David, your website mentions that you write in a number of genres, Spy/Crime, Horror and SF, would you say you have a unifying theme in your works or do you work for something different with each work?
I work on something different for each piece, but a common character is the jagged anti-hero. They are dealing with something--PTSD, addiction, regrets for not being the person they thought they would be when they were children--that gives them a ragged edge that is a part of their character and their world.
Do you have a process when you write?
I do. I start with the idea--which may come from the news or a conversation or be a collision of ideas from various sources. I then focus on the main character and nine questions I learned from reading a book on Earle Stanley Gardner, the author of the Perry Mason novels and many other novels. These questions form the beginning of my plot. I then plot my story, loosely. I write the first draft. The first draft is really my true plot. From there, I rewrite.
Rewriting, that's when the real writing happens. Which line do you struggle with more, the first or the last?
Beginnings of stories are a challenge for me too. But somehow when you get it right, you just know. Until then it takes some work. The Writers’ Lens is about Bringing Fiction Into Focus – what brings your writing into focus, the characters, the stories, the love of words?
It is the story--the journey and the unusual development of the character. To me the journey is one that follows a quote of Robert Lewis Stevenson, "In each of us, two natures are at war – the good and the evil. All our lives the fight goes on between them, and one of them must conquer. But in our own hands lies the power to choose – what we want most to be we are."
I have three projects I am working on.
I am currently writing the first draft, or plot draft, of a paranormal crime drama, working titled THE DEVIL'S BOUNTY HUNTER, which is about Detective Reo Pennington, a consequential moralistic cop who is killed and finds herself in Hell. There a devil makes a deal, she can either stay in hell or return to Earth. But there is a catch. The devil wants certain people to be sent to hell. Oh, and to stay alive, she has to kill someone every forty days. She agrees to the deal and finds herself in a Machiavellian game of cat and mouse as she must keep her badge, stay alive, and deny the devil what he wants.
The second project I'm writing is entering second draft. It is a space western, working title HERNE'S LAW, about Hernando "Herne" Castellano, a veteran of a civil war in humanity's future, who is abandoned with his troops by his government on the final battle, when a peace treaty is signed. Herne goes into a self-imposed exile for six years, when he is forced to return by a call for help. Battling PTSD, he returns and finds his world changed, and not for the better. Herne's government abandoned him, so he follows only one law--help those who can't help themselves.
The third project has gone back to plotting. DARK MEDICINE is a gothic novel, about Alexandre Levreau, who was cursed by a witch after the Battle of San Carlos (also known as the Battle of St. Louis) during the American War for Independence. All he ever wanted was to return home, but the curse changed him--made him inhuman. He returns home to find his wife married to his brother. In a duel he kills his brother, only to be imprisoned alive by his former wife and his father--and reemerges over two hundred years later--only to become a science experiment of a distraught emergency room doctor determined to find a way to keep people from dying. But, there are only three problems with the doctor's plans: The witch who cursed Alexandre was also entombed with him and is immortal; The doctor does not understand the darkness he is playing with; and Alexandre is determined to return to home.