Monday, April 23, 2007


Author’s website address:

Books in Print: PARK RIDGE: A Senior Center Murder

Books in Process: Senior Games

Welcome, Cheryl,

1. When and why did you begin writing? All writers say that they’ve been writing forever, which is probably true. I began writing seriously at graduate school working on my master’s in writing from DePaul University.

2. What inspired you to write your first book? PARK RIDGE started as a class assignment at the Park Ridge Senior Center where I’m the writing instructor. Several of the stories were so good (and so much fun!) that the director decided we should have a center-wide mystery writing contest. Eventually the top three winners were adapted as plays to be performed at the center. I wondered what my story might turn into if I took off the word limit – after all, it had five murders in 969 words!

3. How did you approach writing your first book? I started with the four elderly pinochle players who turn into killers. First, I created distinct personas for each, patterns of speech that matched those personas, and wrote their backstories. Second, I layered in the romance between the suburban cowboy detective and the voluptuous senior center director. Having never written mystery nor romance before, in fact, I hadn’t written any fiction beyond one short story, believe me, it was a real challenge! Lastly, I crafted the videotaped interviews to reveal backstory and wrote special first-person, present tense sections for the thoughts of the killers during the actual murders.

4. Who or what influenced your writing? I really enjoy the psychological explorations and discoveries that Ruth Rendell (writing as Barbara Vine) employs in her writing. Patricia Cornwell does a lot of that as well, although it’s not the focus of her books.

5. Why do you continue to write? I enjoy it and to tell the truth, I’m curious about what’s going to happen to the characters. I’ve just finished the second in the series and am hard at work on the third. I’m not sure that there will be a fourth. But if there isn’t, I’ve already started a sci-fi sort of book, have an almost book-length allegory that I want to get back to. Then, when I’m done with fiction and can take a breath, I’ll get back to the biography Iof Theodora Van Wagenen Ward that I started two years ago.

6. What do you hope to accomplish through your writing? Spending time with my characters, asking them why they did this, or why they feel that way, or why they reacted a certain way, forces me to look at my own motivations and responses. Hopefully the results work their way into my books and influence my readers to consider themselves.

7. What has been your experience as a published writer? Elation, depression, frustration, pride.

8. How do you promote your book(s)? Tirelessly. I’m always searching for places to post my book information, to network with other writers. I have a
blog (Senior Center Murders), a website. I’m doing a virtual tour.

9. What advice would you like to share with other writers? Don’t be afraid to use those Freudian slips to your advantage. For instance, in GS, Obs. I was typing along and described the hands of one of my characters as having long dark fingers. I had never considered making him African –American. But I left the "dark" in there and the change really brought something to the story that I had never envisioned.

10. Any other comments you would like to add? Ah, of course!
Buy my book, please.

Thank you Cheryl for your time and good luck with your writing.

Interviewer: Kaye Trout 4/23/2007

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Author’s website address:

Books in Print: Just one, "Abandoned in the Maze".

Books in Process: The name of the novel I’m working on is called, "Pigskin Meconium". The novel takes a comparative look at a man’s relationship with sports as opposed to their marriage. It will extract the truth out of today’s macho new fangled religion: fantasy football. Although the general tone will be a comedy, I will once again tackle social issues by incorporating discussions about drug and alcohol use, homosexuality, spousal abuse, and politics. Pigskin Meconium will reveal what makes men tick, while addressing the question: How much disturbing behavior should a wife tolerate?

Welcome Michael,

1. When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing songs about twenty years ago, and one of the first choruses I wrote was on the subject matter of kids living in a group home. This wasn’t surprising since I was employed at the time working with kids in the system. When I finished the song I just felt I had so much more to say. The song slowly morphed (about 8 ½ years later) into a novel.

2. What inspired you to write your first book?
The subject matter of kids living in a group home was near and dear to me, so I worked hard to reveal the horrific and neglectful behavior of my home state of Florida. Once again, a work of fiction uncovers the truth.

3. How did you approach writing your first book?
To be blunt, I was: haphazard, clueless, idiotic and sophomoric. Somehow I felt that the idea of writing a novel along with some clever antidotes would carry me from start to finish. This is the reason for spending almost a decade on two-hundred and twenty-four pages. If you do the math it’s about .07 pages a day. Talk about inefficient and pathetic. Now and then I’ll read parts of the first version and say to myself, "Man, you sucked."

