His newest novel is A Better Place To Be based on the Harry Chapin song of the same name. Not his usual genre, this is a story of love, loss and facing to the worst life can throw at you and still be standing.*
My biggest problem with picking a specific genre is that I love the diversity of reading almost all fiction—which is the primary reason I went from traditional publishing to indie publishing, because the publishers all wanted me to write in a single genre. But I grew up reading classics, sci-fi and noir mysteries and historical novels like Frank Slaughter’s (I stole the Chandler and Spillane books from my parent’s dressers) So, my favorite genres? Mystery, Thrillers, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, and Contemporary fiction.
The books! It was always the books. I loved reading, loved going to different places and different worlds, loved being someone else for three hundred pages, and I wanted to be a part of someone’s world who wanted the entertainment, escape, and enjoyment of becoming part of my stories.
My ideas come from everywhere. The Hyte Maneuver came to me on a plane. I was watching a man who looked… wrong, like a terrorist. As I watched him, I realized I had an entire novel come to life in about 5 minutes. The Hyte Maneuver became an airplane hijacking that morphed into a serial killer thriller as the freed hostages were murdered week after week. My newest novel, A Better Place To Be, is based on the Harry Chapin song of the same name. When I heard the song, I saw the backstory. It took me forty years to finally sit down and write it.
I am a huge fan of Harry’s, because he was a phenomenal storyteller as well as an entertainer. While A Better Place To Be wasn’t one of his super sellers like Taxi or Cats In The Cradle, it was a very well-received song. And no, that’s the only book I have written based on a song.
Time… All it takes is time, desire, and motivation.
Explore my new home: my wife and I moved to South Florida this past May, so it’s a new land and we are discovering everything.
So many, and it depends on the phase, but in general, books by Edgar Rice Burrows, Andre Norton, Doc EE Smith, Frank Slaughter, Alexander Dumas, Thomas Chastain, Twain, and the list goes on- I even ‘borrowed’ historical romances from my mother’s bed table.
This is a tough question, and because there are so many of them, I can’t name just one or two and leave the others out, so I’ll pass on this question.
I’m working along the list of the Hank Phillipi Ryan novels.
I write every day. After breakfast and a walk with the dog, I’ll sit down, go over the marketing for the day, read my emails, answer them, and then shut everything down internet-wise, and write for three to five hours, depending on how I’m doing. Then, later, I’ll print out what I’ve written, do some editing, and fix it up. I work five-six days a week.
The same advice that most writers will give: Working hard is part of it, writing every day is part of it, but the biggest part of becoming a writer who gets their work noticed is to DO NOT GIVE UP, no matter what, and look for your motivation within yourself. It took me six years of trying to get my first book published.
*Quoted from David Wind’s Amazon Author page.