Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I started writing in third grade (mostly stories about mowing down Nazis) and was editor of my sixth grade newsletter. Years later I went to graduate school for poetry writing, studied under Allen Ginsberg, and produced a poetry magazine, Plainspeak. Subsequently I wrote two cancer newsletters for Duke University Cancer Center and software manuals and training programs for The Nielsen Company.
I started my first novel, Misheard Lyrics in 1989, believe it or not, and chipped away at it infrequently until 2015. I decided at that time that I should take the advice I had given to a friend who “couldn’t find time” to write his own novel: You’ve got time. You’ve got a half an hour a day. Just write something. So I did. With the help fo that friend, I managed to finish Misheard Lyrics on Christmas Day, 2017,
I’ve written seven non-fiction books about social media marketing and social selling and numerous business white papers. But I enjoy fiction writing the most.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Misheard Lyrics is my first novel. I was inspired to write the book because of my skepticism of the Jesus story. The Apostles seemed to me to be unreliable narrators, often differing in descriptions of key evens. Jesus seemed like a cool guy, but we never got to see much of the human side of him. He got made only once, when he through the money changers out of the temple, and got a little annoyed at his mom in the water to wine story. But that’s it.
So my first idea was to write the real story of Jesus. That morphed over time into writing about messiahs in general and the conflict between religion and what we know, or think we know, about the Universe. Along the way, the novel investigates other related topics such as: the origin of religion, faith vs. science, dogma, evil, magic, existentialism, the end of the world, the meaning of swearing, masturbation, astrophysics’ discoveries about the Universe, post-traumatic stress disorder, gay marriage, and whether we’re all really just living in a computer simulation
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
When writing a half an hour a day, I often can’t think of anything to write pertinent to the novel. So I just write in a stream of consciousness manner. Most times that inspires a relevant thought and I’m off to the races. I also find working on may different chapters at once to be very effective.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Neal Stephenson, Isaac Asimov, David Foster Wallace, Margaret Atwood, Bruce Sterling, William Gibson, Carl Hiassen, Ernest Hemingway
What are you working on now?
Right now I’m trying to decide if I want to spin out one of the characters in Misheard Lyrics into her own novel. There are various other ideas I have, but nothing has congealed into a concept yet.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Using social media, especially Facebook ads and Twitter posts.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write regularly. You have the time, even if it’s only 30 minutes a day. If you’re stuck, just write whatever comes into your head, whether it’s on topic or not.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Write what you know.
What are you reading now?
An anthology of science fiction short stories
What’s next for you as a writer?
Another novel, perhaps some short stories
What is your favorite book of all time?
Neuromancer by William Gibson