Time to Sack Up

I haven’t been on here lately. I’ve been busy and really didn’t have anything to talk about.  Not true. Last year with the presidential campaign, you couldn’t say anything without pissing off someone. I’ve held my tongue and will keep holding it. I’m sure you aren’t interested in listening to what I think. That’s just one of the things that we will just have to keep to ourselves. Politics brings out the worst in people because everyone believes and is right on some level.

The election was swift retribution for either party. Whether the Russians were involved in some fashion is moot when more than half of electorate didn’t show up to decide who was going to hold the highest office. Why would two major parties pick candidates whom most of the country hated?  I’m sure historians will explain this in the future.

I’ve been working on Girl, Friend. It’s a fun little romp that needs a lot of work, but as of today, I’ve finished the third draft for printing. I’m hoping to pick it up for reading later at the Mifflin Writers Group.

Mariline came back from the editor. There is something so grounding as getting a piece of work back from your editor. As much as I worked on it, they found a lot that needs to be added, changed, edited, etc. I always think I’ve written the perfect book and when I get it back, it has twenty or so plot holes and all 400 pages of line edits. I can’t even imagine sending it to an agent. They would throw it in a pile with the rest of the crap. But I’ve resigned myself that some day I will write the perfect novel, maybe not this year, but I have a whole ton of years left to realize my dream of being a widely published author. I’ve tried being the hare, now I need to work on being the tortoise.

Happy New Year!

EJ

I’m Not Good Enough

Despairing businessman with his head down resting on his arms on his desk as he contemplates the hopelessness of his position

How many times in your life have you said these words?  I hear it all the time with writers, “I’m not good enough to write a novel/short story/poem/book/screenplay/etc.” Many writers have this fear. Everyone has had this fear. If you read bios of Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck, some of their greatest classics would have never made to the publisher if they fell to this distortion of themselves.  There is the classic story of Steven King, after going through so many drafts of Carrie, throwing the manuscript into the trash, only to be rescued by his wife. Not good enough. I’m not saying writing is easy, it’s not, even for the most masterful. There will be times when you will want to throw things, goof off, check your Facebook status, but one thing you can’t do is quit.

I’m reminded of a time when I really wanted to learn how to play piano out of high school. I struggled for years. I didn’t have money for lessons, but I got myself a keyboard.  I knew chords from playing my grandfather’s electric organ, I thought how hard could it be. Playing chords is easy. Keeping the baseline with my left hand was like learning brain surgery. I practiced and started making up songs when I could play. A chance evening of boredom had me watching an infomercial on playing piano changed my life. I sat back down the next day, and things changed. I picked up playing rhythm guitar after.  I played for many years, afraid to go anywhere and afraid to play with anyone. I wrote songs. I wrote a musical. I tried my hand at just about everything except playing in front of people or with others. Cut to age 36. I started a band. Was I good enough? I was about to find out. The first person I interviewed was a lead guitarist, Ron.  Ron was much older than me and he had been playing in bars since he was thirteen and lied about his age. I picked up a lot of what he did, just by watching, hearing. We played together for some years as others in the band dropped out or moved on. I had a ball. Was I good enough? I got the greatest compliment from him when he said I wasn’t, “that bad.”  I tried. I learned. I was good enough.

The moral of the story is if you don’t try, you will never know. What if you had said that as a child learning to walk? We’ve all witnessed children learning to walk and know their first steps are tenuous at best. With repetition, we learn to walk. Learning to talk is the same way. It’s when we interact with others we begin our fears. That’s when we create our doubts that we are, “not good enough.” What is your definition of good enough?  New York Times best seller good enough?  Article in the New Yorker good enough? How about you’re worthy of your own praise good enough? Isn’t that what we are all looking for?

If you write, you are already good enough. You just have to have some faith in yourself, learn all you can, and don’t stop. Someday you will realize that you’ve always been good enough.

The Life of a Writer

black coffee and a book

The life of a writer is all about the glitz and glamour of the ‘life.’  We all have limos take us to our book signings just as you would imagine.  We all have private jets to take us to Cabo or Bermuda at a whim. Paris and London are just waiting for us to find out about our next book, with bated breath. Paparazzi are clamoring about our personal lives, with photographers waiting to take photos of us at lunch or dinner with the great directors, seasoned actors or Hollywood producers.  My wait staff does my laundry and takes care of my mansion. I don’t spend much time there, I’m always on the go. You would wonder how I have time to write all my books, I’m releasing twelve this year. It a tough life, but someone has to do it. I too was once a simple dime store self-published novelist, only years ago…

5:20 AM. I was laying in bed for two hours after waking from a dream about a kid telling jokes. I tossed and turned until I had to get up for my job, system engineering at a hospital.  I start at 7, but by the time I shower, shave, dress, feed the cat and kiss my girlfriend, I’m on the road at 6:15.

