Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born in Rivers Manitoba (A Canadian Forces Base which no longer exists) and now live in London Ontario Canada. But my real home is on the beach in Exuma in the Bahamas. I am married with 5 children and 3 grandchildren.
What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?
Preston Peterson was bullied all his life. Now he has killed. Now he is getting even and everyone is a target.
If you gave some of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?
“Write faster, I have lots to do…”
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Yes, I am currently working on WindCrusher, book one of the Witches of Aquarius series. It is an Urban Fantasy about an old man who brings together a witch, a sorceror, a New York/Hopi detective, a Spartan warrior and a little boy with strange abilities to battle the Old Gods who are returning. I am also working on the sequel to Two Graves called Too Many Graves.
What or who inspired you to write? And how long have you been writing?
I have been writing since I was in elementary school. I ran out of fingers and toes calculating the exact number of years. I always loved writing but decided I wanted to be a writer when I read “Living Well is the Best Revenge” by Calvin Tomkins. My main inspiration has always been my folks who drilled into me to follow my dreams and my wife, Yvette, who asked me one question when we first met…What do you love to do? I realized how long it had been since I had written. She definitely changed my life by getting me back on the writing track and helping me stay there.
How did you come up with the title and cover design?
The title comes from the quote, “When you set out on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” For the cover, I was scouting a graveyard for my author shot and the two gravestones were perfect. All I had to do was add the sign my killer carves into each of his victims and it was done.
Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life?
Like so many avid readers and geeks out there, I was bullied when I was a kid. Some of the experiences in Two Graves are based on my own or others’ lifes. However, there is no single person that I based anything on. I take a bit here and a bit there…but only the nicest things from people that I know.
Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
I must admit that I still love paperbacks although in my backpack, you will always find a paper book resting against my Kindle.
Where do you prefer to buy your books?
Usually online at Amazon.
Are you a self published (Indie) Author?
Indie. When I made the decision to go Indie, it was a totally freeing experience. The creativity opened up and within a week of making that decision, I had a sequel to Two Graves, solidified the first book in the Witches of Aquarius series along with coming up with the plotline for books 2 & 5. I also came up with two non-fiction books about the Wiccan religion.
Are you a witch?
Yes, I have been a practicing Wiccan for over ten years. My wife and I were married in a Wiccan ceremony that we wrote ourselves. One of my current projects is a non-fiction book about the Wiccan religion called OMG, I Think I’m A Witch. Much of the Witches of Aquarius series draws from my own beliefs about witchcraft and magick. My wife and I do spells and live by the Wiccan Rede, ‘An it harm none, do as ye will. I have that tattooed on my back, in fact.
Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?
Cool Hand Luke, Newman nailed it.
What book are you currently reading and in what format (ebook/paperback/hardcover)?
Currently reading Frankenstein – Lost Souls by Dean Koontz in paperback.
Is there anything you would change in your last book and why?
I would have liked to spend a little more time setting up the sequel. I am almost tempted to go back (one of the big advantages and dangers with ebooks and POD) but anything I added would stand out to anyone who has read the first version. Too Many Graves, the sequel to Two Graves, is going to be more of a mystery than Two Graves was.
Who's your target audience?
Without a doubt, I am my target audience. Someone who loves to escape reality and life, get lost in a book and be entertained. Sam Goldwyn said, “If you want to send a message, call Western Union” and that is how I write. I don’t want to read about profound deep thoughts, I read to escape deep thoughts. My goal is to entertain, keep you guessing, make you break out in goose bumps or cringe and say “Oh man, that would hurt.” If I were to compare it to movies, I’m not wine at an art cinema, I’m a tub of popcorn at the Drive-In.
Who designed the cover of your book?
Although all the experts tell you not to, I did.
Do you have a book trailer?
Yes, I also did that myself. It was fun.
What are your thoughts on book trailers?
I think they can be useful but unless mine goes viral, it likely isn’t the best way I could have spent my marketing time.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Get out there on the web. Writers aren’t necessarily an extroverted bunch but you absolutely have to get out there working on readers, begging interviews and reviews. And do it before your book is finished…something I am still working on myself.
What is the best advice that you have ever been given when it comes to writing?
From my father…”Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.”
Do you write under a pen name?
No, my ego will not allow it.
Do you ever write in your PJ’s?
Uh, I don’t wear PJ’s.
Cats or dogs?
Patti says: with or with out chips :)
White wine or red?
I may be the only writer of crime fiction that doesn’t drink.
Coffee or tea?
Vanilla or chocolate icecream?
Mint Chocolate Chip
Patti says: now I'm hungry for icecream and mint chocolate!
What do you normally eat for breakfast?
When I don’t skip it entirely, usually a protein shake.
What are 4 things you never leave home without?
Wallet, phone, wedding ring and good luck necklace (a golden bunch of bananas that I have worn since I was 21)
Laptop or desktop for writing?
I am usually on the desktop but I am working on the laptop.
Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
I prefer to do it on the beach in Exuma but normally it is in my basement office in the evening.
If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?
My goal in life is to life on Exuma, an island in the Bahamas so it depends on how much I like the island.
Assuming I don’t like the island, Donald McKay, Captain James Cook and Marilyn Monroe. McKay could build the boat, Captain James Cook could sail it and, well, Marilyn could just be Marilyn.
If I did like the island, Wolfgang Puck, Albert Einstein and Marilyn Munroe. Wolfgang could cook, I have always wanted to sit and talk to Einstein and Marilyn, see above.
One of your favorite quotes -
Living well is the best revenge.
List 3 of your all time favorite books?
The Stand, The Hobbit and The Bourne Identity (you may see why, contrary to all recommendations, I can’t stick to a single genre when writing).
List 3 of your all time favorite movies?
Casablanca, Psycho & Star Wars (No message…just entertain me)
An actor you have a crush on -
Did I mention Marilyn Munroe? But if she has to be alive, I have been in love with Valerie Bertinelli since One Day At A Time. I’m pretty sure I lived in the apartment next door.
Where can your readers stalk you?
My facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/
My Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/
Is your book in Print, ebook or both?
Both. Ebook on all the major readers and POD on Amazon.
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview with me Derek, very much appreciated. Patti