If He Wakes: Zoe explains

If He Wakes Book Cover If He Wakes
Zoe Lea
Fiction, thriller, Psychological Thriller
Canelo
April 30, 2018
300

You can always trust your best friend... can’t you? When Rachel discovers a Twitter message arranging a romantic liaison she assumes her husband is having an affair, and follows him. What she witnesses is so much worse: a hit and run using his car. Meanwhile, Rachel’s friend and business partner Suzie is increasingly worried about her fiance, who’s not been in touch for days. When Suzie learns of huge debts racked up in her name she fears he has run out on her, but then the threatening calls start and she thinks something terrible has happened. Rachel and Suzie are both about to learn shocking things about the men they love, worse than they could ever imagine... Can their friendship survive? 'A tense, pulse-quickening tale. If you read the first chapter, you can’t help but read the second. I flew through this perfect summer read of best friends in turmoil in one feverish session.' Paula Daly

ZOE LEA – IF HE WAKES

 1.Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

I got the initial idea for If He Wakes, and that very early idea would just not leave me alone.  I wrote about it because I couldn’t not write about it, and I realise how corny that sounds!
The idea of complete betrayal appealed to me, and although If He Wakes is similar to a lot of other books out there in this genre, I think the way it handles female friendship is a little different. In so much as it’s the central characters friendship that’s the narrative spine of the book, not the horrific acts that surround it.

  1. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

I usually think about a topic for quite a while before starting to write about it.  I like to keep a note book and write down the initial premise and then continue to add to it until I’m pretty sure the structure the book will take, by that time, I know if I’ve got a whole book or not.

  1. How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?

I’m lucky in that I have several friends who work in the force and one in particular that is happy to answer all of my questions!

  1. How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?

Too many times to remember!  I’ve been writing in one from or another for years so getting rejections is part and parcel of it all.

  1. Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?

This is hard one because there are two schools of thought, I know people who have an amazing online presence and because of that, have been approached by agents and publishers.  However, if the book you write isn’t up to scratch, I don’t think it will make any difference how big your audience is.  It always comes down to the quality of work in the end.

  1. What do you read when you are ill in bed?

I like to read a good escapist novel when I’m looking for a book to nurture me, something that will help me forget where I am and transport me to a different world.

  1. What is your favourite genre?

Mystery and crime.  It can be any genre, so long as there’s an element of mystery or crime to the plot, I like to read something and try to solve it.

  1. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

Stephen King has had the biggest influence on me and my writing.  His book, ‘On Writing,’ is a must read for anyone who is writing at the moment or thinking of becoming a writer.

Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

Author Bio:

Zoe Lea lives in the Lake District with her husband, their two children, three dogs and peregrine falcons. She has previously worked as a teacher, photographer and freelance journalist and is a writer in the day and a reader by night. If He Wakes is her debut novel.

Twitter: @zoe___lea

Instagram: ZoeLeaWriter

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How do you know if he is the Right Man? Kate White explains

The Wrong Man Book Cover The Wrong Man
Kate White
Thriller, Psychological Thriller
Canelo
9th October 2017

A moment of pleasure leads to a deadly game of cat and mouse in this slick and suspenseful thriller.

Kit Finn meets handsome sculptor Matt Healy on a business trip and the two share a night of passion. They arrange a second date, but when Kit arrives at Matt’s apartment she is greeted by a stranger claiming he is the real Matt and that his identity was stolen.

Realising she has been duped Kit decides to put the encounter behind her. Shortly after, the police ask her to identify a man killed in a hit and run, carrying only her business card, and she is shocked to find the dead man is the person she knows as the genuine Matt Healy.

Kit fears she has become unintentionally embroiled in a sinister web of deceit. With no real evidence to take to police, Kit resolves to unravel the mystery herself. But can she do so before more lives, including her own, are put in danger?

For fans of psychological suspense and compulsive mysteries, don’t miss this tense and page-turning novel.

Kate White answers some questions
  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique? The Wrong Man opens with a woman going, by invitation, to the apartment of a man she slept with on vacation, and the person who opens the door is not the man she expects to find there. Life is filled with unexpected twists and discoveries, some very unsettling, and I love thinking and writing about them.