6:30 AM I’m standing in line in the cafeteria, at the hospital. My eyes still haven’t adjusted to the neon lights above and I’ve asked, “The usual.” Yes, I respond and head for coffee. Just the smell has started to wake my brain cells, but the time I return to the line I’ve had several sips and the partial hangover from last nights time “out with the boys” is slipping away. Amen.  I get my western omelet and English muffin (the same thing I’ve eaten for breakfast for the last 13 years here) gets covered in garlic powder and oregano before I pay.  I cover the top with ketchup in a smiley face. The two halves of the English muffin become the eyes.

6:45 AM I’m at my desk stuffing my face and drinking coffee like there is no tomorrow. I’m reading through my Facebook page for things I can post to Online Community Writers and Mifflin Writers Group. Hey, were all writers and we all deserve the chance to succeed. And when I’m famous and rich, I’ll still give back.  I check my email, delete spam. Nothing important to respond to, and I feel truly inferior. I’m planning to work over lunch on my novel, but I don’t even have a clue what I’m going to write about.  This is the scariest of times. Usually, I have some direction, at this point and am chomping at the bit for some free time to write. I’m blank.

7:00 AM – 11:00 AM. I spend time at my day job. I can’t tell you about it without killing you. It’s all HIPAA stuff and I don’t want to go to jail for giving up some protected information. I’ll just say that I’m good, and they are perfect.

11:00 AM I grab lunch as I could down the minutes till I’m planning to write. I create a salad at the cafeteria’s bar, all kinds of greens, carrots, black beans, black olives, a little cheese, croutons, and cranberries.  A scoop of Santa Fe Chicken Salad completes the meal.  Oh, and balsamic vinaigrette.   I pay and head to my desk, finish some work before the bewitching hour.

12:00 I open my draft of Mariline. It’s a good draft and I start reading. I still don’t know where I’m going with it. It’s not singing to me and I’m worried. I put on Radio Mozart and I let his melodies sink in. I’m adding something here and there and suddenly it’s

1:00 PM Make a backup copy of my script. I’m happy I was able to continue, but there is still so much to go. Back to work.

3:00 PM My co-workers and I break for coffee and talk about the things that are bugging us or what new in the cinema.  It’s a refreshing moment to take pause and see the duck that has decided to nest between the buildings on our way to the café.

4:00 PM I’m in my car and I’m heading home. Traffic isn’t too bad. I’m worrying as I speed down the entrance ramp, but I’ve timed it just right, I’m on and heading east.  The windows are down, and the wind is blowing what little of my hair around. 

4:15 PM I’ve gotten the mail and came home to my loving girlfriend. I want to kiss her but with all that coffee my ass will kiss the toilet seat before I kiss her.  I make up for that after I get out of my tie and into comfortable clothes.

5:00 PM Kim and I have been discussing our day and now we are deciding on food or TV.  Television wins out and the ten or so Investigation Discovery Network shows left on the DVR.  Blood, death and murder keep us occupied. I’m pulling out a bottle of Vodka and making a martini while still listening to the announcer talk about more blood, death, and murder.

6:00 PM I heat up some Smart Choice food and make a little side salad, still catching up on those murder shows. 

7:30 PM After all that death, I kiss Kim goodnight, and I go into the bedroom and read for a hour. The book in riveting and I’m really enjoying it. 

8:30 PM I fill my CPAP machine. Kiss Kim goodnight and I try to fall asleep. Audrey, my cat, decides that I’m the perfect shoulder to lay on and sniffs my ear and licks my face. Against her best efforts, I’m out cold.

2:00 AM I realize that Kim is in bed with me as I hear her groan about Audrey jumping across her pillow to get to me. Audrey sticks her bony feet it my arm and side as she settles again on my shoulder. Now she’s licking around my ear, trying, I guess to clean up the hairline around it. I’m trying to fall back asleep but there is something gnawing at me about my book. 

4:00 AM There is a scene that keeps going over and over in my mind.  I have to remember it for tomorrow when I’m working on the book draft.

