- How long did it take you to write Justice Is Served from start to finish?
I started the book
about a year and a half ago. I was going through a bad experience at the time and it helped to just sit down and write.
The book wasn't going together as nicely as I wanted it to, so I sit it aside and didn't look at it again until January of
this year (2007). I changed the start of the novel a lot and then just got to writing the rest of it. Things really
flowed after that and I was able to finish the book by April.
- Were there any authors or books that inspired you?
I think that other writers constantly
inspire to do our best with this craft. For me, writers like Dean Koontz and Stephen King were among my biggest inspiration.
Dean Koontz writes such powerful and compelling characters that I think I always strive to make my own characters as believable
as his are. Stephen King paints the landscape that his novel's take place with such artistry that you almost feel as
though you know the towns that they are taking place in even if you have never visted them before.
- I loved how it is all but impossible to stop reading. You get so engrossed in the mystery
and in Justus Carney's life. Was this difficult or did it come naturally?
Writing about Justus was very easy. Out of all the characters
that I have ever written or will write, Justus is probably the most like me, temperament wise. I think that is why it
just came naturally to write about her.
- Do you keep a strict writing schedule?
Right now, my writing schedule is very erratic. I wish I had
all the time in the world to sit and do noting but write, but, alas, I don't. I write around my work schedule.
I'm a substitute teacher, a job that I actually do love, though not as much as writing, and I have to write around the responsibilities
that my job entails. When I don't work though, I try and write at least an hour to two hours a day. My best writing
time is at night when my house is quiet and I can get a lot accomplished.
- Who is your target audience?
For Justice Is Served, my original target audience was adults
over 18. Many of my readers have told me that they find that my book can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Of
course if kids want to read it, I won't complain about it.
- Who are some of your favorite authors?
My favorite authors are many and diverse. Dantes, Alexander Dumas,
Jane Austin, Edgar Allan Poe, and Mary Shelley are among some of my favorite classic writers. Other favorite writers
include Dean Koontz, Stephen King, John Saul, Catherine Coulter, Mary Higgins Clark, Tami Hoag, Iris Johnason, and Laurell
- Along the same lines, how about books?
My all time favorite book is Dantes Inferno. I love
the way that he subtly pokes fun at the classes of his time. I also like the way he has classifed the levels of Hell.
My other all time favorite book is Cyrano de Bergerac. I think the character of Cyrano is a classic example of a hero
for the masses. I also love Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice. Darcy and Elizabeth are two of the best written
characters that I have ever read.
- What would you like your readers to know about you?
I guess I would like them to know that I appreciate that they
have bought my book. They have thousands of books to choose from and the fact that they may choose mine is a very humbling
- I was impressed that Marley, AZ, was a fictional town, because you made it so real and
so accessible. What led you to creating your own town for this book? Would you do it again?
I struggled with where I wanted the book to take place
with at first. I thought of all the problems that could be associated with placing the events in a real town, and then
came up with the idea of creating a whole new place. Marley is a combination of three places. Two of those places
are the small towns that my parents grew up in. My dad grew up in a little town called Mecca, Indiana, which basically
has become almost nonexistenet now. My mom grew up in a small Iowa town called Klemme. It's still there and holding
it's own. The last place that Marley is based on is Mesa, my hometown. When I created Marley I wanted the small
town feel that my parents knew, but also the big city appeal that I have grown up with. So I created a growing up small
town and named it Marley. I choose the name Marley because I loved A Christmas Carol.
I would definitely create my own town again. I think in
creating a whole new place you are free of the constraints that a real places puts you under. You have to try and remember
what the local hangout is of a real place or what the mayor's name is and so on. I've actually only written one story
so far that has used a real place as a setting. That is my children's pirate story where it starts out in Venice.
- What are you working on now?
Right now, I am working on a few projects. I'm working on the next
Jusus book which is tentatively titled Justice Never Sleeps. I'm also working on a fairy tale that I first wrote in
jr. high and I'm writing a serial pirate story that can be found on the web at:
- Any tips for aspiring authors?
I think the biggest tip that I can give an aspiring writer is
just sit down and do it. If you have passion for what you want to write, get it down on paper. Don't be afraid
and don't worry what others will think, just get what's in your head down first and then worry later. I also truly believe
a wonderful quote I once heard in a movie. It was Whoppi Goldberg and the movie was Sister Act II. In it she says,
"If you wake up in the morning and all you think about is writing, then you are a writer." I don't think any truer words
can describe being a writer. My advice to aspiring writers basically is..when you get up and find all you can think
about is writing (your characters, the plot, the setting, etc.) then regardless of what other poeple might think...you are
a writer and now you just have to park yourself somewhere and write!