     Though the twists in my book tend to be bigger than ones I’ve faced in life, I’ve had my share of rude awakenings. I dated a guy in my twenties who turned out to be a huge liar and it was unsettling to eventually find that what I assumed to be reality wasn’t at all. Those experiences ideally teach you to be better at reading situations and trusting your gut. And writing about them helps, too

How is my book different than others? I’ve never actually read a plot exactly like this, though many thrillers have details in common. For instance, I love the new thriller The Flight Attendant by Chris Bojalian. It opens with a woman waking to discover that the man she spent the night with his lying stabbed to death next to her. That happened in my psychological thriller Hush. It was really fun for me to see what another author did with the same basic idea.

 

  1. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a notebook where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time? I start with a germ of an idea and then I think about it over several months. (I often have to do this while I’m finishing up another book). I like to know the ending of a book before I start and also have a rough idea of all the major plot points.

     Funny you should ask about a notebook because I do keep one for each book. In the beginning I use it to jot down all sorts of questions about the plot, and somehow my subconscious gives me the answers, sometimes even as I’m making notes. I read this technique somewhere and it works fantastically (even for life in general).

Eventually I use the same notebook to do a rough outline of each chapter before I write it.  And to be honest, I love feeling a little like a schoolgirl again–but without the angst!

  1. How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book? I research when I’m developing the idea and then research other details as I write. I’m often still researching when I write the final chapter.  So in a sense it’s always a year.
  2. What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote? I use the Internet constantly for research, but I also like to actually go to a setting I’m writing about. The Wrong Man opens in the Florida Keys and though I researched the area thoroughly online, I ended up going down there for a few days (you should have heard me explaining the need for my trip to my husband!) When I started up the writing again after the trip, I didn’t change the opening chapter much (though the trip gave me the idea to have a gecko dart up a tree), but I felt more confident about what I’d written. While in Florida, I also visited the Miami morgue for a later scene in the book and that was a very gripping experience.
  3. How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience? I’ve found that police and forensic experts are more than happy to help. You just have to get up your nerve to ask and make sure your questions are smart. And thank them in the acknowledgements!
  4. How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted? My first mystery was accepted with only four chapters written and the publisher gave me a two-year contract. But I was the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan then and had written several non-fiction books, so they had confidence I wouldn’t flake out on them. It was a bit of a fluke situation.
  5. Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist? From what I’ve picked up, self-publishing can be fruitful and some authors have done really well with it. But many people in the business say that it still pays to be published, if possible, by a major house. I love to write so much that if a publisher stopped wanting to publish me, I definitely try self-publishing.
  6. Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened? For me being an author has been a real financial success, but that’s in part because for many years I combined it with having a day job. My day job provided me with a pension and health insurance and the like. I wrote my first eight mysteries while still at Cosmo. Yes, it can feel like burning the candle at both ends, but I do believe it’s best to try to really establish yourself as an author before you quit that day job. I didn’t leave until I had all my ducks in a row financially and knew I could afford to live even if my books stopped selling.

           And though it may not sound very creative, I think it’s important to approach the situation like a business.  Get a sense of what genres are selling and where there may be room for you.  I’ve heard great writers recommend that write the book you’re dying to write, and there’s truth in that, but I think if you’re writing a thriller or mystery, it can be smart to know the marketplace. As an entrepreneur once said to me, “It’s not enough to think about what you want from the world. You have to think about what the world wants from you.”