5:00 AM I fall asleep.

5:30 AM DAMN!  I overslept!

That was the life of this writer not too long ago.

A Month Without a Bloggie-cause

tropical beach nature landscape with white sand at summer
tropical beach nature landscape with white sand at summer

There are few things in my life that I like better than not working. One of them I’m sure you can guess, but I won’t be that obvious. I spend a month without feeding you on any of my bullshit and I see that you’ve taken the hint. The fact that no one is checking in on my website proves that don’t love me anymore and I’m OK with that. My voice comes out in for everyone out there, not just for you elitists. On the other hand, you know I love you all, within reason, after all I do have a girlfriend, you know. Back as far as 600 B.C., in the writings of Sappho, a Greek poet, there is an expression, “Never bite the hand that feeds you.” And so it goes I must feed on your love and not bite.

I spent the month editing my book Mariline trying to get it out my developmental editor, which I did before I went on ‘vacation’ on the 22nd. I put vacation in quotes, as I didn’t really go anywhere. Some might even say, ‘staycation.’ I had some fun, eating at my favorite restaurants, singing karaoke, and sleeping till 7:30 am or sometimes in the afternoon. If I were on a beach somewhere, I would be doing the same things. I guess the only difference is I’m missing the hammerhead sharks, used syringe needles and sand, which I could get anywhere. It was a freedom. Mostly it was a freedom of work which had grown into a six-headed hydra. It kept me from my love of writing over my lunch breaks and causing my blood pressure to rise like a Fourth of July rocket.

I also had the pleasure of aging a year. Forty-seven is not for the faint of heart, I’m telling you from experience. I really didn’t expect my back to feel so crazy all at once after I gained a year. I feel it was lying in wait, just for the clock to tick past 12 AM EST on the Twenty-third. Genetics is a bitch.   I can’t see my parents in the same light now. They have done this to me (and my brother too), and now I must get back at them anyway I know how. “What was that you need help with your walker? Sorry, work keeps me chained to my desk. So sad!” I’m not that bad really. But in my heart of hearts I’d like to be.

So did you miss me? I’d like to think you did. I’m readying my ego for the developmental editor’s report. I need to bank up all the positive things I can so I’m not too devastated. Getting rejections is the life of a writer. I look at other authors and wonder if I could go through so much rejection without being discouraged. I know my first musical, No One Give a Damn, was prostituted out to some places, all of which said no. The only positive from that was one that kept the pilot light burning. The letter and I paraphrase because it was twenty years ago, said that he liked it, but it would be too hard to produce.  I guess that keeps me trying. I never thought I would have written a book, but after two I continue.

I started working on Trinkets, a screenplay I wrote that I’m changing to a book. It’s a serial killer who uses geocaching locations for hiding body parts. I thought about this years ago when a friend of mine was going to one of these locations and almost fell down a well trying to get to the geocache box. That started the brain moving. And the rest, they say is history.

I’ll try to keep up more with these little posts. I know how you like to read them. There are a lot of topics I’d like to cover, but I don’t want to alienate any more of you. Yes, I am a chicken.

Talk to you soon.

Stick a Fork In It

After the many days, months and yes, even years, I’ve completed the ninth draft of my novel Mariline. From here it will go through a program call Grammarly to work out the grammatical kinks that befall even the greatest sage. Then I have been speaking with a developmental editor, which will take their red pen to my words, my baby and with hope will not be too sharp with the scissors. I have to say I am feeling good about this work. I think it stands up with the best writing I’ve ever done, and all that other blah-blah egotistical authors would say. I am looking forward to their review.

Just to give you some background on the novel, it is a paranormal drama I started in 2010 for NANOWRIMO. The plot had been kicked around for many years, although it did not start as a paranormal drama at the time. The elevator pitch goes something like:

 

In suburban Mainline Philadelphia, Carol is the nanny and surrogate mother for Emily, whose parents have died, or so she thought. When Emily is kidnapped, how far will Carol go to save Emily from Emily’s abusive father?

 

That’s the basis, but you guys know it is more than that. We’ll see what happens with the developmental editor.

Mariline Update

beautiful girl with long hair in dark forest developingHe sat and mulled through the piles of chapters he had already thrown out. “What if I bring back this one,” he thought as he took another sip of coffee. In the early morning of a gray rainy day, everything looked like it could fit back into his story, but after seven drafts he should have it down to just editing. “Every draft is the first draft,” he thought. “Every draft is a chance to bring my story back to life. It had sat moribund for way too long. Mariline must be resurrected.”

