Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where do you get the ideas for your books?
A: You know it just sort of happens, (frightening as that sounds). I’ve always been a pretty good liar but there’s usually some element of real life and some aspect of truth. I once wrote a novel that was complete fiction, except for one scene in which a woman rips off the same guy twice, over the course of 72 hours. Invariably people say the whole tale is believable except for that one scene, “That’s really pushing it, no one could possibly be that stupid.” Of course, it was the only event that really happened.
Q: You have some pretty unique names, is everyone like that up in Minnesota?
A: Are you referring to the lifestyle or the names? The names are all real, but not necessarily just from Minnesota, there’s the occasional Wisconsin name thrown in. Although sometimes you wouldn’t know it based on local headlines, Minnesota has wonderful people and is an absolutely great place to live. Despite the summer and winter extremes, we consider it God’s country.
Q: Are any of your tales based on real events?
A: The frightening news is that most of my work is based on some semblance of a real event. The old axiom, Truth is stranger than fiction comes into play.
Q: Do you really live in Dublin or do you like to visit, ever been to the Brazen Head?
A: In reverse order, my wife and I do go to the Brazen for a pint, but not as often as we would wish. If I’m not mistaken, the Brazen Head is the oldest Dub pub; they have great bands on Sunday night. Say hi from us to Noel the bartender if you’re in there.
I live in Dublin six months out of the year. I do a good deal of writing there, once I’ve finished my chores. I’ve come to know Dublin at least as well as St. Paul, and I love the city, especially the north side.
Q: Do you follow an outline when you write?
A: No, not really. What I do have is a rough idea, actually a lot of rough ideas bouncing around and a note pad always at the ready. We can be having dinner, I’m walking, driving or something just clicks in the middle of the night and I have to write it down. Yeah I know, I’ve got a very patient wife. But an outline, no, that would make too much sense.
Q: Our book club just finished Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick. Do you ever get to KC, maybe you could stop and see us?
A: Thanks for the offer. I’m in Kansas City occasionally, and a lot of other places as well, including Dublin.
What might work better is to contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow time for me to get to your email, I’m talking days here. But maybe we could set up some sort of phone call or better yet Skype, there’s no charge. I Skype all over the world and would love to chat and get feedback from your book club. Thanks for readingSlow, Slow, Quick, Quick.
Q: Do you really know people like your characters?
A: I’m asked this a lot. Yes, I do, or the characters are composites of people I know. Some really good people and a few folks who, as a friend once told me, experience the sort of crisis every week that the rest of us might see once or twice in a lifetime. They live a type of lifestyle that may not be conducive to longevity. Of course as I’m writing this I hear my mother’s voice, “You are known by the company you keep.”
Q: I loved Chow for Now, do you have a thing about fur coats?
A: No, I’m not an anti-fur sort of guy, although I understand that sentiment. On the other hand, you see some really gorgeous furs in the winter. I know very few women who wouldn’t love a fur coat. That said, my wife has no interest in one.
Q: Is there any particular chronological order to your books?
A: No they’re all stand-alone works. On a rare occasion there might be a character from one work making a brief appearance in another. But, there is no chronological order.
Q: When is your next book going to be available?
A: Not soon enough. Please check this website or email me at email@example.com for updates. I’m working on the next one now.
Q: I love the scene in Merlot where Cindy gets all dressed up for the private dinner in Merlot’s office then ends up getting sick. It reads like you may have had such an experience. Well?
A: Oh, if only it was limited to just once!
Q: Are all your books set in Minnesota?
A: Pretty much, or there is at least a Minnesota connection.Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick begins and ends in Minnesota, but 90% of the story occurs in the Tampa/St. Pete area of Florida. In Finders Keepers, while it all takes place in northern Minnesota, the mob guys are out of Chicago.
Q: You seem to have a cop’s sense of humor, were you ever in law enforcement?
A: No, I was never in law enforcement, but I have a number of favorite arresting officers.
Q: We read Baby Grand in bed and laughed ourselves silly, where did that come from?
A: If you mean laughing yourselves silly I hope it was from the book and not some physical shortcoming. The tale, given a particular mindset, becomes rather plausible. It percolated within my thick skull after reading about a botched kidnap attempt where the victim ultimately blackmailed the kidnappers. Yeah I know, you can’t make it up fast enough.
Q: I just read End Of The Line this past weekend, I was fascinated by Perkin Hoyt, is he a based on a real someone?
A: Perkin is a composite, but most of the things that happen to him are real events, including his dealings with the loan officers, which isn’t too different from the situation an awful lot of people find themselves in today. He has a long string of luck, all of it bad. But he sticks to his guns and things just might work out for him in the end.