  1. What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour? I did a major event with several other authors and the event planners had a set designer create a scene from each of our books. They were all terrific, except I don’t think the designer realized that with the scene he created for my book, he was giving away the killer and the ending. Oops! I just had to laugh to myself and hope no one realized it.
  2. What do you read when you are ill in bed? I love mysteries and thrillers at all times but I find they’re particularly good as “comfort” reading.
  3. What is your favourite genre? I love literary fiction, books that stay with you forever, like Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending or James Joyce’s The Dead. I love to go back and read those books again and again and think about them endlessly.
  4. If you recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author? Someone who comes to mind right away is American writer Anita Shreve, who just passed away at 71. Her novel The Last Time They Met is one of my favorites.
  5. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre? I can’t name just one. I have so many favorites. In terms of mysteries, I am a total sucker for Ruth Rendell’s Inspector Wexford series. It helped me learn to be better at creating red herrings and legitimate clues and not being unfair to the reader by having a killer no one would have ever expected.
  6. In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing? I don’t read a lot of humor though I’m enjoying the new memoir Just the Funny Parts by screenwriter Nell Scovell. If Hollywood intrigues you, you’ll like it.
  7. Have you ever tried to imitate another author’s style? And if so, why? No, not at all. My favorites are so talented I couldn’t come close.
  8. What have you done with the things you wrote when in school? I saved everything for years and when moving left them in my then-boyfriend’s parents’ basement, in a suitcase. They threw everything out my mistake. It made me ill, and it took a long time for me to just let it go and accept. I know a lot of it was silly, but I’d love to get a peek at the girl I once was.

Author Bio:
Kate White
is the New York Times bestselling author of twelve works of fiction: seven Bailey Weggins mysteries and five stand-alone psychological thrillers, including most recently, The Secrets You Keep. For fourteen years she was the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, and though she loved the job (and the Cosmo beauty closet!), she decided to leave in late 2013 to concentrate on being a full-time author and speaker.

Twitter: @katemwhite

Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

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Why Lie? Lisa Hartley Tells the Truth

Tell No Lies Book Cover Tell No Lies
Lisa Hartley
crime, detectives, mystery, thrillers, female sleuths
Canelo
19th February 2018

Now they’re coming after Caelan’s team…

A tortured body is found in a basement. Drug dealing and people smuggling is on the rise. Then police start going missing.

There seems to be no connection between the crimes, but Detective Caelan Small senses something isn’t right.

Plunged into a new investigation, lives are on the line. And in the web of gangs, brothels and nerve-shattering undercover work, Caelan must get to the truth – or be killed trying.

And then there’s Nicky...

Utterly gripping, written with searing tension and remarkable dexterity, Tell No Lies is a blistering crime novel for fans of Angela Marsons, Rebecca Bradley and Faith Martin.

An Interview with Lisa Hartley

New Book: Tell No Lies

How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

I usually have an idea at the back of my mind for a while – maybe a couple of weeks? It might be the main theme of the book, maybe part of a sub plot, or even a minor scene that will set up major events later on. I don’t really have a notebook or make a list to choose a theme from. I tend to start writing before I make any concrete decisions about topics and wait to see where the story goes.

 How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

Much of the research I do for this series is based on locations, or how a character can get from one part of London to another, and how long it might take them. For this book, I spoke to my partner who grew up in one of the areas mentioned. Because I don’t really plot before I start writing, I tend to do the research as I write, and as necessary.

 What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

Generally: newspaper articles, interviews. Google maps (and street view). I also use relevant books such as Blackstone’s Senior Investigating Officer’s Handbook for my series featuring CID officer. For this book: mainly Google maps, and the Transport for London website to plan Tube journeys. I also read articles about people trafficking, accounts of drug use and talktofrank.com.

 What do you read when you are ill in bed?

It would depend how ill I was feeling. Probably a book I’ve read before, so it’s familiar and a comfort. Maybe an Agatha Christie?

 What is your favourite genre?

It has to be crime, doesn’t it? But I love historical fiction too, and of course historical crime fiction…

 If you could recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author?

There are loads, and more every month. Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, C.J. Sansom, Toby Clements, S.D. Sykes, Ann Cleeves, Abir Mukherjee, Jane Harper, Nicci French, David Jackson, Alex Barclay, Joseph Knox, Sara Paretsky, Rachel Howzell Hall, and so many more I can’t think of at the moment. Sue Grafton and Helen Cadbury are two writers whose work I’m really going to miss.

Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

It’s probably predictable for a crime writer to say Agatha Christie, but I’m going to. The first “grown up” book I read after the Famous Five and Secret Seven was an Agatha Christie, and I’ve been hooked on the genre ever since. Christie had the knack of conjuring up a character within a few short sentences or even less, and Poirot and Miss Marple are wonderful creations. Her books are short, but if you want an easy read and a clever plot, they deliver every time.

Author Bio:
Lisa Hartley lives with her partner, son, two dogs and several cats. She graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Studies, then had a variety of jobs but kept writing in her spare time. She is currently working on the next DS Catherine Bishop novel, as well as a new series with Canelo.

Twitter: @rainedonparade

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Leslie Tells it Like It Is

Heavens Rage Book Cover Heavens Rage
Leslie Tate
biography, true accounts, non-fiction
TSL Publications
(28 Nov. 2016)
Kindle

HEAVEN’S RAGE is an imaginative autobiography. Reporting on feelings people don’t usually own up to, Leslie Tate explores addiction, cross-dressing and the hidden sides of families. Writing lyrically, he brings together stories of bullying, childhood dreams, thwarted creativity and late-life illness, discovering at their core the transformative power of words to rewire the brain and reconnect with life. A Robin Red breast in a Cage / Puts all Heaven in a Rage — William Blake

Leslie Tate talks about he/r book Heaven’s Rage:

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about?

There’s an urgency about writing from life, and as long as it’s well-judged, avoiding self-pity or therapeutic gushings, it can speak directly about intimate experiences and widen people’s idea of what it’s like to be human.

So I wrote my trans memoir Heaven’s Rage, inspired and encouraged by Bruce Springsteen’s refusal to play in states on the wrong side of the bathroom dispute and the rise of the trans movement. The fact that there were young trans people who were ‘out’ and accepted in schools also gave me strength.

I’d already written a trilogy of novels in third person where the subject didn’t come up – not surprisingly really, because fiction needs focus and a trans character would be a distraction. In that respect novels are edits driven by language and character, and different from life.

In life, my trans-self was a person I imagined, an inbetweener, a  Janus-type character facing both ways. I had two spirits inside me; they’d begun in opposition but by the time I wrote Heaven’s Rage the gap had narrowed. In the process I’d come to believe that being trans comes from the dream-self.

For me, it’s a case of mind over matter, a refusal to be bound by the demands of gender – although it’s quite involuntary, and not, as some people suppose, a choice or a vanity.

So, although I’d cross-dressed for years with family and friends and had left behind my youthful sense of being outcast, writing a memoir was a big step. Suddenly I had to reinvent myself on the page, speaking from the inside about who I was and finding an approach that didn’t gloss over the problems or concentrate purely on appearances.

The answer I came up with was a book in seven sections, using many different styles.

So Heaven’s Rage contains reflective prose, true-life stories, quotes, articles, interviews, poems and a play script. I went down that route to avoid the story getting ploddy. It also gave me the opportunity to look at key events from different angles.

So instead of having to rush the reader on I could go inside my different stages and tell the full story – my family inheritance and my spiritual childhood, my love of music and gardens, and my struggles with alcoholism and finding my own voice as a writer. That way, my trans experiences weren’t marked out as ‘different’ or ‘strange’ but became part of an inquiry into what it’s like to be fully human.

In the words of the blurb: ‘Heaven’s Rage is an imaginative autobiography. Reporting on feelings people don’t usually own up to, Leslie Tate explores addiction, cross-dressing and the hidden sides of families. Writing lyrically, he brings together stories of bullying, childhood dreams, thwarted creativity and late-life illness, discovering at their core the transformative power of words to rewire the brain and reconnect with life.’

  1. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it?

For me, the thinking time is all part of coming to terms with memory and how you feel about yourself. The therapeutic process, which takes years, has to reach a point of self-acceptance before the real writing begins. But it’s also about technique. What drives a good book is ‘the right words in the right order’ (to paraphrase Coleridge) so in a sense, style is story.

I made several attempts to write about being trans when I was younger but they were too subjective and self-indulgent – which is why I went for the bigger picture.