 

That’s how I’ve been lately. My book is on life support. Mariline. I’ve written it from several perspectives, but Kim had gotten it right. I need to tell the story that I set out to do. So I’ve been spending time in the mythical Swedesford Township, Pennsylvania hanging out with the Fynn brothers that started this all. I am trying to get into the brother’s heads to better understand them and how to write them better. Also, I am learning to understand Max Benike, police Lieutenant and how they all fit together.

 

It is a story about baggage, people’s history and how it drives us. It is a story about life repeating itself. It is a story of the paranormal influencing our life and contributing to our death.

On the surface, we have a hit and run, something the police understand very clearly.   Benike has been on the trail of a murderer for over twenty years, and he has a new clue to investigate. Behind the scenes an accidental drowning, and how it fractures a father, and the impact on the kids. “We are all born with blood on our hands,” Detective Sergeant, Carla Ruiz tells Benike. “It depends on if we get caught as to how guilty we are.”

What Have I Been Doing?

girlfriend coverIf you’ve been keeping up with my Twitter feed, you know I’ve been working on a new novel, Girl, Friend for NaNoWriMo.   The story is Thriller/Suspense about a down and out musician hiding out in the Keys, befriends a local woman, who turns out to be more than he bargained for.

Here is a little taste of what I’ve been working on.  As you might know that in 2011 I started Mariline  for NaNoWriMo.

This is the first draft and I’ve not done any editing.  ENJOY!

CHAPTER ONE

It was a fine autumn day, the day my family lost their fortune. I wondered around the island that day, wondering what I was going to do, being already three weeks behind in the rent. I watched the sun setting on the Gulf of Mexico; the reds, yellows and blues all mixing together into a deep purple. The street bands would play on the pier and there would be celebrations until late in the evening as the sun disappeared on the horizon. The ocean smelled like urine as the wind blew in from west. When it had died down, the sand became more palatable to my worn pitted feet.

I had come to Key West to run away from everything, and did. I was not an angel; there were years of alcohol and drugs, and fathering kids around the world. Back in the day I was on top of the world, but after years of touring with my band, we had hit a stumbling block, the tour went bankrupt in Stockholm. We left our equipment there, and flew back to the states with the little money we had left. We scattered, being sick of being around each other for thirty years, and only having one, top hot 100 one-hit wonder song. I’m sure you’ve heard our song, it’s called “Mix Tape”, and we even had MTV do a “Where are they now?” on us. Now I’m stuck singing it in karaoke to a poor backup tape, and people looking at me like I have five arms coming out of my head. “Isn’t that?” No. I tell them. I don’t want them to remember me as a shrinking, fifty year old, gray haired old man, with fifty-cents in his pocket, and his sole possessions can be held in a duffel bag.

On the beach, the lapping water lulled me into a drowsy state, and I lied back and looked up at the stars, some stagnate, others seemed to float across the sky in a criss cross pattern. The moon was only half in the violet, and partially lit up the water, and sand. Occasionally, a runner would pass by, and wave to me in the darkness. They had gotten to know me, and I them. We looked out for each other, and it was comforting to see them out there. “Off the beach, Mr. Akins.” Jack was on night patrol, in his black shorts and polo; his badge flickered against the moon’s reflection in the ocean. He was twenty-six, about five-foot, six, and wore white sneakers. He looked down at me.

“Do you see the stars?” I looked past his big head. He glanced up quickly and then back down at me.

“Don’t have the time.”

“That is what is wrong with this world, Jack.”

“Maybe so, but you can’t stay here, Mr Akins.” His face frowned into his skull. I reached up to him.

“Give an old man a hand.” Jack pulled me to my feet.

“Thanks. You are not my son, are you?” He smiled.

“You ask that every night. Don’t you remember?”

“Yes, I remember, but things change so fast. Anything is possible.”

“I don’t have a musical bone in my body.”

“Oh, you don’t have to be musical. It’s has to be your mother that had a musical bone in hers.” Jack smirked and grabbed my arm.

“We should leave.”