4. Who or what influenced your writing?
I’d like to come across as somewhat of an intellectual and mention a long line of classic authors, but like I said before, I started out as a songwriter. So with that, I’d have to say it was people like Tom Waits, Shane McGowan, Lou Reed, and Peter Himmelman that influenced me to pick up a pen. However, if you do read my novel you’ll certainly recognize the influences of Harper Lee.

5. Why do you continue to write?
I absolutely love the process, whether it’s putting a song together, a short story, or a novel. Writing is also another way for me to vent. We live in such a fast paced world that nobody really has time to listen to somebody else prattle on and on about what they think and feel except in a book.

6. What do you hope to accomplish through your writing?
I hope to improve my skills as a writer in order to articulate my story in a more poignant way to the reader.

7. What has been your experience as a published writer?
Now it’s time to go to work. I always thought that if I could just get my novel published I’d be satisfied; but the writing is the easy part. Now that I’m published I have a second job. My novel was published by a small company, which makes me my own agent, marketing director, public relations director, financial manager, secretary, and sometimes, just sometimes, I get to play author.

8. How do you promote your book(s)?
All the available resources the internet can provide is step number one. I started my own web-site and then paid a company to help promote the site. I joined book forums and gave away my novel for free to other readers to spread the word. Obviously I contacted on-line reviewers with the hope that I’ll be reviewed. I also incorporated some traditional promotional ideas, such as actually mailing the novel to newspapers and magazines at the local and national level. Furthermore, I contacted my local libraries to set-up speaking engagements and workshops.

9. What advice would you like to share with other writers?
Tip #1. Rejection and criticism must equate to motivation.
Tip #2. You are not your own worse critic. How detached and self-absorbed can somebody be in order to say something like this? When somebody else critiques you it’s coming from a different reader’s perspective, a perspective that you might not have considered. It’s extremely important to listen to the critics and the feedback, but at the same time don’t get discouraged; remember tip number one.
Tip #3. If you’re like me you write for the enjoyment of creating, but please understand that it is a business. If you’re looking for your first novel to be published then you’d better approach it in a business like manner. Your query letter to agents or publishing companies is your resume. So don’t hesitate; build up your qualifications now. Submit short stories to web-sites, magazines, and newspapers in order to make yourself a more viable product.
Tip #4. Your novel might be five-hundred pages, but at the end of the day your fate will come down to about two pages; arguably two paragraphs. When you submit your query letter remember that you’re one out of thousands; so make sure you show immediately that you’re a talented writer from the first sentence of your query.
Tip #5. Embrace the world of technology. This is a tough one for me, but the modern business of getting published and selling books depends heavily on the Internet. With that in mind, you should start your web-site today and have links to web pages of your work. Don’t wait until you’re published to begin your site, like I did, there are so many advantages to having one today.

10. Any other comments you would like to add?
Thank you to Kaye Trout for giving me this opportunity. Also, thank you to everyone at American Book Publishing Company, ( Eric, Jeffery, Todd and Jada. And of course, thank you to my family and friends.

Thank you, Michael, and good luck with promoting your book.

Interviewer: Kaye Trout - December 6, 2006

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Author’s website address:

Books in Print: "Spirit of the Sound"

Books in Process: "The Strenua Sapphires", "Beyond my Wants and Fears", "The Skinny", and the sequel to the "Spirit of the Sound" (which is not yet named).

Welcome John,

1. When and why did you begin writing? I began writing when I returned to school in Fort Myers, Florida, back in 1996. Detested school growing up, but kicking and screaming, I received my high school diploma and propelled myself into this savory world. College studies offered me a tasty outlet to sink my teeth into, and I discovered writing in my classes appealed to my sense of adventure. And in my second year, the "Spirit of the Sound", which became a lethargic mode to regain my life’s journeys, was not only borne, but I actually caught up.

2. What inspired you to write your first book? The need to record my thoughts, my dreams and my destiny inspired me to write my first novel.

3. How did you approach writing your first book? I merely sat down on my word processor (never wanted a computer in my house for some reason, but fate has a way of bulldozing those idiotic contemplations) and completed a classroom assignment. I found the progression rather simple. Recalling my nightmares while injecting adjectives and sentiments to describe how my mind purged from a child to the adult man I was becoming (at the rip age of forty).

