Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I grew up in central Florida near Tampa, hunting in the Florida woods and fishing and sailing along the Florida West Coast. I loved boats and boating on lakes, rivers and the Gulf of Mexico. I studied Marine Biology and Natural Sciences and spent nearly thirty-seven years in professional environmental protection doing everything from management hazardous waste management and chemical emergency response to both civil and criminal law enforcement. I wrote thousands of documents, including an environmental law enforcement textbook, a field handbook for law enforcement officers and the text of an educational comic book and more than fifty online training courses. After retiring, I supported my two daughters while they home-schooled and traveled playing USTA Junior Tennis and, later, varsity college tennis. When they started college, I did what I’d always wanted to do; write fiction.
I have written three novels in the Detective Mike Eiser Series; Schism, Angelica and Fire on the Mountain. A fourth novel, The Road to Armageddon is a Christian fiction novel about the tribulation period leading up to the War of Armageddon. I’ve also written a collection of crime/action novellas about a retired adventurer and the trouble he gets into, The Adventures of Harry Morgan, and various short stories and short fiction on my website. My short story, “Double or Nothing” was recently published in The Will to Survive: An Anthology for Hurricane Relief.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is Fire on the Mountain, the third novel in The Detective Mike Eiser Series. Like the other stories in the series, it is an action packed murder mystery. Unlike the others it is focused on a family with a multi-generational history of skirting the law until, with a little help from Detective Mike Eiser, the dynasty collapses in on itself because of sibling competition, greed and abuse. The story focuses on Susan Haven…the flame that ignites the Haven powder keg!
When big city crime bleeds over into smaller nearby town it affects the lives of the residents. The Detective Mike Eiser Series deals with investigations focused on big city crimes played out in the fictional small Georgia town of Poplar Bluffs…a town that receives city crime influences from Atlanta and Augusta. The result is suspenseful, entertaining and action-packed. This book was a based on the question "What if an old time family of mountain bootleggers progressed through multiple generations into distributing pot and methamphetamine? What could be the likely impact in the present generation on the family members and the community?
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I write fast paced dialog that attempts to place the reader directly into the center of the action giving them a sense of participation.
I try to cut to the chase without being obvious about it. I minimize narration and use dialogue to convey images just as someone actually involved in the action would convey images. As a reader, I’m bored to tears by long drawn out mental or emotional ruminations that occur inside a character’s head. I try to avoid inner dialogues and if I use them at all, they are very short. My goal is entertainment for the reader with a minimum of mental investment. I try to make them quick paced and hard hitting.
Finally, my characters are real people; no superheroes, no heroines who suddenly inherit magical powers, no super-rich or characters with extraordinary resources in my stories. My characters drink beer and eat pretzels, and don’t always do the right thing just like the rest of us.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I’ve probably read around three-thousand books in my life. It’s really hard to pick out specific influences.
What are you working on now?
I’m changing my pace a little right now. I’ve always wanted to write science fiction. I developed a sci-fi story idea that I’m currently writing. I haven’t decided yet what form it will ultimately take; trilogy or a new series so we’ll all have to wait and see.
I’m also working on the next book in the Detective Mike Eiser Series, The Illusionist, and considering two other books in the series at the same time.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m still trying to figure that out.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Writing (actually, promoting and selling) is the hardest work you’ll ever do.
Don’t quit your day job.
Write. Nothing beats “ass in the chair” time. The more you write, the better you write.
Have a plan. Even a bad plan is better than no plan at all. If you don’t plan for success, how are you going to become successful?
Find a good editor. A good editor is worth their weight in gold. You will learn a LOT from a good editor.
Read. Nobody ever became a good writer without being a good reader first. I suggest reading and writing reviews for others as a great window into the world of self-publishing.
Be patient. Nothing happens quickly or easily; it’s a struggle, requires persistence and ultimately writing may be the hardest work you’ve ever done.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Persistence and planning are the keys to success.
What are you reading now?
I have focused on reading and reviewing dozens of books for other authors for the past several years, but recently I’ve slowed that pace as I’ve done more writing and dealt with issues other than writing.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Writing more books in the Detective Mike Eiser Series, seeing where my recent sci-fi endeavors lead, and writing another Christian fiction adventure to join The Road to Armageddon.
What is your favorite book of all time?
That’s a tough question. The answer is the same as the question about influential authors; there are simply too many to pick an overall favorite.