1. When did you decide to become a novelist?
When I was semi-retired and looking for something to do, other than playing golf or cards, I thought of a neighbor from my past, who, through a surgical accident during plastic surgery, became comatose. I always did well in writing classes and decided to craft a novel around a woman that suffered a similar event. She became the basis for my novel, TRAPPED.
2. What process use to construct the story?
Once I had my main characters, I imagined a story of love, terror, disillusionment and revenge. Then I created scenes to fulfill those ends, writing a chapter-by-chapter outline – just a few sentences each – to give me direction. Once I got into the writing, however, the characters seemed to take over the story, steering me into areas and situations I never originally imagined.
3. How long did it take you to write?
TRAPPED took 6 months to initially write…and 20 years to perfect! I studied writing books and attended several conferences and seminars, with the goal to improve my craft. As I developed and refined what is called “my voice,” I frequently revisited TRAPPED to deepen the plot and broaden the connection to the main character and contempt for the villain. During that time, I also wrote 3 other novels, the last two of which were the beginning of my Detective Al Warner series.
4. What was your experience in trying to get published?
Although I constantly refined my submission letters, agents and editors seemed unwilling to take a chance on a first time author. Of course, ALL authors are initially “First Time Authors.” Despite a bevy of rejection letters, I kept pitching. Three of my novels were finalist it major writing contests, so I was confident of my skills and knew many now-famous authors had been heavily rejected before getting their first break. Among them John Gresham, Louis L’Amore and J.K. Rowlings.
5. How did you finally succeed?
I entered TRAPPED in several writing contests, including TAG Publishers’ Next Great American Novel Contest. Editor Dee Burks and her staff loved my story and offered to publish it, if I allowed them to make editorial suggestions. I’ve always appreciated expert advice and was willing to revise most of their concerns. It became a dialog between us, with some give and take on both sides, and TRAPPED ended up something of which I believe we’re both very proud. TRAPPED went on to become an Amazon Top 100 Novel, with loads of 5-Star reviews. The most common comments are, “I couldn’t put it down” and “I loved the ending.” TRAPPED is also now available in Audio format from Audible.com.
6. What about your next book, after TRAPPED?
I’ve written four other novels since publishing TRAPPED. The second, A 3rd TIME TO DIE, is a paranormal romantic suspense, centered around Past Lives, rebirth, and murder. It’s received mostly 5-Star reviews, likened by reviewers to the best of the less-spooky works of Dean Koontz and Stephen King. It should be also available as an Audio Book in late 2017. The first of my Detective Al Warner series was DEATH’S ANGEL, with rave reviews, followed by BORN TO DIE, and the publishing in July of 2017 of THE PROM DRESS KILLER. The 4th Al Warner suspense is well under way, with plots outlined for at least two more. All my novels are nbow published by small indie publisher, GnD Publishing LLC.