I always loved reading, and my parents both held writers in very high regard, so it was always in my mind as a goal. Then in high school I had a teacher who encouraged me to think of myself as a writer, but he thought fiction writing was a lower sort of calling, but I admired some writers and I wanted to be like them. That got me going. What kept me going was some early encouragement from writing teachers, and words of praise from a publisher who told me to keep writing even though it would be tough to get published.
Do you have the support of your family and friends? Has that support always been there, or has it changed since being published?
My family supports my writing because they know it helps keep me centered and is important to me. The support has grown recently with the publication of my latest book, because they see it now as something real, not just a crazy pipe dream.
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? Strangest habit? Is there anything you have to do before you start writing?
I write all my first drafts in journals, and for my latest book I started dictating into an MP3 player on my hour long commutes to and from work every day. Then I transcribe into the computer using a dictation program that works pretty well. The one thing I absolutely must do is have two coffees before I can write or edit. Editing for me is where the magic happens.
What advice would you give to a new writer?
Read everything you can. Aim high. There’s no sense thinking you’re going to get rich quick and write what you think is going to be a best seller. Look at writing as a high calling and think about what your aims are. What kind of world do you want to live in? How can you improve the world with your writing? Then sit down and write every day.
What has been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
Keeping going past my fortieth birthday and thinking of myself as a writer, having faith that what I was doing was valid, for the many long years that my writing was being rejected by mainstream publishers.
A recent reviewer said my book Latitudes – A Story of Coming Home left the reader with important questions still unanswered, but that they were important questions to consider about family and belonging and the way relationships change over time. I thought that was a well-considered point and a great compliment.
What are you working on now? Could you give us a little taste?
I don’t like to talk about what I’m working on. That might be the answer to number three.
Tell us about your latest book.
Latitudes is about how a boy struggles to become himself, and it isn’t until a death in the family that he realizes all his running away has led him back to the need to reconcile with his past.
How can people find out more about you?
Check out my books:
And don’t hesitate to get in touch on: