Author Q&A

I wanted to delve into some of the great mysteries of our current world and I felt like the mystery of the Lost Continent of Atlantis would be an interesting way to lead into those subjects.

I live near the beach in Southwest Florida and some of the locations I used in the books are places I visit now or have frequented.  Especially Anna Maria Island, FL. and The Bridgetender Inn.  Beautiful place which is perfect for how the books begin starting with The Atlantis Codes.  I have spent a lot of time there over the last 20 years.  I have also spent time at Boca Grande, FL and Cape Coral where the Nauti Mermaid is located. However, this story is a moving vehicle.  In Critical Mass, the story moves to eastern Kentucky near Morehead where I spent most of my youth playing in those hills and hollows.  Many of the other locations such as Coast Guard Station Key West, North Bimini Island, No Name Harbor, CIA headquarters, and McLean, VA, I found through research and learned enough about them to write as if I had been there.  The internet is a great tool for writers today.  

They held personal interest for me was part of it and I love writing about places I know well.  Second, I wanted the books to have a mysterious yet tropical feel at times.  I think people like picturing boats on a beautiful day, dolphins, pelicans and conversely…a beautiful ridge in the Appalachians with all that goes with that.  Kind of gives the readers a diversity of experiences and feelings.

The Atlantis Codes took me 5 years to complete.  I rewrote it probably 12 times.  It acted as the novel writing course that I never had.  I wrote a while and I read a while and continued to compare what I had written to the good books I was reading.  I read books on writing by Stephen King and others that I respected and followed the advice that I felt pertained to me.  I also followed a great quote from the famous writer Richard Bach…”A professional writer is one who didn’t quit…”.  It’s easy to become overwhelmed and give up.  The blank page is a worthy opponent on some days.  

It took me less than a year to write Critical Mass, the sequel to the Atlantis Codes.  I learned a lot writing that first book and the more I wrote, the more fluid I became.  I plan to write Book 3, which I have tentatively named “No Turning Back”, in 6 months or less. 

At the moment, I have written two and have began the process for Book 3.  I will have choices by the end of Book 3, No Turning Back.  I can finalize the story (I think) even though it is a big story that widens and deepens in Book 3, or I can leave the ending open to further books in this series.  I think I will make that decision as I receive feedback from my readers.  If I think people want more of this saga, I will continue to write in the series.

From your mouth to God’s ear! That would be the coolest thing ever! How much fun must it have been for Stephen King to go on location for the many movies that were made from his books and watch the characters and plot materialize right before his eyes. I can’t imagine much more fun than that.

However, that is to be determined. I personally think a great feature film could be made from these books and the characters are interesting and fun to get to know. I also believe that the series of books would make a killer miniseries on Netflix or SciFi Channel or wherever they might end up. I will be waiting for the call!
Obviously, Stephen King comes to mind.  He is the King of “What If…”  Overcame many personal challenges and demons to be where  he is today.
 
I have personally been influenced by the style and substance of the writing of Neale Donald Walsch who wrote the Conversations with God Series.  He has the ability to address complex, controversial issues in a very unique and intelligent way…while keeping his wit. 
 
I am very impressed with what John Locke has done.  He has sold millions of downloads on Amazon as a self-published author and set all sorts of sales records.  All while pioneering the 99 cent download.  I personally believe that the work that authors put into their books is worth more than that, but  he has carved out quite a niche and following for himself.  His books are outrageous which is the key to his audience.
 
I am also a Dan Brown fan.  Masterful weaving of historic places and events into a current breathtaking story.  It is fiction with a lot of non-fiction woven in which I like.  As Jake says in my books, “the best lies have a certain amount of truth to them.”
Well…I’m all into the great unknowns and mysteries of life.  I have read thousands of books in my life of all genres.  Business, textbooks, fiction, non-fiction, spiritual, self-help, and everything in between.  But, I started reading books like “Stranger than Fiction” when I was barely old enough to read and have followed that path my whole life despite the other things I studied.  I read a lot about what we are learning about extraterrestrial life and whether we have been visited or are being visited as we speak, and why.  This leads into the question of Disclosure, the day when the possibility that we are not who we think we are and our history as a planet is not what we thought, is revealed to the world.  This is a fascinating subject that is drawing a lot of attention worldwide and an increasing amount of evidence is being uncovered which could cause everything to reach “Critical Mass”.  I write about all this in Book 3.  Disclosure and the effects it could have on this planet and all it’s belief systems and institutions is a massive subject…but it could happen! I read about things like Near Death Experiences and listen to the fascinating accounts that have been gleaned by those interviewers.  I am interested in the past civilizations that lived around our world.  I think our accounting of earth history is very incomplete at this moment.
Not presently, but I have an author website going live and I plan on blogging on a regular basis as well as interacting with my readers there.
The days of my all-nighters are over.  I prefer to sleep in a little, enjoy my coffee, have a light breakfast and commence my writing by mid-morning.  I am fresh and ready to go at that point.  On a full day, I will write until mid or late afternoon with a quick break for lunch and a mid-afternoon cup of coffee.  After 4-6 hours of focused writing, my brain turns to me and says “Really?” and I join my wife for dinner.
Do what works for you.
 
Listen to advice from a select, small circle of people but stay true to your own style and voice.  
 
Don’t try to mimic other successful writers.  That’s not how they got that way.  But…you can learn from their precision and process.
 
Don’t assume there is only one way to write.  Outliner or pantser?  Find what is comfortable and works for you.
 
Always be working on your next project.
 
Be nice.
 
Hire an editor.
 
Write what you care about.
 
Look for new experiences and places…then draw inspiration from them.
 
Read every day if possible.  Stephen King does.
 
If you really want to be a writer…NEVER GIVE UP!