How long does it take you to write a novel?
The entire process—blank slate to publication—is about 18 months. Approximately 6 months to research and outline, 6 months to write, and another 6 months to do structural/line edits, submit the manuscript to my editor for a final proofread, and work with my graphic designer on the cover, maps, and formatting. Working concurrently I can publish one novel a year.
Are your novels part of a series?
Yes, the novels are a series, all set inside the same universe on a recurrent timeline, with interconnecting characters layered upon real-world locations and events. Although published non-chronologically, the series all together completes several multigenerational storylines spanning more than a century. The books can be read in any order, wherever a reader finds themselves jumping in.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Wilbur Smith, James A. Michener, Clive Cussler, Ross Macdonald, Agatha Christie, Donald E. Westlake, Thomas Harris, Stephen King, Lawrence Block, John. D. MacDonald, Sidney Sheldon, Lee Child . . .
Although I am a writer and avid reader I am heavily inspired by film, notably:
Dead Calm, No Country for Old Men, The Silence of the Lambs, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Shawshank Redemption, Sorcerer, Carlito's Way, Thief, The Shining, Jaws, Scarface, Heat, Miami Vice, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Palmetto, Night Moves, Blood Simple, China Moon, True Romance, Blue Ruin, Reservoir Dogs, The Deep, Body Heat, Into the Blue, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, L.A. Confidential, Dirty Harry, Key Largo, Chinatown, Bad Lieutenant . . .
I owe a special nod and a great deal of gratitude to the 1982 cult classic masterpiece The Thing. I have paid tribute, studied, and vowed for decades to this near perfect film, and it has given back in spades.
What does your typical writing day look like?
Unless I'm traveling, I keep a somewhat structured daily routine. I work in the mornings—either writing, editing, or outlining—for about 5 or 6 hours. After lunch I like to spend time outside, get in a workout, dip in the pool, or head out on the water. Most days I will come back in the late afternoon for 2 to 3 hours to review the morning’s writing or work on plot outlines. Again, working concurrently like this I can complete a novel a year.
Are you a plotter or pantser?
I'm definitely a hardcore plotter—all the way! I have a novel fully outlined before I begin writing.
What are you currently working on?
I have just completed writing my third novel; Devilfish Key is targeting to publish Dec. 5, 2023.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I enjoy traveling to new places, especially destinations and locales that are settings in upcoming novels. My wife and I have a goal to see all 175 of Florida’s state parks. It’s no surprise I love being on the water and get out as often as I can. We’re incredibly fortunate to have the year-round opportunity for incredible shark diving right in our backyard.
Any tips for those starting out?
Without question, writing a novel is a challenging and lengthy endeavor that requires serious dedication, commitment, and consistency. For many, including myself, the blank page of "Day 1" can be the toughest part. You're going to be spending months alone at a keyboard engaged in a world and characters of your own design. Fortunately I find the daily creative progress of working on and completing a novel a ton of fun and extremely rewarding—if not, this would be a really tough game.
1. Read voraciously.
2. Write consistently. Get started—and then keep the ball rolling.
3. Write for yourself first. Write the book you want to read.
4. Always have a pen and notepad nearby—you never know when a fantastic idea is going to hit.
5. Keep lots of snacks close by—I love cold brew coffee and dark chocolate!
Shortfin Mako I photographed off Rhode Island.