Saturday, June 23, 2012



Hello Mark, thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview. It is a pleasure to have the chance to get to know more about you and your writing. First tell us about your newest novel and why you decided to write it.

Thanks, Kitty, for asking me to join you for this virtual chat.

Regarding FACING THE SON, A NOVEL OF AFRICA, I wrote that book based on my three years traveling and working in West Africa. I was telling someone over coffee once about an incident that occurred out in the bush, and as that person started peppering me with questions, more and more came out about things I hadn't really thought about in years. When I worked in West Africa, all my friends from college were hanging out in New York and Chicago learning how to hail cabs, polish shoes, and become bankers. I was getting sent to faraway places where nothing really worked, every day was a discovery, and I got sick almost every time I got handed a boarding pass. So twenty years later, having coffe in some frou frou place in Beverly Hills, those old anecdotes - aside from being in total contrast to the cafe surroundings - grabbed the interest of somebody who made his living writing scripts. He told me to write a novel. So I did. Believe me, it didn't come easy. I rewrote it around fifteen or so times.

Tell us about some of your hobbies, things you like to do in your spare time.

That's not very interesting. I swim every morning. I run. Ski in the winter. I read. Obviously. I work for a couple of non-profits. I'm an adjunct professor in a local college. And for the time being, I write and or edit every day for about eight hours. During my corporate life, I traveled about every week for about twenty-five years. I'm happy to stay closer to home now and enjoy family, friends, neighborhood, and sleeping in my own bed for a change.

What is the one most rewarding thing in your life right now?

Not traveling. If I never see the inside of a hotel room again, that would be fine with me. 

When reading for pleasure do you tend to stick to the same genre you write or do you like to read other genres as well?

For me, reading for pleasure means reading outside a comfort zone. Unless I'm working on something, in which case my interest narrows to be very specific to the project at hand, I like to explore. Maybe that's the way I'm traveling now. I breakfast once a month with an Astrophysicist. THAT area is totally outside my comfort zone. We recommend one another a book which we have to read by our next breakfast. That way each of us gets introduced to something we would otherwise probably not bump into. That's been fun. But I do like history, mystery, and literature from countries where I've traveled and lived.

When was it that you realized writing was what you wanted to do with your life?

Not sure I've even realized that yet. It's something I do every day, but I'm not exactly sure why. There are probably better, more sociable, things I could be doing. But there it is. I'm in the middle of this compulsion to write for the time being and until I get cured, I guess that's going to continue. It's almost like I know I can get better, and until I get good enough so I can truly be proud of something, I'm going to keep working at it. 

When can we expect your next book out and can you give us a sneak peek?

PASADENA PAYBACK is done, and since we're having this virtual chat about four weeks prior to your publication date, it will be out by now. [I'll send you those links once they're live.]

PASADENA PUT DOWN is nearly done. So two of my Pasadena Crime Novel Trilogy should be published during Summer 2012. The third one is still just a mess but I will get that out early next year. 

Back in your high school career, who was the one teacher you would say made a profound difference in your life, if any?

I don't want to sound flip, but I really can't remember a high school teacher that stood out. All I ever wanted to do with high school was get it over with, get out of Dodge, and see some of the world. I guess my mind was elsewhere.

What dreams do you have for future generations that you'd like to share with others?

I hope that we haven't put the natural world on a collision course with human activity so that we substantially diminish the quality of life for future generations. I choose to believe though that humans are creative enough to foresee and solve the major problems that lie ahead so that such an internecine conflict doesn't happen. 

One off the board question I like to ask, is what are your views as far as 2012, and do you believe in the Mayan Calendar?

Well, yes I believe the Mayans had a calendar. Do I believe that it predicts the end of the world? Nope. 2012 is half over. Seems like just about any other year so far, and as far as the past hundred years go, relatively quiet, all in all.

Finally, do you have any advice you'd like to give to other aspring authors, also please leave us your links where we can find out more about you.

Read. I think that's the best advice for any writer. To read widely and deeply. Think about what you read and never stop. 


Thank you again Mark for the ability to do this interview with you. Perhaps we can do more together in the near future.

Thanks for reading. It's been a pleasure.

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