Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. I took a look around on your social medias before writing this interview, and let me say, your website is awesome! I was surprised to find that you also wrote two non-fictions books on urban biking. I to am a bike enthusiast! Just this year I final got my dream bike. Although, I must admit it’s probably a little more bike than I needed. Perhaps reading your book could have helped me. Can you tell us a about your two urban bike books?
First of all, thank you so much for the invitation to chat a bit about my books, my writing and how I write. The Urban Bike books happened I think because of several events in my life that occurred around the same time.
First, I moved into the DC area and needed to commute to work every day. I quickly realised that owning a car in an urban area can be a lot more trouble and expense than most people realise. I eventually started using public transportation and went though several different “Urban” bikes before figuring out what my needs really were.
The next thing was Amazon and other sites selling eBooks and those same books slowly elevating to being called “real” books. I saw people on the subway most every day reading from readers and ipads. I soon got an Ipad myself. Switching from “real” books was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I of course haven’t given up real books; I and most other people now have just added the flexibility of eBooks to our reading!
The last thing that happened was I had finally decided to try my hand at some writing. I had been thinking about it for a while but didn’t know if I could do it. I have been a reader all my life and have always enjoyed reading, hearing and telling great stories. I knew I was interested in writing fiction, but it seemed very intimidating as you might imagine! I thought, what do I know about writing a book right? So after a bit more thought, I decided to write about something I had a passion for and would require little of no research. All I had to do was write the darn book! Of course, little did I know, all the research that would be required later to get that book out there and into readers hands! As well as doing covers, PR, interviews, marketing and tons more, but more on that later.
So that’s how The Urban Bike came to be. I knew I wanted to make something that was informative, but not intimidating. I bought a book in my college years by a guy named Denis Diblasio that used caricatures. I loved that book! It was pretty deep jazz stuff but the caricatures just made it a lot friendlier and less scary! So of course, I stole his idea and used it for the Urban Bike books. If you see this Denis, THANK YOU!
Anyway, that’s pretty much how they started.
The Urban Bike is a guide to finding and/or putting together an urban bike to fit YOUR needs.
The second book is a collection of interviews I did with people from all walks of life and from all over the world, who have made a bicycle their main form of transportation. Many of them are completely car-free. Some are what we like to call car-light, meaning they own a car and need one from time to time. But all of them had great stories to tell on the hows and whys of moving to a car free lifestyle.
After writing your urban biking books decided to write fiction, publishing Where Power Resides. Can you tell us a bit about what this book is about?
Where Power Resides takes place here in Washington D.C. Two FBI agents are brought into a case when a long-time Washington Post writer is murdered. After a lot of chases, fights and a bit of cat juggling, they learn about a secret government program called Far Sight. Far Sight seems to go well beyond just spying on citizens. The two agents learn that Far Sight might also have the capabilities of far more sinister things, like killing people. It is a fast paced thriller that I hope, keeps the reader turning pages till the end!
Did you have to do a lot of research the book Where Power Resides? Tell us a bit about it?
As a reader, one of the things I like to see in a story like this is realism. Could this happen? So I ask, is the technology, storyline and characters plausible? Keeping with that mindset, I did quite a bit of research on real government programs like MK Ultra. I also spent time just looking at the real FBI building in DC to get a feel for it. I know the area pretty well having lived here several years so when I mention places and things in the book around DC and Virginia, they are pretty accurate. The Metro stations I mention are real, and the building I call “The School” is a real boarded up old school in downtown DC near Chinatown, just as I describe it in the book!
Give us an interesting fact or two about Where Power Resides?
Well as I mentioned before, I think the fact that so much of the locations are real is interesting. The “On the spot” noodle place is a restaurant I’ve been going to for over ten years! Lastly, I guess it might interest some would be writers out there that I started this story for NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) a couple of years ago. So yes, writing a book in a month or at least trying, CAN end up being a book!
How can readers find out more about you and your work?
Blog: My blog is located on my website
I’ve found, that becoming a self-published author can be a major learning curve. Do you have any advice for people just starting out?
I agree! If you go into Indie writing thinking all you’ll do is write a great book, well, you will be very disappointed! However, if you go in with eyes and mind wide open, you will take the kind of control over your art that very few have been able to do in the past.
Writing a good book is the first step of course, and if you can’t do that, the rest really doesn’t matter too much. (I’m staying well away from discussing 50 shades and other not so great books that made a LOT of money!) After that you need a great edit and maybe several revisions. Some where along the line you need a great cover, it’s the first thing people see so it is imperative that it’s professional, well designed and fits your book.
So now you have a book. You can sit back and watch the sales roll in! well, no… if people don’t know it’s there they can’t buy it so now comes Public relations, marketing and advertising. I don’t want to scare off all the would-be authors out there, after all I’m a reader and they might write my next favourite book! But yes, very simply, there is quite a bit to learn.
But here is the good news is if you get that far, you have already done what most people didn’t, you actually wrote a book! You didn’t just talk about it or dream about it. You put butt to seat and fingers to keyboard and wrote the darn book. You can do the rest too! So go do it!
Do you write full time? Can you tell us about other careers you’ve had/have?
I am working towards writing full time with a full time income. So far, I’m not there, but I am definitely moving forward! More fans, emails, interviews and yes, even book sales, every month!
As far as jobs I’ve had, I spent most of my life doing technical production for stage shows, concerts, events, tours and lots of other things. I guess I have been telling stories one way or another for quite a while.
Name one person you feel has really supported you in your writing career?
Hands down, my fiancée Linda. She is my biggest cheerleader and yet isn’t afraid to question things or ask questions about my work. I feel very fortunate to have her in my life. I also have a few friends who support my work. It’s funny though, you’ll find that most won’t. No idea why but most creative people I know will tell you the same thing. You need a lot of determination and will to just keep going, but I think it’s worth it.
Do you have a favourite author or book? What strikes you about their work or that book?
Hey I’m a reader so I have tons of favourite books and authors! Some, like Stephen king’s “On Writing”, are just inspirational and educational. Others, like Jurassic Park and “20000 Leagues Under the Sea”, are just great reads! But here are a few more in random order as I think of them… I’m sure I’ll leave out great stuff, but here is what comes to mind as I type this.
Fat Man and little Boy
The Right Stuff
A League of their own
Search for Red October
All Creatures Great and Small
A Man on the Moon
Miles: The Autobiography
Interview with the Vampire
The Da Vinci Code
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
The Lost Symbol
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A final big thank you for those of you who made it this far! Writing can be a solitary journey, but if you feel the pull to take that trip, I say do it. Write your story, only YOU can write YOUR story! And when you do, drop me a line so I can check it out!