In his career, he has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests.
After graduating with an MFA degree from The New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, Essays & Fictions, The New Plains Review, and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series.
What are the Top 3 things that every writer should know before getting into the world of publishing books?
No. 1 is being able to deal with rejection. There are so many steps to getting a book published and there is such fierce competition that simply being a good writer isn’t good enough. Use the rejections that you get to make you better. Even the top writers out there have experienced a ton of rejection early on in their career.
No. 2 is to be your own harshest critic. You may think the first novel you finished is a work of genius, but have you edited it enough? Learning to be your own best editor will sharpen your writing skills. Find people you trust to read your manuscript that will give honest feedback. You also need to learn which feedback to take and what to ignore.
No. 3 is you need to be a hustler. I hustle every day. No one cares about your career more than yourself. You can have a great agent, a great editor and publisher, but you have to be in control of your body of work. That means putting as much into publicity on your own as you feasibly can. How you can you stand out amongst the million other books out there?
In your opinion what is one of the keys to writing in the crime thriller genre?
Thrillers are about moving the plot forward. You must be able to write a page-turner, meaning you have to understand that a lot of what you write should be pared down to what is essential. Crime writing, in particular, means you’re often dealing with unlikeable characters. The trick is making the reader root for them, or at least understand and emphasize with why they do the terrible things they do. You have to humanize your criminals, so they become living and breathing and not just cliche.
Talk to us about your upcoming book ‘The Ancestor’ what are some of the key aspects that you hope both new and existing fans can take away from the new release?
The Ancestor is about a man with amnesia who believes he was frozen in time in the Alaskan wilderness from the Gold Rush era. He’s a man out of place, searching for his identity and the memories of his wife and child. The book can be read where you think he’s crazy, or you believe in the science fiction aspect of it. It is a blend of multiple genres: a thriller, a historical adventure, a literary tale with a sprinkle of supernatural. I think that is what makes it unique. There is no way you can predict what will happen in The Ancestor. It’s designed to pull the rug out from under you.
In The Ancestor the beginning takes place in the Alaskan Wilderness. The natural question is why the Alaskan Wilderness and not the slopes of Switzerland? What is connection with the wilds of Alaska and the books setting that would inspire the creation of the book?
So, the area where the protagonist awakens is a focal point of the Alaskan Gold Rush in the 1890s. The character believes he traveled to the area as a prospector and was frozen on ice. Obviously, a cold setting was important, but there is a remoteness about Alaska that’s unparalleled, at least in the United States. It has an edge of the world feel and a rich history of adventurers that sought fortunes there in previous times and those looking to escape now.
If you can be one of the characters in one of your novels who would it be and why?
Hmm, well not the main character Wyatt because having amnesia would be tough so maybe Travis, Wyatt’s lookalike who he believes is his great, great grandson. Travis is a fisherman, a salt of the Earth type of guy. He chews dip and dreams of opening a fish shack to support his wife and child.
We’re different in many ways, but Travis has one of the best hearts of all of my characters. He wants what’s best for his family. He wants what is best for Wyatt too, even though letting him into his life becomes dangerous down the road when Wyatt begins to want Travis’ family for his own.
The Ancestor is available on Amazon Prime by clicking here.