These are the most common questions I get.
I've been asked these questions several times.
1. What advice do you have for a beginning novelist?
Expect to get a lot of rejection. From agents. From publishers. From magazines. If you can handle the
rejection, you're already one step ahead. Want commercial success? Study the books already on the
best seller lists. This will tell you what genres and subjects are popular. Never underestimate
how difficult it is to start and finish a book. Never underestimate how difficult it is to sell a book
in today's competitive market. Keep your day job. It can take a decade to find financial success
through publishing. Remember only a few writers, a small percentage, ever get "famous" in this
profession. Start small with poems and short stories. Don't ask for reviews from friends or
relatives, they might go out of their way to be extra kind. Join some local community writer's
groups or take a creative writing course at a community college to get awesome feedback on your
writing ability. When you write, keep your audience in mind at all times. Young adults? Elderly retired
folks? Educated? Who will most likely be your market? Lumberjacks? Lawyers? People living in
Hawaii? Write because you like to write, because you like to give enjoyment to people
through your unique words, your point of view, your experiences or your literary voice. Don't become a writer to be "rich and famous" because most authors never get near that pinnacle. Write what you know.
Write what you feel. Never be afraid to try something new with regards to the literary world. Innovate.
Amaze people. Have fun with words. Keep your dialogue snappy and on topic.
2. Why did you become a writer?
All my life, I have been creative. I always excelled at subjects and topics that required creativity. And
people have told me I have a good imagination. So add those two things up, a creative person with
a good imagination. Writing as a career just seemed to fit.
3. Can I get your autograph?
May I be honest? I hate signing my autograph. Why? Because I'm not "famous:" and I doubt I will ever be famous, and I am okay with this. If my goal was just fame, I would have quit writing long ago. That's why I hate signing an
autograph. It's silly. I'm not famous, why would anyone want my autograph? I just feel silly. But I usually give in
and go ahead and sign. I don't want to seem rude or snobby.
Now let me say this, as of this date I have only declined signing my autograph one time in the past decade.
Just once. A woman I went to high school with many years ago, she asked me in person several years ago if I would sign my autograph in her high school yearbook. The whole thing was surreal, and silly. I didn't even remember
the woman. No, she wasn't wearing a mask. I just didn't recognize her or remember her. Not her name or face.
But she recalled me, and she said, "In high school, me and none of my friends liked you and didn't want you
to sign our yearbooks, so I figure since you signed so few yearbooks, maybe your signature might increase
my yearbook's value." And I was like, huh? It's true I never got writer's cramp from signing yearbooks when I was
in school, but by insulting a person is that a way to get an autograph? It was just so surreal, and stupid. So that
was the only time I declined signing an autograph. I wasn't angry about it, or insulted, I just thought it was
silly signing a yearbook decades later.
You know what I told the woman? I told her to find an authentic autograph of Marilyn Monroe. That would be
something of value, I told her.
4. Who do you admire? Who is your hero?
I could say Ghandi, for his inspirational quotes and belief in change for the better. But, really, my biggest hero, aside
from Ghandi, would be Mom. My mother was handicapped by polio when a young child and then, with three small
children, her husband passed away abruptly from a brain tumor, and Mom had to raise three children on her own.
It's difficult enough to raise three children as a single mother, but imagine doing this while paying off many
thousands of dollars in hospital bills from my father's operation (no, he didn't have any life insurance) and being
handicapped and using crutches (or a wheelchair). But she never complained, despite the fact life dealt her a
difficult hand. I watched her, after my father's passing, search her car seats for loose change to buy some milk or
bread. I'm sure there were many times when we were low on money that she reduced her food consumption
so we three kids could eat enough. But she never complained. She just accepted the facts and conditions and faced
the challenges as well as she could. So, I would have to say my mom is my hero. I so regret as my mom aged, and
was confined to a wheelchair, that I could not give her nice things. I tried to "get wealthy" to give her trips to
Europe and the opera, but I was schooled that in life it's not easy to go from being quite poor to wealthy in
a short amount of time. Or even in a long amount of time. Or ever. Oh yes, life's economics schooled me.
5. It's been quite a few years since your last book was released. Why the long stretch?
It has something to do with hours. There just aren't enough in a day! I've been so busy the last decade, first with
being a care giver and providing assistance to my elderly mom in a wheelchair and an older sister with
a serious, chronic illness. Plus, I've been working multiple jobs, two jobs and sometimes three jobs. I've just
been so busy that writing had to take a backseat. Heck, I haven't taken a summer vacation in 19 years.
Between caring for family members and work, I couldn't get the time off. But for some good news, to those
that missed my writing, I'm happy to announce in early January 2020 my memoir was published. In February
2020 I will publish two books of short, mostly humorous poems. And in spring of 2020, I am planning to
publish some non-fiction collections of true, mostly humorous stories from my goofy life. Beyond that?
Who knows? But I do plan on a busy 2020 for my writing career. I expect to publish these books with Amazon.
6. What is your biggest regret?
That I never married and had a family. When I was a young man, in my late twenties, I always planned to be
married with a family by the time I was in my early forties. I just didn't meet the right woman to make
it happen. I was a poor, struggling writer. I was caring for two family members. I was working in a series of
low wage jobs, unable to move or transfer to an area with better opportunities because I had family members
to care for. I didn't want to suggest my mom go into a nursing home in her old age, so I cared for her needs.
I was driving a 30 year old car with rust holes in the floor and roof. I got wet when it rained. My dating life wasn't
great and my low income hardly made me a great candidate for marriage and starting a family. And now that I
am getting older, I miss family vacations, and seeing a son or daughter getting married. I'll never have
7. Who and what do you respect?
Law enforcement. Our flag. The proud members of our miltary serving overseas. Teachers.
8. Can you give some hints about your upcoming books?
I suggest you visit the blogs' page on this website for the latest author news and announcements.
9. What or who do you hate?
Hate is a strong word. Let's just say things or people I'm not fond of. Let's see. Spoiled playboys who were born into money and now act like they did it all on their own. I hate cockroaches that scurry when you turn on the lights. I hate fake people. Liars. Cheaters. Stuck-up people. I am not a fan of spinach, either.
10. What amazes you?
Great literature. Inspirational people. And the sheer size of the entire universe, so vast and huge who knows
where it ends or who created it and how? I read there could be billions of other planets out there in the
universe. Billions! Just the size of the entire universe simply leaves me unable to grasp it all. And time. Time
amazes me. The dinosaurs disappeared about 69 million years ago? I can't wrap my head around ten thousand
years of time much less 69 million years. Earth is several billion years old? Billions? It's mind numbing
these stretches of time.
A fun picture puzzle below about the above photo.
The universe's so huge
I can't my around it.
I can't wrap my brain around it.
Ohhhhh, come on now. I'm going to call a
security guard. Who let the flying
chickens inside to show up unannounced on
my website? Who left the door to the