4. Who or what influenced your writing? My instructor’s critique of my work influenced my writing. Some of it was good, others less than. But it was only a viewpoint. Sure they affected my grades (did I continually make the dean’s list? Heck yeah I did!). It was the lesson itself that made the difference in shaping what has become my enthusiasm, into the why and why not, of the human condition. I’m fascinated by the acts of my fellow man. Digging deep into the subconscious is scary, but thrilling. And that is what I write most about.

5. Why do you continue to write? Duh! Can you say, "Cha-ching?" No, actually it is a task like breathing or eating, passing gas or reaching out into the community. I continue to write because I feel the need I have to, in order to stay insane. Or did I really mean "sane"? No matter. It’s still a perspective.

6. What do you hope to accomplish through your writing? Well, the "Spirit of the Sound" is benefiting a Missoula, Montana non-profit called MAC (Missoula AIDS Council). They assist folks like me with housing needs. I had to ask for help when I arrived to Montana, before I was fully prepared. So I’m giving back for their kindness. And to get ready for the increasing number of clients they will be supporting in the coming years. My attention lately by promoting my book has provided me the skills I’ll require when my second, third, fourth … novels are published. I haven’t stopped talking since I exited the plane, three months ago from Reno!

7. What has been your experience as a published writer? Pure joy! I would recommend that everyone write, draw, paint, speak or dance. Let it fill your heart. Show the world true talent is within every one of us. Turn back into your communities, and use what has been given to you, to furnish our world with non-combative ideas.

8. How do you promote your book(s)? To promote my book, I yak, yak, yak, yak and when I think I cannot yak anymore, I find another way to tell everyone I meet on the street or locate on the Internet that I’ve been published. And that the tale is about self-discovery and learning, achieving, and giving, then I whip out my business card and hand them one. I’ve created postcards from an online source and mail them out to contacts that distribute magazines and newspapers. Give them to friends and family and ask them to spread the word. I’ve contacted past schoolmates and teachers, and the libraries where I researched my material, thanking them for the experience that taught me this craft, and let them know what the story is about and that it will help my local charity. I’ve given out copies of my book and only ask in return for a review. Good or bad, a review will entice others to buy and read. And the people I’ve met! Awesome. I’m preparing to hit the talk-show circuit. Still writing, of course, and let everyone know a new book is in the making. In other words … I advertise, wherever and whenever.

9. What advice would you like to share with other writers? Keep writing. Don’t ever believe success will not happen in your lifetime. The old adage, "where there’s a will, there’s a way" rings true. Don’t give up hope!

10. Any other comments you would like to add? I just have one more comment: please buy a copy of the "Spirit of the Sound" ISBN # 1-59800-635-5 and help those less fortunate because whether you believe it or not, you can make a difference in your lifetime and watch for my next tale, "The Strenua Sapphires".

Thank you, John, for sharing your time with us.

Interviewer: Kaye Trout - November 30, 2006

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Author’s website address:

Books in Print: Hooked on a Horn, Memoirs of a Recovered Musician; Going to Court, A Poetry Tribute to Tennis

Books in Process: The Runner A Collection of Short Stories.

Welcome Gene,

1. When and why did you begin writing?
1992, book of poetry. Boredom and the desire for creative expression.

2. What inspired you to write your first book?
Visualizing the finished product of a completely original work.

3. How did you approach writing your first book?
By sitting down at the computer and reeflecting on scenes I experienced on public tennis courts with other hackers. Visualized a format, assembled old poems and wrote new ones.

4. Who or what influenced your writing?
The memoir and short stories: The faculty at Florida International University and the works of bundles of authors.

5. Why do you continue to write?
I feel compelled to - guilty if I don, and excited and delighted when I write a few lines that really made sense. I was driven to write the memoir because I thought it might help young musicians and give raders in general a true, un-glamorized view of what it was like to pursue a career in music in those times.

6. What do you hope to accomplish through your writing?
Satisfaction with learning to write well, and possibly recognition of some of my writing by good writers.

7. What has been your experience as a published writer?
Promoting your book(s) can be a full-time job, if you expect to make any money at all from it.

