Where do you get your ideas for your stories?
You know, I can’t tell you. I write each day, almost without fail, so I’m a prolific writer. I create one or two characters, get them into trouble, and watch them struggle. I don’t outline my stories in advance, I never outline. I believe that the best stories are those where the characters take over and tell me what they will do. (Believe me, this happens all the time.)
Would you suggest writing as a career?
Look, once you get serious about writing, it’ll take five or six years before you first get published, that’s how tight the market is and that’s how long it takes to learn the craft of writing fiction. You should see my collection of rejection slips. I recommend writing an hour a day at minimum. And if you want a good book on writing fiction, I recommend The Lie That Tells A Truth by John Dufresne. It’s been immensely helpful to me. Writing is a craft for patient people. And please, don’t write because you want to make lots of money, it’s unlikely you will. Write because you love the creative process.
What’s your next major project?
I’ve completed a second novel that takes place in Brevard County on Florida’s east coast. It’s about a lawyer who falls from grace and his struggle to redeem himself in the eyes of his teenage son. I’m waiting until my first novel, Josef Jaeger, is published and, hopefully, sells a decent number of copies, before I try to market my second book.
If I have a question about your work or about writing in general, may I contact you?
You can contact me via e-mail through this website. I’ll try to respond to every e-mail I receive, but please be patient. It might be a week or so before I reply.
Who are your favorite fiction writers?
I have many favorites: Michael Chabon, Tom Perrotta, J. D. Salinger, E. L. Doctorow, John Irving, Annie Proulx, John Updike, Cormac McCarthy, Tom Franklin, John Steinbeck, Pat Conroy, Raymond Carver and William Gay, to name a few.