Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I've spent much of my career as a writer, director and producer of award-winning documentaries and feature films, including “Crazy Heart,” “Hysteria,” and “Kidnapping Mr. Heineken”. I'm a connoisseur of raisin oatmeal cookies, a walking storehouse of pop music trivia, and I find reasons to get my passport inked whenever possible. SONS OF MY FATHERS is my first book.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
SONS OF MY FATHERS is based on my family's history and tells of two generations in Georgia one hundred years apart; one during the Civil War and the other in the 1960s during the Vietnam War. I discovered letters written by my family during the Civil War that inspired me to write the book. My brother Ron's experience during the Vietnam War era also inspired me.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I like to write every day, usually early in the morning or very late at night. However, if a character is speaking to me, I transcribe it no matter what time it is. Sometimes I howl at the moon for inspiration, or do a little soft shoe dancing to anything written by Doc Pomus. To break writer's block, I once spent time smoking peyote in a sweat lodge with someone who called herself Ruby Morning Star. She claimed to be a Native American but had a Bronx accent and looked like Laverne DeFazio. I sweated a lot, woke up with my underwear on my head and was very thirsty afterward.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller, BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley, THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner, ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE by Robert Pirsig, THE DOOR INTO SUMMER by Robert Heinlein, THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY by Douglas Adams, which I read while in college and "stoned Immaculate" as the lizard King would say — I laughed until my ribs were sore, WIDE SARGASSO SEA by Jean Rhysmost, THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE by James M. Cain, anything by Stephen King.
What are you working on now?
I'm currently researching a book that is set in Athens, GA during the time of the music scene of the 1970s. Athens is home to many great bands, including the B-52s, R.E.M. and Widespread Panic.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Yours, I hope.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write. Rewrite. Rinse. Repeat.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
What are you reading now?
I just finished SAPIENS by Yuval Noah Harari and will next read HOMO DEUS by the same author. An extraordinary look at the history of our species and a glimpse into our future.
What’s next for you as a writer?
What is your favorite book of all time?
Different books have been my favorite at different times in my life. As a child, I read and reread ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND by Lewis Carroll and wanted to be the White Rabbit. As a teenager, THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J. D. Salinger inspired me, especially the quote "I'm seventeen now, and sometimes I act like I'm about thirteen," which I accepted as a challenge. Later in my life two books that I greatly enjoyed were IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME by Marcel Proust, and ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I found both divinely depressing.