Can you give me a Synopsis of Your Book? See Book Review.
What is the primary theme of your book?Sometimes, evil can be outwardly beautiful, but in truth, some cultures have created a myth that there is an expectation of cruelty from beautiful women. I started to think about how we assume that looks determine the character of a person, but good-looking people may get away with more because of how we’ve been trained as a society. The whole notion that women could be evil, but the head honcho of Hell was a man, seemed curious. Then, I began to write a character that blew up the assumptions about the “devil”, especially given that many people associate Satan with being a male, and apparently, someone who dresses like every day is Halloween.
What drove you to write this book?I’m not a true Southerner, but I found that I love the culture. I mean, sweet tea? Biscuits? Pinto beans? Please and thank you! There was one thing that was completely new to me-- roadside crosses at places where people died in car accidents. I started wondering, “What if someone, or something used a roadside cross for a very dark reason?” I wrote a story about a ghoul and her human helper, who roam the American Midwest using a roadside cross to lure teenagers to their death. From that, I created characters that would hunt that ghoul, and show no fear, and one year later, here we are!
What is your writing process?I see an entire novel; start to finish, with all of the characters and high points. Then, I chew it over while doing mindless tasks, and chunks of dialogue come to me, but on occasion, I’ll blurt a phrase or concept to myself that I just have to write down. There are little notes scattered across the spaces I inhabit, sometimes I use them, and sometimes, they get lost. It seems to be the most natural way for me to write, so I’ll go with it until I develop telekinesis, or train my basset hound to write, although, with his fat paws, that doesn’t seem likely.
You used Create Space Publishing. Why did you choose this publication path? Can you share the pros and cons of self-publication?Let’s start with the “why”. I write urban fantasy that features a male narrator who has a stable, albeit unusual relationship with two women. That isn’t the most common theme in the genre, and I was a first time author. Publishing me would be a risk, so, after two months of queries, I came to the conclusion that I would let the readers (if I could find any) decide on whether or not my fictional world had any merit. I’m pleased to say, it was a good decision, and I think that we can now admit the publishing world is changing—regardless of what established elements in that field might think.
There are some drawbacks to self-publishing, starting with the stigma surrounding independent authors. For every indie you read and love, there are some authors who choose, in their haste to publish, not to edit thoroughly, or didn’t have access to a quality editor. My wife is an English professor, with additional degrees in technical writing and editing. I’m lucky, her rates are reasonable. I urge anyone who writes and is thinking of publishing on their own to edit, re-edit, and then edit again. The more eyes that scan your manuscript, the cleaner it will be, and that’s the best solution for shining in a field of many, many authors.If you were to re-write your book or edit anything in the published version what would you change?
Delphine really took me by surprise. I was actually laughing out loud at some of the things she said, so she figures heavily in the second volume in the series. I would have included more Delphine, more of her humor, and perhaps a touch more of her personal history. I reveal all of her past in the second book, simply because she’s taken on a life of her own, and her beginnings are both sad and compelling.Do you have more books in the works?
The second and third books that follow “the Forest Bull” are well on their way. The next volume, “Mask of the Swan”, will be in print March, 2014. I’m also working on an adventure thriller featuring a character seeking revenge for the murder of his wife, but he chases the killers under the earth in an enormous, unknown cave system. I’m a bit of a nerd about geology and the New Madrid Seismic zone, so it’s a chance for me to release my geeky side and mix some excellent revenge and action, all at once. I foresee him as a recurring character, not unlike Dirk Pitt, one of my favorite literary figures.Why did you really buy a pub?
I make a mean grilled cheese, so. . . But really, my family had restaurants that opened in the 1950s, called “Ted N’ Peg’s Pie Stand”. They were located in three towns, two in upstate New York, and one in my hometown of Hollywood, Florida. Cooking and baking were second nature to me, and I needed a job. The pub came available and I thought it would be an excellent chance to have fun while doing something I loved. To this day, if there isn’t a pie in my kitchen, I’m not happy. It was a good move, and now, as a college history professor, I can look back fondly at the whole experience. I can also think about how hot the kitchen could get, kick back in the air conditioning of my classroom, and smile.Is there any one thing you would like to share with readers?
Tell me what you think! Above all else, I’d like to know if my story resonates, because even though I love writing, I’m constantly surprised by how readers interpret my own words. It’s like rediscovering my own thoughts, and I love the feeling. Thanks for having me, and thanks for the excellent blog!