K.T. Hello and welcome. I am very excited to have you here today. Why don’t we start off with a small introduction? Tell us a little about yourself.
First, let me say thanks for this interview. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss my books with your followers. I am a retired oil company executive. My wife and I lived in a number of different places during my career, the most exotic of which was living in Yemen for several years. That is the setting for Death in the Empty Quarter. I was born and raised in a small town in Louisiana (the setting for In Search of the Yellow Dog). I have degrees in Chemical Engineering and Law from Louisiana State University. My wife of 48 years and I now live in Asheville, North Carolina.
K.T. Any interesting writing quirks or stories you would like to share with my readers?
I guess my most interesting quirk is that I talk to my characters while writing their story. Not always out loud, but sometimes I can’t go to sleep thinking about what my character is saying and doing. I’ve more than once gotten up in the middle of the night, warmed up the computer and put the thoughts I’ve developed through my conversations onto the screen.
K.T. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? What sparked the desire to pen your first novel?
I’ve wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember. In high school a friend and I penned a few science fiction stories and submitted to a couple of the periodicals – none were ever accepted. I started seriously writing about 30 years ago, but the pressures of my career and raising a family kept me away from that goal. After I retired I dusted off some of my earlier notes – really no more than a couple of uncompleted chapters – updated everything and got serious about writing. Once I started writing almost full time, about 18 months ago, things just fell into place.
K.S. What genre do you write?
In Search of the Yellow Dog is primarily a mystery, but it has elements of thriller, action/adventure and even some romance. Death in the Empty Quarter is basically an action/adventure again with a touch of romance.
K.S. What would you say has inspired you most in your writing career?
I had some really great English teachers in high school and college. I took a extra English courses as electives in college and attended a couple of writing seminars while practicing law. I’ve always read a lot and that sparks a desire to write. A few authors I particularly find inspirational include Raymond Chandler, Ross MacDonald, James Lee Burke and Robert Barnard.
K.S. What does your family think of your writing?
They’ve all been very supportive. My wife relaxes the ‘honey do’ requirements around the house when I’m ‘in the zone’. My oldest granddaughter has helped me with my Facebook pages and is going to help me set up a webpage. She’s also featured me on her blog. My daughter is a talk radio host on a local radio station and has interviewed me on the air (a recording of that interview can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib-5afgeOXY )
K.S. What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your book?
I can’t say that I’ve really been surprised by anything, but it has been a great learning experience in so many ways.
K.S. Can you tell us a little about your novel?
In Search of the Yellow Dog: Randall Oliver is a semi-retired lawyer who tired of the big city practice and moved back to his boyhood home, a small town in Louisiana. He had been married but is now divorced. Back home he meets his soul-mate, but they had not been going together very long when there are multiple attempts against her life. He has to protect her and find out what secrets in her past has led to these attempts.
Death in the Empty Quarter: Bert Franks is an oil company’s ‘man on the ground’ in Yemen. Things were going smoothly, but suddenly spiraled out of control. His brother in law dies a violent death – suicide perhaps? His girl friend goes missing in Yemen and he is expelled from the country. There is conflict with al-Qaeda, the Russian mafia and even the remnants of the old German Baader-Meinhoff Gang.
K.S. Where can we find your novels?
Both are available on Amazon.com in Kindle and as paperbacks. Electronic versions can be purchased and downloaded through Smashwords.com and both are available at a bookstore in Asheville, NC – Malaprops Bookstore and Café: http://www.malaprops.com/ I’d like to mention that Malaprops has a great program featuring local authors.
K.S. Do you have a website, fan site, or Blog that we can visit?
Yes, I have a fan site for each of the books on Facebook:
K.S. Do you have any closing advice to aspiring writers?
Yes, to quote a tennis shoe company: ‘Just do it’. I mean sit down and start writing – put your thoughts down and suddenly you’ve got something to be proud of.