Nine Lives is my first and current novel. It is a psychological thriller that deals with the supernatural. After suffering the trauma of losing his wife in a car accident, Sam – the main character of Nine Lives, finds he has been bestowed a rather rare gift: Immortality. As he searches for the truth, his day-to-day world slowly turns upside-down. No gift is without its price, Sam must face the spirit world that continuously reminds him of such a cost.
Tell us something about yourself.
I was born and raised in SW Pennsylvania where I currently live with my wife. I began writing in 2001. The odd thing about this is I have never had a moment, not in my wildest imagination, when I had thought of being an author. Never! I was such a miserable student for most of my life, that writing was the furthest thing from my mind.
It was more of a fluke than anything else. About ten years ago, I had a strange idea that I believed would make an interesting story. I knew a few people that had done fiction, but either they were busy with something else, or didn’t want to be bothered. Since I felt I had no real talent, nor any concept how to write, the idea was put on a shelf.
What inspired you to write this book?
With a little encouragement from my wife, I began writing an outline. The outline turned into three handwritten notebooks. I transferred that to the PC, which people told me was called a manuscript, and from there began chasing agents and publishers all over the Internet.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
After I finished Nine Lives, I continued writing because I found, much to my surprise, I enjoyed writing. I enjoy putting a scene and characters together on paper. A few years back, I spoke to another writer on-line and we agreed that writing can induce a euphoric feeling very much like a runners high or adrenalin rush. I knew at that point I found my true life’s work.
What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?
I find mysterious is the marketing end. Both writing and marketing a book have an aloof quality to them in that you are trying to present an idea or feeling to another person, make them feel what you feel. My greatest joy or accomplishment is when I hear from a person who has read my story and enjoys it at the same emotional level as when I wrote it. Being able to pass along those feelings are very much magic.
How do you do research for your books?
I try to keep a strong sense of reality within the story. I think it makes the surrealistic parts stand out that much more. One of the more difficult parts to writing is putting abstract ideas into words. Within my latest novel, The Thirteenth Sign, there is a section of the story where the main character travels to a lower world of consciousness through a shamanic journey. I had no background in shamanism so I sought out a local person who had background in what I was looking for as well as taught the art of journeying. The result was a very strong sub-plot and direction for my character plus the fact that I still use the journeying technique today when needed. You can never have too much spirituality!
What are you reading now?
The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King and Anne Rice are two writers that I try to keep in mind when I write. I try to match or pull my writing up from what I consider ordinary to a level that these two authors have done throughout their careers. I don’t read only the genre I write in which is mystery, paranormal etc. I enjoy a wide variety both fiction and non-fiction.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I am finalizing my second novel, The Thirteenth Sign and getting it ready to be edited. It is a paranormal mystery that I am hoping to have it in print before the end of the year. It is a mystery that is character driven and is written in the first person. The Thirteenth Sigh is the first novel in a series I am writing. While I wait for a publisher, I have begun my third novel, the second in the series with a working title of The Migrant Soul.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
If writing moves you on an emotional level, then continue writing, sending out query letters, and find your place in the publishing world. And, keep moving forward.
What are you doing to promote your latest book?
Still very new since The Thirteenth Sign is being edited but I have created two trailers for the book, will be doing press releases, book signings, on-line radio and TV interviews, book reviews, etc.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?