8. How do you promote your book(s)?
Internet, press - when I can get it, radio - when it is offered, ferocious e-mailing to my list, Networking, joining local organifzations, talking to published authors, handing out cards and book marks. All of which is weak, compared to my goal, i.e., sell enough books to justify expenses and keep writing. However, I'm working on it. Am getting a publicist and someone to help me organize a business plan. The fun part is the writing.

9. What advice would you like to share with other writers? Writing well is a serious commitment. Read, read, read. Join writing critique groups -- a must! Critique your own work constantly.

10. Any other comments you would like to add? When I dry up and start writing drivel, I take a break. Get some rest. Read for several weeks . . . anything good. I come back to writing and re-writing refreshed. Usually works for me.

Thank you, Gene.

Interviewer: Kaye Trout - August 30, 2006


Author’s website address:

Books in Print: The Digital Scribe: A Writer’s Guide to Electronic Media, Iron Maiden, The President’s Parasite and Other Stories, Russian Wolves, Sins of Darkness, and Lucifer’s Wedding.

Books in Process: A crime series with two middle-aged detectives (one Irish and one Jewish) set in San Diego.

Welcome Jim,

1. When and why did you begin writing? Some teacher in K-12 told me I was "very creative." This was to be my pursuing angel/demon for the rest of my life.

2. What inspired you to write your first book? I was tired of reading boring stuff on the Internet, so I researched and invented creative writing exercises for "nerds." This was The Digital Scribe, published by Harcourt-Brace in 1996.

3. How did you approach writing your first book? Since it was non-fiction, I outlined it completely and then I researched to flesh it out.

4. Who or what influenced your writing? Like most writers (I suppose), the other writers who influenced me are far too numerous to list. We writers must learn technique if we’re to be any good, and we can learn this by studying the writers who do it best. If I were to name my top five, I would have to say: Albert Camus, Raymond Carver, Franz Kafka, William Faulkner and Thomas Harris.

5. Why do you continue to write? Because I must. Some people (like, say, Tony Gwynn on my San Diego Padres and Franz Kafka in my literature game) would do their "craft" even if they did not get paid. They do it because they love the "doing."

6. What do you hope to accomplish through your writing? Get the present administration voted out of office (only sort of kidding). Actually, Jonathan Swift (one of the greatest satirists of all time) said that the very people you make fun of are the ones who never understand your rebukes. If I can just give the reader a "good read," then I am satisfied. Hopefully, the reader will also want to learn something as well (although this is getting much more difficult in these days of instant gratification and "dumbed down culture").

7. What has been your experience as a published writer? I’m along for the ride. It does get better each day, however.

8. How do you promote your book(s)? I ask people to read them. People come in many forms. I hope my readers have open minds and a sense of humor (again, getting more difficult these days to find). I also answer interview requests.

9. What advice would you like to share with other writers? Keep working on technique. The imagination is already there or you wouldn’t continue doing it.

10. Any other comments you would like to add? Thanks for the chance to share.

Thank you, Jim, for sharing your time and thoughts.

Interviewer: Kaye Trout - August 30, 2006

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Author’s website address:

Books in Print: A Promise for Destiny

Books in Process:
I Met a Man is a novel about unfulfilled love. Daniel Hawkins and Susana Powell, develop an enduring bond rooted in their childhood. As their long distance relationship as soul mates transitions to lovers, a tragic accident leaves Daniel hopelessly incapacitated in a coma. Susana does not give up on Daniel and visits him daily in hopes he will awaken from his certain eternal sleep. She only wishes she could find a way for him to communicate with her. Perhaps she can learn how to connect with him if she moves into his childhood home. She sits; night after lonely night, in his empty home waiting for the answer to come. Mysteriously drawn to the attic, she finds a box of memorabilia belonging to Daniel. Will she find the answer in the musty, dust-covered box?

Welcome Leonard,

1. When and why did you begin writing?
I have written technical documents for more than 35 years in the form of failure reports, technical specifications, and requests for proposals, budget reports and personnel reports. It was only within the last three years or so that I stepped out on a limb and ventured into the literary world.

2. What inspired you to write your first book?
As strange as it may seem, the basic plot and characters came out of repetitive sub-conscious thoughts that woke me up at night. At first, I put them off as just dreams. Over the course of time, the story line kept growing. After a while, I decided to jot down the thoughts in the middle of the night. I finally scrawled out a six-page synopsis and showed it to a friend. She thought it was worth pursuing. Once I looked at developing a formal manuscript, the ideas began to flow freely. It was interesting that the first memory I have of this story sticking in my head was focused on the character Ann and the scene in Chapter 1.

