Q2: When did you decide to be a writer?
In the 1990's more or less.
Q3: What did you most recently publish (title and genre)?
Shackleton Crater, - hard science fiction
Q4: What is your next project?
A Civil War novel.
Q5: Which path(s) have you taken: traditional publishing, self-publishing, or both?
Self publishing, first print, now exclusively Kindle.
Q6: Why should people consider reading your work?
I write educational stories for niche audiences: Richmond Virginia history lessons in mysteries, aviation technology for radio control flyers, natural science survival stories, and I have an unpublished book about East Africa.
Q7: How do you describe your writing style?
concise and didactic
Q8: Where and when do you like to write?
I like silence and solitude for writing, a room without distractions, then, if possible, a pleasant, populated place for edits, a place with a view, preferably a place new to me.
Q9: At what time, day or night, do you feel the most creative?
Inspiration comes at all hours. I have had productive mornings, afternoons, and evenings.
Q10: Which authors inspire you the most, and how?
I like the high gloss polish of a work where words and sentences multitask. You see that in Shakespeare. I like a silly book with a deep message, like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe (themes include contingent creation and the creator's sense of humor) - Douglas Adams. I like writers who have a sense of poetry and cadence, like Carson McCullers. I like writers who master what Melanie Anne Phillips calls the "through lines" like Margaret Mitchell. I read for good ideas. I like writers who work a passage, maybe two pages or three, into a self-contained essay, writers who accomplish in fiction what Joseph Epstein or William F. Buckley Jr. accomplished in non-fiction essays. Saul Bellow did that. And last but close to mostly first, I appreciate the unique genius of Joseph Conrad whose novels gave me a standard by which to begin to judge fiction writing.
Q11: How do you overcome the writer’s demons: Procrastination and Self-Doubt?
Because I have editing work left over from last year I cannot say I have overcome procrastination. G. K. Chesterton got me over self-doubt by teaching me that anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.
Q12: What aspect of your writing do you feel is strongest, and what needs the most improvement?
I write fiction but the facts I incorporate are solid. For the book I am writing now I spent 9 months researching for the first two chapters.
Improvement: I need a bigger, better, team, what the net calls "beta readers."
Q13: What was the best part of the worst thing you’ve ever written?
The best part was a brilliant, fictional innovation in a science fiction book, which became the worst thing I ever wrote when (book half done), I discovered the brilliant innovation was not original. I shelved the manuscript.
Q14: What advice do you have for others who want to be writers?
Treat writing as you would any other art: have a good message, enjoy the process.
Q15: What form of marketing works best for promoting your work(s)?
The KDP free download days. My numbers are low, but over the years that outlet has worked better than others as a return on investment.
Q16: If life is a bowl of cherries, what does your life as a bowl of cherries look like?
Time to read, time to write, time with my dog, Daisy.
Q17: Who is your rock, the one who encourages you the most to keep writing, and why?
Valerie Mayton. Why? Because she likes to read my books.
Q18: What do you do apart from writing?
Less each year. [That's a joke, funny because there is some truth in it.] I read. I have a pretty busy church schedule.
Q19: Where can people find more about you and your work(s)?
Q20: What one question should this interviewer have asked, and how would you answer it?
Q: What genre do you write?
A: I began with cozy mystery, thoroughly enjoyed it, then wrote Young Adult adventure. I next wrote horror/science fiction and also Kindle published a short comedy. Today I write literary novels, which is to say I try to write in a new, "novel" way.
If you are an author who would like to participate, you can find the 20 Question interview here.