1-Please tell us about your latest book.
‘The Pandora Principle” Is the third book in the FIRE Team Alpha series. FIRE Team Alpha is an elite, multi-national military unit of genetically enhanced soldiers operating in geopolitically fractured future. In the Pandora Principle, the team must protect a corrupt politician who supports legislation that would strip the civil rights of the genetically enhanced, including the members of FIRE Team Alpha, from a group of super-human terrorists.
2-How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
Probably more than I intend. The FIRE Team Alpha Series has a lot of my political and philosophical views in it. But, that is sort of unavoidable since the background of the story is based on a vision of future geopolitics extrapolated from my interpretation of historical patterns.
3-When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?
I started submitting my first manuscript in 2016 when I was 48 years old, and short stories a few years before that. I’d been writing stories for most of my life and showing them only to family and friends. But, one day I said to myself: “You’ve had the idea for FIRE Team Alpha bouncing around in your head since high school. Sit down and write the D@#* book!” So I did.
4-Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?
Once I actually start typing the manuscript, I generally finish it in about four months. But the research for a book could take few moths itself. For instance, the research for “Seventh: Blessed Warriors Book One” took about two months of pouring over Biblical, rabbinic, and Gnostic, lore as well other esoteric material. Admittedly, I got so interested in the research material that I got sidetracked and could have started the manuscript sooner. LOL.
5-What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant interruptions?
They don’t mean to be a distraction, but they are. Not being writers themselves, they don’t get how hard it is to regain focus and concentration once it’s lost when writing. So I generally don’t start writing until after everyone is in bed, and write into the wee hours of the morning.
6-Where do your ideas come from?
Everywhere. I read a lot about emerging technology, current events, and history and I get a lot of inspiration from them. I usually have more ideas than I can develop, so I write them down and decide which one to actually put serious work into.
7-What kind of research do you do?
My research is fairly extensive. I concentrate on finding details that will add authenticity to my stories. For Pandora Principle, I learned as much as possible about VIP protection tactics. For my current work in progress: “Swords: Blessed Warriors Book Two” I delved into the Wiccan religion and Sumerian mythology.
8-Do you have a favorite author? Favorite book?
My all time favorite author is the great Robert Heinlein (hallowed be his name): one of the giants of science fiction. A single favorite book out of the hundreds, possibly thousands of books I’ve read in my life would be impossible to pick. Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” made a big impact on me, and so did Taylor Caldwell’s “The Captains and the Kings”. And so did Heinlein’s “For us: the Living.”
9-What do you think of critique groups in general?
My local library only recently formed a critique group and I love to attend the meetings. Real world, face-to-face groups are very useful. Online critique groups seem to attract people who just want to tear other people down and not be criticized in return. There is a vetting effect when you have expend the effort to get up, go out of the house, and present your work for others to scrutinize. There is little effort or value in typing a few snide remarks on a message board.
10-Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine?
My favorite of five books I’ve had published is still my first “The Fate of Nations: FIRE Team Alpha: Book One.” The character who became my favorite was a bit of a surprise. General Jeremiah Hicks is the surrogate father and mentor to the series’ main character: Douglas Carter. My own father died when I was just three years old. So when I’m writing the father son moments between Hicks and Carter it gives me a sense of what it would be like to sit on the porch, smoke a cigar, and have heart-to-heart with my dad.