What inspired you to write?
I was amazed at the experiences of T.E. Lawrence, more famously known as Lawrence of Arabia. I couldn't believe how someone was able to become a writer based on his experiences and put pen to paper. His passion for becoming an author inspired me to write.
Did the inspiration to write come to you suddenly, or had you been thinking about it some time?
All it took was one viewing of the movie 'Lawrence of Arabia' to realize I wanted to become a writer. Of course I was only 14 years old and had little experiences of my own to write about, which is why I turned to fiction.
How did you tell your story? In other words, did you use an outline, or just write your story from start to finish?
I used an outline and did research by reading books based on the subject of my stories.
Did you receive any encouragement from family and friends, or did you work on your book alone?
Yes, but my mother wanted to be sure I was serious before investing in a typewriter, so she borrowed a vintage 1935 typewriter from a friend at work for me to practice on. I went on and learned to type in school, and eventually she bought me my own typewriter. I received an electric typewriter as a birthday present, eventually working my way up to a Word Processor before computers and laptaps became affordable.
What was the most difficult part of writing your book?
As a family man, it was difficult finding time to write. You have to be there for your family and friends and not allow writing to consume you in order to enjoy the time we have here and now. Eventually I found a balance to write on my days off while my wife worked, or while on lunch at work. This allowed me to enjoy time with my family and make the most of free time by writing.
What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing your book?
The research was my favorite part. I got to read many books on the subjects of my stories and although it was work, it was like fun because I was doing what I enjoy on my free time, which is to read.
Did you experience any personal transformation after the book was published?
After years of rejections, it was like a huge load was lifted off my shoulders once my books became published. It took 30 years, but all we have is time, and it has given me the feeling that anything is possible once we put our mind to it.
What’s something that gets in the way of your creativity?
Writer's block is always a threat to creativity, but it's part of the trade, and only a temporary obstacle. I overcome this by writing whatever comes to mind, and concern myself about the subject when I edit my work.
What strategies do you use to deal with criticism?
Not everyone is going to enjoy our book. I take it with a grain of salt. I never come up with excuses or explanations. I listen to understand their opinions and thank them for the time they took to read my books.
Where did you grow up and what is your favorite/worst childhood memory?
I am a veteran and military brat. I was born in Spain, and have lived in 9 different states in America. We've traveled all over the country visiting family when my father was on leave. My favorite childhood memory was the time we spent when living in Washington D.C. I enjoyed visiting all the museums in the city. My worst, thankfully nothing comes to mind.
Do you have a favorite quote?
Writing is a passion, not a passing hobby.
What is your favorite show on TV?
Today I'm enjoying 'Suits.' When I was a kid I enjoyed the 'Andy Griffith Show' reruns and 'All in the Family.'
'The Searchers' is my all-time favorite. I watch it at least once a year and have never stopped loving this John Wayne favorite film.
This isn't fair question. I have so many. One that comes to mind is 'Heat' by Stuart Woods. I've read it 3 or 4 times. It's such a page-turner and down-to-earth real-life action.
Who would you want to meet if you could? Dead or alive.
Author Jack Higgins. I've read a lot of his books, my favorite of his being 'The Eagle Has Landed.' His experiences would be welcome.
Is there a talent you wish you had?
I wish I'd learned to play the piano. I've always admired artists, and suppose my lack of playing a musical instrument is made up by my desire to write. I should've listened to my mother and stuck with it as a kid. As an adult I would appreciate the ability to make music. But it's never too late to learn, right?
What’s something about you that would surprise us?
People have told me I look like Barack Obama.
Describe yourself in 3 words!
Thinking too much.
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