How did you know you wanted to be an author? My first clue was when I submitted a short story, written for a creative writing course, to Mike Shayne’s Mystery Magazine, and by a miracle, it was accepted. I spent the next three years collecting rejection slips, until I finally learned enough to sell a story to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.
What is your advice for aspiring authors? There are really no short-cuts to learning the undisclosed essentials of fiction writing. I still feel that the best way to master those essentials is by writing short stories. As soon as you send a story off to a magazine, begin writing the next one, and never never never give up. Your next story could be the one that cracks the market, and it will all have been worthwhile.
Do you have any writing rituals or practices? After a day of writing, when you have one more idea for the next scene, DON’T write it. Make a note and quit for the day. The next day you will have an idea to begin writing and you will be back in the rhythm.
What message to you want readers to remember? My number one purpose in writing is to grab the reader with the tension on page one and not let loose until the final paragraph – in other words, to entertain.
My second purpose, without being “teachy” about it, is to give the reader a lasting knowledge of some area that might be unknown but of great interest to the reader.
How can fans get in contact with you? My email address is : email@example.com