So my memoir is written in what you might call ‘universal first person’, taking in the wider social background and ideas current in the Fifties. Stepping back a little also helped me to see that my personal history was selective and had been shaped by my own emotional schemas. In a sense I’d always been rewriting my past, making choices about which incidents mattered most and changing how I viewed them through the power of language.

During the actual writing new material did pop up; but mostly it was a search for the exact phrase or expression, because how you articulate your past reshapes your life-script. And how you speak to yourself determines who you are.

  1. How has your book been received?

I was delighted that Jonathan Ruppin, a judge for the Costa, Geoffrey Faber, Desmond Elliott and Guardian First Book Awards, wrote the following review about Heaven’s Rage.

‘Leslie Tate’s memoir is by turns an elegy for a lost childhood, a tribute to the power of literature and a demand for the right to identity in a world that turns too easily on those who differ from the conventional.

There is a raw candour to his struggles with alcohol and coming out as transgender, but there is no self-pity here, more a gesture of companionship amid life’s twisting fortunes. Just as it is the characters who bring a story to life, so he reminds us that our lives are enriched by the characterful and the curious.

Light-footed poems stud the prose like gemstones, and these shifts of gear reflect the truth that we host not an internal monologue but a dialogue of multi-faceted voices. Leslie Tate’s joyful embrace of the gamut of linguistic possibilities is the culmination of a quest for the right to write his own story, both figuratively and now on the page.’

Bio and Links:

Leslie Tate studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia and has been shortlisted for the Bridport, Geoff Stevens and Wivenhoe Prizes.

Heaven’s Rage is available, signed, at https://leslietate.com/shop/heavens-rage/ or from the publisher, TSL Books, at http://tslbooks.uk/product/heavens-rage-2/ as well as at Foyles & Amazon.

You can read about/buy his first two novels Purple at https://leslietate.com/shop/purple/

and Blue at https://leslietate.com/shop/blue/

as well as at their publisher https://www.magicoxygen.co.uk/.

The third part of his trilogy Violet can be pre-ordered at  https://leslietate.com/contact/

Leslie’s website https://leslietate.com/ carries weekly creative interviews and guest blogs showing how people use their imagination in life, in many different ways.

 

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Downs tells all

The Convenient Escape Book Cover The Convenient Escape
Robert Downs
crime, thiller
Black Opal
November 12, 2016

To Veronica Baird, escaping from an underground dungeon and racing through the woods, is anything but convenient, even as her captor in rubber mask attire proves rather persistent in his continued pursuit. Despite her apparent independence, she considers a partnership, albeit reluctantly, with a former classmate who may still have feelings for her. Pete Nealey still has flashbacks to Iraq and, with the bottle as his eternal companion, tends to fall off of barstools at the most inopportune moments or pass out face down in the tavern parking lot. But what he may lack in cheerfulness, he more than makes up for with his steadfast loyalty to the cause, even when he ends up handcuffed to an air conditioner in a shoddy motel.But unless Veronica can learn to trust Pete for more than just intermittent intervals, the slipshod relationship, and her freedom, won't last...

 

Robert Downs the Author

 Penchant for Vengeance 2018; The Convenient Escape 2017; LaCours Destiny 2016; Graceful Immortality 2015

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it?

I’ve always been fascinated with police procedurals, even though I had never written one before. I like challenging myself, so in this type of scenario, I often look at it as what’s the risk. If it’s no good, no one will ever read it but me. But I finished it, I sent it to my publisher, Black Opal Books, and they liked it, and here we are. I do believe I am growing and improving as a writer, and more than anything, I hope I show that with PENCHANT FOR VENGEANCE.

 

I grew up in a religious household, so there were themes in this novel that I wanted to explore, and that were important to me. It’s a bit of a departure from what I’ve written before, but I look at it as a good thing, not a bad one.

  1. How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

I believe in John Grisham’s approach to research. I do as little of it as possible to sound believable and creditable. With that being said, I love to learn, and I am always learning random facts that I may, or may not, use in one of my books. I am like a sponge, and I constantly soak up the world around me, because I never know when I will discover some tidbit that will set my story off on a new course. When I discover one of these, my first thought is that’s fantastic. I can use that.

 

My process, and it’s not the process that will work for every writer, is to write the story first, as fast and as furious as my fingers and brain can go. Over the course of this process, I’ll discover where I get stuck, and therefore what I need to learn more about. Once in a while, I’ll surprise myself with what I do know, and sometimes I’ll bend the truth a little in order to make the story work. But either way, I don’t want to spend more time doing research than is absolutely necessary, because I get more joy from writing than I do from research.

  1. How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?

I’ve been rejected so many times I’ve lost count. Stephen King used to nail his rejection letters on a wall, and the story goes that he had to get bigger and bigger nails to hold up his increasing number of letters. Rough guess is I’m hovering close to 1,000 myself, but that’s over the course of seventeen years of writing, and making every mistake you can imagine, like trying to publish books before the story was ready for an audience. I’ve also discovered that as a writer you never stop being rejected, so I just take it as another part of the process. It’s much easier to say no than it is to say yes, because yes requires some action from the other party. I also have this personality quirk where I can take the energy from negativity, and turn it into a positive that works for me. I have no idea where this particular gift came from, but it’s absolutely fantastic.

  1. Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?

I did not. As writers, we shouldn’t compare our writing path to anyone else’s, because this can sometimes be a losing proposition. My journey has been to gradually build my writing career over time, and I have worked with some wonderful small presses thus far. If we’re being completely honest, some have been a bit more wonderful than others, but all have taught me valuable lessons about publishing that I will take with me for the rest of my life. That’s valuable, and when value is bestowed upon me, I consider myself lucky.

  1. Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?

I’m gonna steal from my previous answers a bit, but I’ll try to do it with a slightly different spin. I would say writers need to look to carve out their own path, and not worry about what someone else has done. It ultimately depends on your goals as a writer, and how much control he or she wants to have throughout the writing process. Self-publishing gives you a whole lot of control, but you have to use that power wisely, otherwise it can end up wasted, or it might even blow up in your face.

 

When you’re starting out as a writer, the best thing you can do is write. After you’ve been doing this a few years and possibly published a few novels, the best thing you can do is write. That particular aspect never changes. Think of it like practice. You have to continue to show up and put in the work. If self-publishing is what gets you to write, and you use that platform to grow and improve as a writer, learn from your mistakes (most beginning writers make mistakes), and build your audience through marketing, hard work, and more writing, I don’t think anyone can fault you for doing that. It can be a great process if you use it right. I understand it as a process, but it just wasn’t the right process for me.

  1. Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

That’s gotta be the funniest thing I’ve ever heard, and it’s also one of the biggest myths about being a writer. Readers assume we’re all driving around in Porsches, and we have two or three homes, one of which is somewhere like Florida, Nantucket, or California. But we all can’t be Stephen King, Patricia Cornwell, John Grisham, James Patterson, or Harlan Coben. Let me dispel this myth completely right now. The average writer makes $7,000 a year. If you can live on $7K a year, then I have to say you are a much better person than I am.

 

If that ever happens, I will certainly let you know. But I’m not gonna hold my breath on it ever happening, and I am not gonna build my retirement plan around such a farfetched scenario.

  1. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

There are many writers who have influenced me over the years, and I feel like I discover more every day, since I am a reader first and a writer second. But I will go with the late Robert B. Parker and his Spenser novels. Spenser was a smartaleck, and Parker wrote some fantastic dialogue, and I adored the stories very much. Whenever he and Hawk busted a few heads, I was ready to stand up and cheer.

  1. In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?

Again, there are many writers I could place here, and all have a fantastic sense of humor, but my answer for today is Dave Barry. He comes up with fantastic characters and places them in the midst of fantastic situations, and he is just such a joy to read. I believe a lot of humor can be found in the extremes, and he utilizes this particular theory to a fine art. If you ever need a good laugh, I don’t think you can go wrong with Dave Barry. I know I sure haven’t.

Website: http://www.RobertDowns.net

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/RobertDownsBooks

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