Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I've been a full-time writer and editor since 2005, when I walked away from a cushy government job with great benefits for the exciting, lucrative (hah!) life of a freelancer. I guess I listened to too many people who told me how much they enjoyed my writing.
I grew up in New England, moved to Louisiana at age 16, then traipsed through Indiana, Washington, DC, and Oregon before settling in Camas, WA, in search of great beer. I think I found it, as a homebrewer.
With the release of The Mountain Man's Badge, I've published five mystery novels in two series (The Mountain Man Mysteries and Lying Injustice Thrillers), with a sixth on the way. I've also written a self-editing book for authors, Write Better Right Now, available exclusively on Kindle.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The Mountain Man's Badge is the third in my Mountain Man Mysteries series. It was inspired by the characters in the original story, the Mountain Man's Dog, who were in turn inspired by my dogs and my crazy lumberjack relatives who told highly creative lies around the card table while drinking my dad's cheap beer. If one-tenth of what they said was true, I'd have enough for a dozen true crime novels.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I write long-hand – pen on paper – for my first drafts…after outlining the book in great detail in Scrivener. I also write detailed profiles of all of my major characters, down to what cars they drive and how they like their coffee, before I put them into a scene. I want to know them really well before I start telling stories about them.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Scott Turow, Robert Dugoni, Philip Margolin, Barbara Kingsolver, John Irving, Lisa Scottoline, Monty Python
What are you working on now?
Next I'll begin a new series about a vengeful policewoman, Valerie Dawes, who gets a little out of control whenever she arrests child molesters. She's sort of a cross between Sarah Connor and Jack Reacher. My dad actually came up with this story idea, and this book will be dedicated to his memory.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Nothing beats good old-fashioned in-person events like book signings, launch parties, and bookstore readings, but email/newsletters come close.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write what you love, and but don't fall in love with what you write. Edit, edit, edit!
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Don't draw to an inside straight.
What are you reading now?
Last Gasp by Robert F Barker
What’s next for you as a writer?
Besides dinner and a beer? Getting that Valerie Dawes series going. I'm excited about her.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Lord of the RIngs