1. What are the ingredients of a good book in your genre?
Answer: I think interesting characters are the key. Yes, I know, you could say that about all genres, but it’s the most basic truth. There are only so many story lines, serial killers and plot twists. In the end, in my opinion, what is going to drive a book is to have characters that resonate with the reader, that the reader truly cares about.
In my own writing, I feel like it’s important not to write about violence in a way that makes it palatable. I think you desensitize people to violence just as much this way as you do by graphic representation.
2. Is writing your main profession or do you have any other source of income?
Answer: Writing is my main profession and source of income.
3. How many books do you, approximately, read a year? What’s the latest book you’ve read and what did you think of it?
Answer: Wow, that really depends. When I am deep into writing, I don’t read much, as I find it distracting. When I am reading, I can read two or more books a week.
I recently read True Evil by Greg Iles and thought it was great, couldn’t put it down.
4. Who’s your favourite author? Which book would you love to have written yourself and why?
Answer: Favorite anything is always a tough one for me. You like different books, movies, or songs for different reasons. If I have to answer (and I guess I do), overall I would have to say that Stephen King is at the top of my list.
Along those lines, I wish I had written The Stand. The thing that I loved most about that book was how close he made you feel to each character. You get to see them before, during, and after the sickness hits the world, and none of them ever seem anything less than three dimensional.
5. What’s the nicest, weirdest or most remarkable thing that ever happened to you as a writer?
Answer: Let’s go with nicest. I had someone write me and tell me that they had not been able to express any emotion but anger since being abused as a child (this writer was now an adult). He said my novel made him cry and he thanked me for doing what thirty years of therapy couldn’t.
6. Did you always wanted to become a writer? When and why did you decide to become one?
Answer: I’ve always wanted to write. I started writing when I was ten. I lost my way for various reasons, and finally decided enough was enough, and wrote Shadow Man.
7. Which criticism bothers you more, the one from your readers or the one from the professional book reviewers?
Answer: I actually don’t mind simple criticism. What I mean is, I don’t expect every reader to like what I write. That’s just unrealistic. The only time it gets to me is when someone goes out of their way to be nasty about it. I’ve had a few reviews that made me see red -- not because they didn’t like the book -- but because of how they gave their opinion, like ‘How DARE you have written something this terrible.’
In the end, art is subjective, and I accept that, but it is a blade that cuts two ways.
8. What’s more important: the plot or the characters in a story. And why?
Answer: As I mentioned earlier, characters, always, always, always. People are always the most fascinating part of a story. People are us.
9. Are any of the characters in your books based on yourself? Which character do you like most?
Answer: Not really. I mean, there is a lot of me in anything I write, but I can’t point to any character and say ‘that’s based on me.’ I write what I feel, or what I have observed, sometimes the words just come from the word God. I don’t question that too much, I just say ‘Thanks word God.’
10. Is there anything that keeps you awake these days?
Answer: Writing almost always keeps me awake. I don’t sleep well when I ‘m writing, as some aspect of the story is always going through my mind. I’m terrible to live with when I’m writing.