Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q. How did you come to be a writer? I became a writer purely by accident. Writing never crossed my mind until a romance author hired me to do some legal work. In getting to know her, I learned a lot about her world and it intrigued me. I’d been juggling some ideas for a novel in my head for years, so I gave it a shot and was quickly hooked. Not because of any expectation of instant fame or fortune, but because how therapeutic it was. Stress is a major problem in the legal profession, as it is in many other professions as well. Living in a time of political division, war, terrorism and economic uncertainty, we all face incredible stress in our lives. After my children grew up, I went through some tough times in my practice that impaired my health and nearly ended my career.  I found writing to be a great diversion to cope with the myriad of problems I was facing. It's so great to be able to totally forget about everything and to go off into another world that you control and manipulate at will. Your problems won't go away while you're gone on your great escape, but when you return you will feel refreshed and have a new perspective on how to deal with the real challenges that confront you. Many of my colleagues have used drugs, alcohol, romantic liaisons, and tobacco as their diversions, to their great peril. I wanted something that wouldn't harm me or impair my ability to think. What better than to do something that enhances your life—makes you happy, and potentially could put money in your pocket?
  2. Q. Where did you get the idea to use the CIA as a central part of the Stan Turner Mysteries and well as the Tarizon Trilogy? Many years ago I put a man through bankruptcy and when it was all over he told I'd done a great job, and the Agency would be sending me more business in the future. Now, I don't know if he was telling the truth or joking, but either way, it was great material for a novel, whether science fiction or mystery.
  3. Q. What are you currently working on? My current project is Volume 1 of the Tarizon Saga which I call Tarizon: Unification. This chronicles the life of Tarizon's s savior, Sandee Brahn, the unification of the world's governments and end of a century of world wars. It is scheduled for release next year.
  4. Q. Where do you get your ideas for your novels? The Stan Turner Mysteries were inspired by actual cases of mine from the past.  For my last book, Deadly Dining, it all started with a dream I had about a man walking into a jewelry store to buy his girlfriend an engagement ring. Much to his surprise, the store was deserted. He waits a while and is about to leave when he hears voices in the back room. He suspects something is wrong as all the merchandise has been left unattended. I won't say any more about Deadly Dining, but a lot of my ideas come from dreams or ideas that hit me while I am in that zone just before I awake each morning. If I get a good idea I write it down and save it for future evaluation. Then when I'm ready to start a new book I go through my ideas and see if any of them can be incorporated into the new novel.
  5. Q. What marketing advice do you have for all the authors out there who are self-published or with small presses?  The only marketing that has worked for me is book signings at brick and mortar stores which today is limited to independents and Barnes & Noble.   Helen Ginger's article Attitude explains it best.
  6. Q. Someone once asked me how I dealt with writers’ block. Since I loved writing so much and was usually anxious to get in front of the computer at night, I ignored the question as not being relevant to me. Then Janet, my wife of 46 years and soul mate, died and my writing came to a sudden halt. It’s been a year and a half now it’s still a challenge to dig into a story. So, I guess the answer to the question is you have to figure out why you can’t concentrate and what has stifled your creativity, and find your way through it. I’m working on that now and making progress, slowly.