almost anywhere. I have talked with other writers and most are fairly flexible creatures. I know a small number who claim they need a specific place, music or absolute quiet, a certain drink or food in order to be creative. I am not one of those. I cannot imagine being that finicky. I don’t think I would ever get anything done if I was.

Where do you write?

  • Most of my writing happens in my man cave, which is nothing more than a spare bedroom converted into my home office. It’s no Taj Mahal. It’s no Mahal at all. It’s a spare bedroom with a desk. I use a laptop computer most of the time but I use other devices on occasion when it makes sense. I use 5×8 and 3×5 cards to jot down ideas and plot things out at a high level. I also use a tablet device and sometimes take notes or use the voice memo function on my phone when a thought occurs to me and I am on the go. Once I borrowed a pen and used napkins to write a note that turned into a full-blown brain storming session. I left the café clutching a large handful of napkins.

Do you always write in your home office?

  • Not always. I can and do write wherever I have an opportunity. I have written in airport terminals, on airplanes, in cafes and other places. If I feel like writing, the location and what is going on around me is not an issue. Being interrupted by others gets in the way. All I really need is to be left alone.

Do you ever get writers block?

  • I don’t believe in writer’s block. Not everyone will agree with me but I think people that claim to have “writer’s block” have others issues getting in the way of enabling them to be creative. Sometimes I don’t feel like writing, so I don’t. That is not the same as writers block. If I want to write I usually review what I did the last session and that serves as a runway for take off. I also find that looking at the top level documents where I outline my structure, plot and theme of the manuscript will get me going. I can go to a different part of the manuscript and write the first draft of a new chapter. Failing that, I can always review and revise something I already worked on. If I do any or all of that, I am off and running.

About writing – What is your writing process like?

  • I usually review what I wrote last and keep going. It’s that simple. If you were looking for something magical or a missing key, sorry to disappoint you. As far as I can tell, there isn’t a big secret that only a few have discovered. There is no way around it, a writer needs to sit down and write.

Do you do everything yourself?

  • No, my value in this enterprise is writing the next book and paying attention to reader’s opinions. I trust my own judgment but I enjoy listening to what readers have to say about what they are reading and what they enjoy about a book. Their input is invaluable and I would not have time for the things that matter if I stopped writing so I could learn to build a website or do my own book cover. I use professionals when it makes sense for tasks I don’t have the skills for. I use a professional editor in the writing process and strongly believe in them. I also had a professional group that specializes in websites for authors build mine. I hope you like it. I also had a professional cover artist do the book cover. I would be happy to share what I have learned on those topics. Contact me if you have questions.

Traditional publishing or Indie?

  • Independent publishing all the way. If a traditional publisher chases me I will entertain the idea but I would insist on retaining rights to self publish eBooks. Why would anyone give that up?

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

  • I tend to plot my manuscript and then write it. The outline serves as a roadmap but I change things as I go. There is not one right way to write fiction. Every writer finds their own process. I know some writers who go by the seat of their pants. They start with an idea and go from there not knowing what the entire story is about or what the characters will do. That does not work for me. Within a chapter I tend to let it flow but not for the entire manuscript.

How do you treat character development?

  • Some characters remain the same no matter what and others change as a result of what happens in the story. I have a blog post on the topic of Character Development. Again, there is no one way to do things.  Take a look at my blog and get back to me if you have questions. The topic is well covered in by many writers addressing the craft of writing fiction.