3. How did you approach writing your first book?
I guess you could call it brute force. The flood of ideas was so great in the beginning that I merely started typing the story without regard to any particular organization. When ideas didn’t flow, I did a lot of research on how to write novels and did historical research on the area of the Adirondacks where I was born and raised. That research and my knowledge of "my old stopping grounds" made the setting a perfect backdrop for the book. This allowed me to focus on the characters and the intricacies of the plot.

From the beginning, I knew my fictional characters were going to be somewhat dysfunctional in their own way. I deliberately wanted to make this mixture of unusual characters come together. My challenge, as a new writer, was to ensure they were likeable in the reader’s mind. It was an interesting challenge also to make their actions logical, albeit, off the beaten path, considering the environment they were living and their own history.

4. Who or what influenced your writing?
It has always been my nature to try something new. Since I never wrote a novel it was intuitively obvious to me that I should at least try considering that I already had a plot and some unusual characters already programmed in my head. In the course of casual conversation, I mentioned the idea of writing a book with some friends. My wife of over 38 years and another dear friend, both avid readers, provided encouragement and critical eyes to help me bring Lucas, Ann, Barb and Dot to life in A Promise for Destiny.

I think Sr. Theresa and Sr. Rita would be proud of me. These two Sisters of the Holy Spirit supported me in spiritual and intellectual ways as holy people, teachers, counselors and friends during my high school years at Holy Ghost Academy in Tupper Lake, NY. Blessed to be insightful enablers, they encouraged me to join the Forensic League and participate in every level of competition offered.

5. Why do you continue to write?
As we get older, we need something to keep our minds active. While developing a new plot and characters you need to refocus on the world around you and in you. To write well you need to open up your mind and let it be flooded from all the external stimuli that surrounds us. Whether it is from a walk in the park, a day at the beach, driving to work, having a drink with your friends, walking your dog, mowing the lawn, or any activity, we can get a new perspective on life. The creative writing process allows me to "see" things that I might otherwise overlook. It helps me to see the good, bad, ugly, beautiful, funny, sad, disturbing, spiritual, mystical and otherwise off-center sides of the world around us.

6. What do you hope to accomplish through your writing?
To paraphrase the thoughts of Lucas Ambler, the main character in A Promise for Destiny, I want to become the kind of writer he wished he could be. I want to take readers on a journey to un-charted real and mystical worlds. I want my readers to travel with me and find wonderment in the new worlds they visit as seen through my eyes and psyche. I want to develop the literary eloquence to put into written word all the insights I derived from my affair with nature and life. God has given me a good life. I want my readers, young and old alike, to experience through their mind’s eye and my words, the world I know and experience. In the end, I hope he or she will be in a better place.

7. What has been your experience as a published writer?
I find the writing processing to be challenging and it allows me to discover a creative (and perhaps a little off beat) side of me that I apparently had suppressed for many years. I continue to be surprised by the comments I receive from people. One reader enthusiastically said she hoped that I would write more. She said my readers would be terribly disappointed if I didn’t write another book. I suppose that is a testament to the quality of my work.

8. How do you promote your book(s)?
My on demand publisher, Outskirts Press, provided an initial campaign to connect to some of the major on-line outlets like Barnes & Noble and Otherwise, I sent out many copies for review across the country. I am working with local bookstores to gain placement with other local author’s works and to set up book signings. The book has only been published a short time, since late May 2006, so there are still many more possibilities. Also, I am in the early discussion stages with a New York City literary agent.

9. What advice would you like to share with other writers?
All writers use their talents in their own way. Each is motivated differently. I know what worked for me. I am confident that success will come if I persevere and remain loyal to my readers. All I can offer is "Enjoy what you do!" It will be reflected in the work you do.

10. Any other comments you would like to add?
I want to continue writing novels. From early reader comments, I may have found a niche in fiction/romance but time will tell. I was told that I should have written this romance novel using a female pen name. I suppose the challenge is to satisfy the romance novel audience while writing from the male perspective. In the end, I would like to have people enjoy what they read and close the book with a sense that they were inspired to look at the world a little differently from when they first cracked the book open.

Thank you, Len, for your time and sharing your experience.

