Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I was raised in Western Pennsylvania. I served in the U.S. Army culminating with the 1st Infantry Division in Desert Storm. I worked in the Silicon Valley from the early 1990s working in semiconductors, hard drive media, and vacuum chamber systems in positions from process engineer to Chief Operating Officer and CEO. I draw on my family, friendships, and experiences for my writing. I currently reside in Washington with his wife.
I like exploring characters who reach for a great cause regardless of the rivals, costs, obstacles, or circumstances.
I've written and published five fiction books and three business books (with fictional examples).
All books use historical fiction, are rooted in familiar events, feature the same group of characters (and their children) through decades of change, and focus on the tremendous power and responsibility of individuals who decide to make a difference – to get in the "Good Fight".
It strikes me that, no matter the overwhelming historical forces, there are always a few people who reach for the sublime and, often unsung and unrewarded, change the world. Characters in my books wrestle with all of the anxieties, misgivings, and apathy we all see but, because they've bet their lives on the reach for a great cause, they pay whatever price is required to make a difference.
There's a growing consensus that now, with all the technological change, social media, and economic uncertainty, that "everything is different", that there are no values or morals to ground ourselves. That consensus is wrong. Value and virtue exist in the midst of moral ambiguity. Adhering to principle in the face of adversity is the whole point. Large impersonal forces impact everyone but it's the response to those forces of those few individuals who dare to reach that tell the tale of society's destiny. I humbly ask my readers to follow and feel for the characters in my books who, regardless of circumstance and overwhelming forces, choose to fight the "Good Fight".
The first four books of the series: Marx & Ford, Loud & Clear, Fear & Hope, and Gold & Glory are available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores. Amazon has, at present, collected the most online reviews.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
In this book, The Patent, I put my enthusiasm for technology on display in telling the tale of the struggle to control a patent with world changing potential.
I realized that, in the midst of the pursuit of the 'new', we've missed the point that the answers to the tough questions (in this case renewable energy) and the right personal relationships are right in front of us if we care to look.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I write 2000 words per day, every day. I got that from Stephen King's 'On Writing'. Although I first map out a 'beat sheet' before starting, sometimes the characters will go different directions from what I first envisioned. The 'keep you butt in the chair until you've hit your word count' discipline is one reason the creative aspect hits an all time high — I get into a flow and it's wonderful.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Steven Pressfield's advice is great in 'War of Art', 'Do the Work', 'Turning Pro'. Stephen King's 'On Writing' is another book that influences my writing.
The first book I recall lighting an intellectual fire in me was Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Until I read that book I had no idea the written word could take one to the 'high country of the mind'.
I found Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged a prod to 'get in the arena' and become a 'creator'.
What are you working on now?
I'm finishing a book called 'Lifeboat Moon' that asks the question, if humanity lost everything (earth, families, animals, trees . . .) would life still be worth living? Some on Moon Base Armstrong say yes and others disagree!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Yes. You have to decide to be a writer to be a writer. Writing isn't a hobby to pursue to 'see if it works out'. Writing should be a calling to you where you plumb the depths of your humanity — and never stop perfecting your craft.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplacable spark. In the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all, do not let the hero in your soul perish and leave only frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to reach. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.
What are you reading now?
Harvard Classics in 365 Days – A Liberal Education in a Year
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK
Find Your Why
Ready Player One (Just finished … I wish I'd have written it!)
What’s next for you as a writer?
I likely will have to slow down writing and dedicate more time to brining in a steady paycheck. That'll limit my 2000 words / day to weekends which is unfortunate as it breaks up the 'flow'.
I plan to add to my Lifeboat Moon and Good Fight Series
I'm also drafting a personal coaching book on 'character'
What is your favorite book of all time?
Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. No book changed my life more.