(Click here for part I)

Tell me a bit about the journey of your writing career. You started off and have published hundreds of short stories, right?

I blame my writing career in the Immigration and Naturalization Service. I’d come to the US in ’98 and I had to wait for my work visa to be processed. Before I left England, I’d been toying with the idea of writing. With nothing to do in the states, I followed up on the idea. I’d never taken any writing classes and I was a little embarrassed to do so because I’m dyslexic and I didn’t need the additional stress. I wrote three short stories in a week, then spent the next three months rewriting them until they were presentable. After that, I began my first novel. I worked fifteen months straight writing short stories and novels every day without making a sale. I finally sold my first short story and that seemed to be my break. After that, I sold stories one after another, but it wasn’t until 2002 until my first novel was published. One thing I didn’t do was pin my hopes to one piece of work. I wrote and wrote and submitted and submitted. It’s the reason I’ve generated so many sales. I’m tenacious when it comes to my work. I can’t sell it if I don’t submit it.

How did you transition from small press publishing to a mainstream publisher?

Really, I made the break into mainstream publishing through not giving up and good luck. I’ve just been diligent, biding my time and when opportunities come my way, I’ve pounced on them. Dorchester is my current publisher for my novels. I took my chances with Dorchester to get a face to face with the editor, because I knew he’d like my novel if he saw it—I just didn’t know how much. Recently, I’ve landed a non-fiction book deal. That remains the easiest book deal I ever got. A writing friend showed some of my essays to a publisher and told them they should consider me for a future project. They contacted me and the next thing I knew we were talking about a book. I think it’s a good example of being good to people and they’ll be good to you. J

Was it difficult getting your first novel republished?

Oddly, it wasn’t a difficult one. The biggest stumbling block was me. It never occurred to me for the longest time that I could get it republished. The rights had reverted back to me a least a year before I decided I wanted to give the book a second chance. But before I sent it out, I gave the manuscript a complete makeover. I cut the clichés and stereotypes, sharpened the prose and made the book a much tighter piece of work.

Finding my publisher was pretty simple all things considered. Trying to resell a book is tough, but I knew Dorchester was open to reprints. The editor for Dorchester was attending a convention in San Francisco and I put my name on a list to pitch the book to him. I pitched the book and he liked it and the rest is history. I’m now working on my third book with Dorchester.

What’s a typical writing day like? How do you juggle work, family, and writing?

I currently work part time—Monday through Wednesday. On those days, I write short stories and articles in my lunch hour and I work on my novels between 8pm and 10pm. Thursday and Fridays, I hit the keyboard from 9am and work through to about 4pm. I may work on something in the evening, but I try to spend that time with my wife. Saturday and Sundays are a bit more fluid. I will work on my books, but I tend to work around whatever I have planned with my wife and friends. I used to be very focused and selfish, but it wasn’t until my dog brought me one of his toys and put it in my hand that I realized that I was neglecting everyone. So I’ve become very disciplined. I made agreements with my wife that I would work between certain hours and use typical down time, like lunch hours, to work on writing. I’d like to get it to the point where I can get all my writing work done between Monday and Friday so that I can have my weekends for my family and friends. I have a tendency to be dedicated which can hurt the people around me.

What path would you like for your career to take from here? Do you see yourself writing full-time?

I would like to cement myself as a popular fiction writer with books and stories coming out regularly. I couldn’t ask for more. Actually, I’m planning to go full time as a writer in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully my faith will be rewarded.

Do you have any upcoming projects on the horizon that we should be on the lookout for?

My next thriller, Paying the Piper, comes out in November. Again it deals with the protagonist’s downfall and their redemption. It’s the story of Scott Fleetwood. He’s a news reporter who interfered with a kidnapping case that leads to the death of a kidnapped child. Eight years later the kidnapper comes out of retirement to kidnap Scott’s children. He can get them back if he’s willing to do some ‘jobs’ for the kidnapper.

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