Interviewer: Kaye Trout - August 16, 2006

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Books in Print: Peter and Beth

Books in Process: The Other Side (working title) - a sequel to Peter and Beth

Welcome Doug,

1. When and why did you begin writing?

I wrote a handful of one-act plays in college and then for the next thirty years wrote nothing. I began my first novel (Happy as Kings--unpublished) in 2000 (see below for the reason).

2. What inspired you to write your first book?

I was reading Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being and suddenly realized that I too could write a novel. This had always been a dream of mine, but I think it took many years of reading good novels before I understood the various elements that go into writing one.

3. How did you approach writing your first book?

Since my first novel was heavily autobiographical, I didn't use an outline but basically followed events according to their actual chronology. In Peter and Beth and The Other Side, I worked from a well-thought-out outline--knowing, however, that I would be making many changes along the way.

4. Who or what influenced your writing?

Because I've read so much, I couldn't point to any one or two writers I model my work after. I try to keep my prose straightforward and almost conversational, always with the goal of keeping my book "reader friendly" but without compromising my artistic integrity. My underlying goal as a writer is to write the kind of novels I myself would like to read.

5. Why do you continue to write?

I love it. There's something magical about looking at a blank computer screen and then filling it up not just with words but with a never-before-dreamed-of world. I also love the act of revision--I suppose because I'm compulsive about saying things in the absolute best way they can be said.

6. What do you hope to accomplish through your writing?

Aside from increasing my income (perhaps the most formidable task), I would simply like to become a better and better writer. For me, writing is an end in itself.

7. What has been your experience as a published writer?

The good news is that there's a tremendous sense of accomplishment. The surprising news (though I guess it shouldn't surprise me) is that people who don't read novels aren't especially impressed that I wrote one.

8. How do you promote your book(s)?

My goal at this point isn't to sell my book but to find an agent who believes in my writing and believes that he or she can sell me to a mid-size if not to a major publisher. Right now I'm concentrating on getting Peter and Beth reviewed, with the objective of increasing my credibility with potential agents.

9. What advice would you like to share with other writers?

Whatever it is you're thinking of writing, don't be in a hurry to sit down and write it. Let the story germinate in your mind for a while (in general, the longer the better). There's a readiness factor, and I think it's important for a writer to learn to recognize when a story is ready to be put into written words.

10. Any other comments you would like to add?

Writing novels, for me, hasn't been all peaches and cream. When I'm in the middle of writing a first draft, I become obsessed with it to the point where it definitely disrupts my life. It goes without saying, though, that the satisfaction I get from the end result is well worth the disruption.

Thank you, Doug, for sharing your thoughts and time with us.

Interviewed by Kaye Trout - August 13, 2006

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Author’s website address:

Books in Print: Everything You Will Ever Need To Know To Start Driving A Big Truck Or How I Became A Professional Tourist

Books in Process: to be determined

Welcome Steve,

1. When and why did you begin writing? At an early age I started writing songs to go along with my guitar playing. I took a break at that a few years ago, when I realized the market for 40-year-old rock stars was limited at best. And, so writing a book became a logical extension of my previous endeavors.

2. What inspired you to write your first book? My first book was a sort of mini-book summing up all the good ideas that were being sold for hundreds and thousands of dollars at real estate and various investment seminars. I have pretty much seen them all over the years and will say that nearly every one of them has several really good ideas that can make you money, not to mention the fact that some of the marketers are incredibly entertaining public speakers. Unfortunately, these are sold as VERY expensive packages full of books, video recordings, and the like. The truth is that I took all of their good ideas from all of their books, tapes, and seminars, and compiled them into a 20-page booklet that actually covered in detail everything of value they had to offer. "Brevity is the soul of wit," says Mr. Shakespeare. Right? My inspiration was of course, MONEY! Unfortunately, I never really did spend any time trying to market it. While it’s now a little outdated, I might still rewrite it. You never know.

3. How did you approach writing your first book? In writing my first "real" book, the current one that is, I had been thinking about it for several years while gallivanting about the U.S. in various big rigs, talking extensively to myself, and taking lots of photos of the incredible sights I was seeing. I finally just sat down in front of the computer and started writing a chapter at a time, going back again and again, filling in items that had been ignored or those that required further elaboration. Computers are so nice when it comes to editing and deleting and such. Finally after a couple months I felt that I had pretty well covered the necessities.