“That’s what I thought.” He walked me to the Duval Street, said goodbye, and let me go. There was a lull in the tourists visiting, and just before winter traffic set in. Duval Street was getting back to the normal; I could almost see my friends without having to bust through a chorus line of drunken out-of-towners singing the Margaretville song. There was honesty in the air; the smell of food, sex, alcohol, pot, and tobacco. As the people passed me they was no judgment. I fit in with everyone, and they were all excepting of me. I didn’t always feel that way out on the road. Early on the paparazzi would follow us around the world and report on everything from bowel movements to zit outbreaks. As the band got older, it was pictures of arrests, and the drug and alcohol abuse. Here I felt insulated. They were all my friends, and they smiled, drunk or not, and the all knew. Some call it paradise, I began to call it home, up until the point all the money was gone. Now, I didn’t know what to call it.

Taking the Plunge!

Seawall or pier leading out over waterI took a long walk off a short pier.  Can you tell?  I am all wet.  People, when they find out that I haven’t been to college, look at me like I just grew another head.  I’m well read.  My mind is thirsty for knowledge, and I know a lot more that anyone in my position should know.  Some things come to me very easily; others are like fitting a square peg into an electric socket.  I’m sure there is some genetic component involved, but let’s not talk about my parents, also not college educated.

In Junior High, I was already being called a “scholar” even though I wasn’t even sure what that meant.  I was quiet so I think I people got the impression that I was always thinking of a way to murder them.  They were right.  Being a fiction writing it’s easy.  It’s your world, and you make it.  I was making a thoughtful slasher film for Career Day! (I wanted to be a great directory, like Alfred Hitchcock, without all the weirdness)  It was great!  No one had a clue!  I loved the freedom.  I started writing parodies of films, for the fun of it.  I planned out my classmates, wrote specifically for their characteristics, and even imagined producing the film.   There was no doubt in their minds that I was going to put them in my movies, but having only an 8mm camera, there was going to be some issues.  Enablers all!

In High School, I moved on to writing plays.  None of them were ever produced, but they sit in the proverbial trunk.   Maybe someday I’ll pull them out, dust them off, and throw them into the fireplace. It’s something high school Ed would have wanted, after a proper burial.  Some of those stories have passed their prime, they were funny then, but now I can see an audience staring at the stage, drool dripping from the corners of their mouths, as they say, “HUH?”  I have enough of my readers doing that; I don’t need a whole audience of people to tell me that.  Besides, who knows what was going through my mind back then.  HECK!  I don’t understand most of the things I wrote back then, but it does make me laugh.

So on to the point that I’m making here, if you might say, the long way around the mountain.  I’ve started a college class on Sitcom Writing.  I know, if you’ve read any of my books, you would know that they are so serious.   There is some humor, but the topics are so dark.  What am I doing starting a Sitcom class?  First of all, how dare you!  I say that to my conscience, and not to the reader of this prose.   I can be a funny individual, as can all of us, at the right moment; coming up with a quip or one liner that makes everyone laugh.  What’s that line?  “Comedy is hard, drama is easy.”  Well, I’ve been working on the drama part and I want to expand my horizons.  I’ve had a mind for humor, and though I might be putting my head in a noose now, I think I can do it. It’s just a class.  I think of it as learning.  I’m sure I can use it in my writing.  It’s a win-win situation, and all that other winky-dink encouragement things that they say in the biz.

I’ve stepped off the pier.   I feel the water rising up to my neck, and I wonder if I’ll need to clean behind my ears today.

New Adventures of the Old Interns

business people work group in teamAs I’m looking through the resumes of potential applicants for intern this coming school year, I am reminded of interns past, the specter of them still haunting my writing room, filling my senses with wit, charm, and way too much perfume.  I thought this would be a good time to get you caught up on what they have been doing, and to make those applying feel vastly inferior, and tremendously insecure, although perusing these pathetic pages of prose it doesn’t seem that I need to try that much.  So, to catch you up on last year’s crew of three, Miss X, Mister Y (the man-slut), and Miss Z, all English students at a local college, you might remember that Miss X and Mister Y were having a thing.   Well that didn’t last.  I know, SURPRISE!  But I did get a high five for bringing them together.  They were happy while it lasted, but they remain bitter enemies.   Like cats and dogs, they have their politeness for a few moments and then like a scene out of Wolverine,  out come the claws.   I guess that’s what happens when you date a man-slut.   Here is a update to their status.

Miss X:  Still in college, looking to graduate with a Bachelors of Arts in English, in 2015. She’s on to dating someone new.  She’s changed her hair color to dirty blond, and she still likes to read James Patterson and Jodi Picoult, and writing poetry.  She misses the time she spent here, and is looking forward to hearing about the next group of people coming in.  I remember her as the organizer for the group.  She had a plan for everything, and was very organized.   Took great notes, and made me sound better than I should.

Mister Y:  Still in college, looking to graduate with Bachelors of Arts in Communications.   He has a job working for the Fightin’ Phillies (AA affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies), in the main office (getting coffee, donuts, etc.), but sometimes appears in costume on the diamond.   His band, Kudos, broke up, but he’s looking to start another, soon, before he loses the calluses on his fingers.  He is into the Robert Ludlum Bourne series, Tom Clancy and Tony Gilroy.  His times here will always be remembered, so he says!  We shared a love for whiskey, and the way he can put it down, I don’t think he’ll have many brain cells left.  I know I don’t have too many left, either.  LOL!  I miss the music jam sessions we had when we couldn’t think of things to write.

Miss Z:  Graduated this year with a B. A. in English and is looking for a job (any takers?)  She keeps up her blog site on cheese making, and is spending her down time writing her first novel, about nineteenth century French monks who developed specific cheeses.   I’ve given her all the encouragement I could, about the novel, and she still asks me all kinds of questions!  She reads historic novels and has some stories (I hope none make it to her cheese blog), about her intern time here and researching Malaise and (what became the) Mariline novel.   She was an excellent researcher, and the fastest Googler in the west.  If you needed an answer for something, she would have it before you could even ask.   I’d like her on speed dial if I ever made it to “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”

I wish them well.  I miss them writing the blogs for me, organization, and researching, but with a new group, there is new blood, and that brand new car smell.  So if it seems like I’m not myself, well, you’ll know why.  Here is to the new interns!  See what you have to look forward to?

Goodreads’ Questions

wpid-img_20140724_122751_425.jpgBeing a Goodreads author, they’ve invited me to answer questions of my fans and dissidents. To start the ball rolling they’ve provided me with the following to shake the cobwebs:

How do you deal with writer’s block?

I try to avoid it as much as I can. I keep to my scheduled time of writing and if I’m not working on my book, I blog, I work on short stories, or plot out something I’m already working on. I have lots of ideas. Just because I’m not putting them down on paper doesn’t mean I’m working. Playing out scenarios in my head helps later when I sit down at the keyboard. Steven King says something like just suck it up and do it. You want to be professional? You have to act professional. “Sorry, boss, I don’t feel like doing that today,” will get you where? I go to a number of writing circles, and they offer that you pick a number of words you could write in a day, say 200 words. You ask yourself with the worst day you could image (dog dying, cat eats the fish, kid breaks leg, flat tire, etc.) could you write 200 words? 200?   Sure? Set that as a goal and stick to it. It exercise for the mind, and like other exercises for it to have an effect, you need to keep at it.  Write? RIGHT!

Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

I was dating a nanny I met on Match.com in 2009.  One day, we were lying in bed, and the idea came to me; what if she was working as a nanny for my estranged ex-wife, didn’t know it, and the child went missing?  I played out a number of scenarios in my head and in 2010 (she abruptly dumped me in March, and was doing the single thing at the time) I wrote in the NaMo thing and wrote a version of the book.  It’s changed many times since then (5+ drafts), but it still follows the themes about personal security on the internet, giving second chances, and everyone has baggage.

How do you get inspired to write?

I find my relationships are what inspire me to write.   Not that I write directly about them, but they sometimes provide genesis for ideas.  I try to keep a schedule to write at work over my lunch time.  I put on Mozart and let the music take me.  I can usually bang out ~1000 words in an hour, but I plan out and think about what I’m going to write before I do.

What are you currently working on?

The book is called Mariline.  I like to call it a paranormal thriller.  It’s a tri-angle between two brothers and a nanny.   The one brother, Kevin, is an ex-cop, ex-heroin addict.  The other brother, Aiden, is trying to rehabilitate Kevin.  Carol, the nanny, is dating Aiden, not knowing she’s working for Kevin’s estranged ex-wife.   Mariline is the ghost of the drowned daughter of Kevin that appears when Kevin gets out of rehab, and sets things into motion.

 What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

Read and write often.  Believe in your work.   Every day is full of learning and living experiences, use them wisely.  If the work is personal to you, it will be to the reader.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

All the frequent flyer miles you rack up in your brain.  I’m out of my body so much, being other people and seeing other places, all in my mind, sometimes it feels like a vacation.   It’s fun to go away, with old friends (my characters) and make their lives miserable.  My problems don’t seem so bad after that.