When did you start writing and how has your writing journey evolved?


My writing journey began in my late teens, when I wrote and published poetry in small literary journals. Throughout my business career, I’ve had the privilege of being able to earn a living from freelance writing and copywriting. In my spare time, I wrote four ‘beginner’ novels which taught me how to craft stories and create compelling plotlines and characters. All of those early novels are still gathering dust and may never see the light of day.

In 2021, I wrote a crime novel A Case Against the Clock. Unlike the previous novels I’d written, this one felt different; I felt as though I’d hit my stride and I wrote with greater confidence and urgency than ever before. A Case Against the Clock features a retired criminal profiler who is dying with ALS (commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) and who has been invited to help police solve one final case before his life ends.

After A Case Against the Clock, I wrote a second crime novel, The Ghosts of Willow Beach. The Ghosts features a larger-than-life homicide detective named Dieter Fromm, who investigates a gruesome crime in a small town.

Who were some of your early writing influences?


Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Vladimir Nabokov, Daphne du Maurier, Tom Wolfe, Jim Thompson and J.D. Salinger. These writers, in particular, opened my eyes to the power of language and great storytelling. Even today, I’m constantly on the lookout for new authors and distinct new voices.

What is your writing routine like?


When I’m writing a novel, I try to write at least 1,000 words a day, six days a week, until a first draft is finished. If I’m on a roll, I’ll push it to 1,500 or more words a day. A first draft will take anywhere from four to five months to complete. The editing process takes two to three months. I usually write in the afternoons.

Do you have any writing superstitions?


Before I begin writing, I’ll listen to a selection of classic rock or pop songs. Oasis. U2. Rush. Paolo Nutini. The Tragically Hip. There’s a lot of similarity between writing and music because both evoke emotions and feelings. When the writing is going well, there is a lyrical quality to it that resembles the notes of a scale. Often I’ll listen to light electronic music in the background when I’m writing.

Do you do outlines of your novels?


Many successful novelists work with outlines, but outlines don’t work for me. When I sit down to write, I don’t know where a story will take me. I enjoy the moments of surprise as I move from scene to scene, and chapter to chapter. How a story develops is as much a mystery to me as I hope it will be to the reader.

Where do you get your ideas from?


Ideas are everywhere. I draw inspiration from a variety of sources: books, magazine articles, news stories, conversations, personal experiences and observations. The challenge is choosing an idea that will sustain my interest over many months.

“A writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist.”
- Vladimir Nabokov