4. Who or what influenced your writing? I could tell you who influenced my songwriting, but I am really hard pressed to come up with an influence for writing a book. My step dad is a retired publisher from one of those well-known educational publishers, which actually has his name on it. He has also authored several books including his autobiography, which was in part an inspiration for a documentary film about a POW camp in World War ll. That came out a couple years back. Being around someone like that probably moves one’s thought processes in the direction of literary espousal. Maybe, maybe not.

5. Why do you continue to write? I will only write if I feel I have something of relevance to say, and when I don’t I will most certainly just go away. Ahhh poetry indeed. Maybe I’ll use that line when I start writing tunes again, some day. Maybe, maybe not.

6. What do you hope to accomplish through your writing? I expect to accomplish something different with whatever I do. In regard to my current endeavor, my intentions are to let the many people who get into trucking every year know everything they need to know to get started, what the many surprises are they can expect, how to deal with them effectively, and how to get the most out of their many experiences, and still manage to spend the majority of their time within the comfort zone. That was a long explanation to get out in one breath.

7. What has been your experience as a published writer? Having been a published-book writer for only a few weeks now, I can only say, time will tell. Back in the early 1980’s, when as a published song writer and musician, my first record was released, I was pretty well ecstatic for an extended period of time selling lots of records in Great Britain. I only hope to have a similar experience with my current book. That would be quite satisfactory.

8. How do you promote your book(s)? I probably promote my book a bit differently than someone else. Being that mine is a book about the trucking industry, I have spent a bit of time contacting various folks in the industry (various trucking publications, various trucking affiliated executives, various media outlets, which have in the past shown some affinity toward the plight of the hard working "professional tourist" errr uhhhh truck driver, important people like the President of the United States, but just basically anyone who might pay attention. You never know who is paying attention. Do you?

9. What advice would you like to share with other writers? Persistence is what will pay off more than anything. I got a record deal right out of my basement in Denver, but attempting to get the attention of a myriad of literary agents, who are far too busy (or so they say) to give you the time of day, is like pulling your teeth out with a plumber’s wrench. While my step dad told me that I first needed to acquire the services of a literary agent, I have chosen a different direction and thus far do not regret it. Things are a bit different in today’s world of technology and the opportunities available in regard to writing and publishing your literary masterpieces are unlimited. Be persistent.

10. Any other comments you would like to add? If you have something you want to say, then by all means write it down and get it out there. Nothing more to add. Just do it! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Thanks for tunin’ in. See ya. Out!

Thank you, Steve, and I wish you the best of luck!

Interviewer: Kaye Trout - July 25, 2006 - Copyright


Author's website address:

Books in Print: About 20, including Trump, Rupert Murdoch, Kingdom: The Story of the Hunts of Texas, Alan Shrugged, Heretic: Confessions of an ex-Catholic Rebel, many others.

Books in Process: Gallery of Fools: The True Story of a Celebrated
Manhattan Art Theft

Welcome Jerry,

1. When and why did you begin writing?
I began shortly after finishing college in the late 1950s, out of a sense of frustration and compulsion and a need to put words on paper. In many ways, it was a therapeutic exercise.

2. What inspired you to write your first book?
It was an attempt to make some sense out of the formative years of my life.

3. How did you approach writing your first book?
I just sat down and did it, with no formal training in composition or creative writing. I learned by trial and error.

4. Who or what influenced your writing?
The great American novelists of the early 20th century: Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, others.

5. Why do you continue to write?
It's what I do best, my defining talent. I still have a compulsion to write.

6. What do you hope to accomplish through your writing?
I hope to leave a legacy, a body of work that will be recognized as a significant contribution to the literature of our time.

7. What has been your experience as a published writer?
Extreme highs and lows. A couple of best-sellers or near best-sellers followed by books that sold poorly and received few reviews. It is still frustrating dealing with publishers in an increasingly competitive environment, fighting for shelf space in bookstores, and for media attention to gain traction for a book.

8. How do you promote your book(s)?
Press releases, radio and TV interviews, reviews by contacts in the media.

9. What advice would you like to share with other writers?
Don't write unless you feel you have no choice. It's too frustrating and you can make a lot more money and save yourself a lot of grief by pursuing a different career.

Thank you.

Interviewer: Kaye Trout - July 26, 2006 - Copyright