When did you first discover your love of writing?
Started writing about five years ago when I retired. The first attempts drew interest on a few free eBook sites, but needed considerable improvement to be worthy of publishing. Finding a mentor/editor, writing short stories, rewriting book chapters, and changing genres have energized my love of writing.
Do you have a favourite place to write?
Mood, background noise, and schedule determine which one of three settings is used for writing. Each location has something different to offer. The downstairs office is a “serious” desk with two stacks of papers, stapler, lamp, and a good atmosphere for grinding through the details that polish a story. The family room is where I can replay movies that help create moods for writing. The kitchen table is bathed in sunlight, which sparks creativity, and strangely it is a great place to edit.
Do you have a writing routine or process that you adhere to?
A general outline is created followed by a chapter list with short descriptions—only generating detailed information to the next three to four chapters. I find this keeps the story line from running away, but gives the characters flexibility to be creative.
OneNote is a good tool for recording the outline, chapter list, and detailing of the chapters.
Are there authors or specific books you aspire to?
I like John Grisham. He manages his stories well and applies the right tension keeping the reader engaged. When reading The Firm I could not put it down.
What inspired you to write Spring’s Saboteurs?
A sequel was just a thought then the reviews and feedback on Winter’s Thief turned out better than expected. Then somewhere around the middle of writing Spring’s Saboteurs it became a four book series.
Can you tell us a little about your book?
The back cover says it best:
Prince Argo has arranged the deaths of his older sister and two brothers. Now the king, his deceptive and clever planning skills set in motion a multifaceted revenge scheme to overthrow Manshire Province. Kidnapping Queen Althea’s younger sisters initiates a whirlwind sequence of events threatening the lives of the Manshire Queen, the Captain of the Long Bows, the Queen’s husband, and the province.
Lieutenant Charles Cromwell, Argo’s Field Commander, has trained a militia four times larger than the Manshire Long Bow Knights. His vast battle experience makes him the perfect leader for Argo’s scheme.
The scheme is so well planned; the first elusive clues evade Captain Oscar until the ransom letter arrives. Oscar must marshal all of his skills and separate reality from ruse provided by mysterious characters with ties to Argo.
Do you have a favourite amongst all your characters?
My favorite character is Bernard the surprisingly gentle hermit. Bernard has a mysterious sense of timing. He is completely comfortable with his modest existence, which is a sharp contrast to his educated manners and speech. Everyone that meets Bernard, and his wolf Exeter, leave with a feeling that he is more than just a hermit who happens to be the brother of the enemy king.
Does your book contain a message for readers to consider?
No message, though I am hoping the readers find it entertaining.
What would you say has been your biggest challenge and achievement writing Spring’s Saboteurs?
I was halfway through the book when my writing energy went flat. Two days passed and my interest remained low. On the third day I tossed the notes on the next three chapters and started over—no organization, no typos fixed, and no spelling corrections. By noon I knew exactly where the book was going.
I would not call it writer’s block. Writer’s overload best describes the problem. It was not obvious to me until the new chapter outlines were complete, with some of my favorite ideas left out that I realized the book was getting too complicated.
What have you learned about yourself as a writer through writing?
I had a schedule in my mind for finishing the book, which was driven by a desire to release it in Spring. The self-imposed stress reduced the quality of the delivery. Rewriting further delayed the completion date.
Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?
Don’t give up. The world of writing is full of tales about famous writers that took eight years to become an overnight success, or a writer that taped all the rejection letters together to make a thirty-foot sheet.
Do you have any future works planned?
Book three, Summer’s Swarm, of the four book Seasons Series is 25% complete.
eBook at Amazon:
Video: Springs Saboteurs Video