What inspired you to write your first book?
I have always been a big reader, and I had written more than 1,000 poems. At some point, I knew I wanted to try to write a novel. I started maybe a half-dozen, only to discard them after a few chapters. Then in 1989, I began one that caught on. It felt right. I finished it in 1989. It was titled “Match Point.” I didn’t have a novel published until 2006. It was my third one. “Match Point” was retitled “The Devil’s Racket”, and was published in 2007.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Well, that’s a difficult question, because everything serious that you read probably influences you, whether you realize it or not. I read everything — history, philosophy, biographies, sports, poetry. As for crime fiction, my all-time favorite book is “Crime and Punishment.” Current crime writers I admire include Michael Connelly, Faye Kellerman, Ridley Pearson, James Ellroy and William Goldman.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I’m not sure how you can be mentored by someone you’ve never met. However, if I had to choose the crime writer I admire most, it would be Michael Connelly.
What genre do you consider your book(s)?
What book are you reading now?
Since I am working on a new novel, I’m now reading only non-fiction stuff. Much of it relates to the Bible and how it came into being. Also, I’m reading quite a bit of early gnostic history, and how/why the early church regarded those writings as heretical.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
It’s a thriller that features Detective Jack Dantzler, who has been in three of my novels, and the legendary assassin Cain, who was in “Heirs of Cain.”
My publisher, Frank Hall, designed the cover for my latest novel, “Gnosis.”
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Striving for excellence is always hard. It’s easy to be mediocre, difficult to reach excellence. Since I always aim for the highest mark, everything about the writing process is fairly difficult.
Do you write an outline before every book you write?
No. I have a basic idea of how I want to begin each chapter, but once I’m into it, I let the story dictate where I go and how the characters act.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
My advice for writers is the same advice I would give anyone — read, read, read. You simply cannot be an intelligent, well-informed individual if you are not a big reader.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Read and enjoy.