Can you tell us what prompted you to first start writing? What was the first thing you wrote?
In high school a literature teacher suggested
I had writing talent. Since that time I began several writing projects only to discard them, often after several hundred pages were written.
n 2007 I published A Guide to the Guy or Gal Who Takes Your Teeth Out. It was a
book of short stories about treating problems in oral surgery. It was meant to allay the fear associated with undergoing oral surgical procedures. Its modest success and feedback fromreaders spurred me on in my quest to become a writer.
Can you summarize your latest work in just a few words?
It’s a sexy, psychological thriller of deceit, betrayal, and murder. A love triangle gone awry.
What was the inspiration for this book?
I had several reasons for writing To Sleep…Perchance to Die. I wanted to introduce the reader to the field of oral and maxillofacial surgery, to northeastern
Connecticut, and to a famous Connecticut attorney. The latter was a nonfictional character portrayed in a fictional manner. I also wanted to use poetic references in an entertaining story the reader would enjoy.
you do any research for the book?
I used the principle of writing about what you know. I called upon my background in psychology, my love of poetry, my experience in working as a jail guard and as a prison dentist,
and my years of practicing oral and maxillofacial surgery to develop the plot of To Sleep…Perchance to Die. Even with the utilization of my life’s experiences, I found it necessary to carry out a great deal of research.
My greatest ally was the internet, but visiting libraries and traveling to plot locations were also required.
What does a typical writing day involve for you?
Unlike many writers,
I don’t have a set writing schedule. Some days I begin in the early morning, other days I might begin to write late in the evening. I’ve found the expression to be true that when a writer isn’t writing, he or she is thinking
about writing. Before Iput words to page, I’ve done a great deal of thinking about what I want to say. As it turns out, I write most days.
What are you working on next? Do you have a WIP?
My sequel to To Sleep…Perchance to Die, titled Revenge Best Served Bloody, has been submitted to my publisher for editing. It is scheduled to be released in June of 2014. I believe
the reader will be pleasantly surprised by a plot that is an unexpected departure from the first book. I’m also working on the outline for the third book of my Bret Manley series. The outline begs for a fourth book to be written.
What has been the best part of the writing process…and the worst?
The introduction to and learning about what is, for me, a new profession. I’ve found it exciting. I’m
awed by the fact that strokes on a keyboard give the writer the ability to create a world and populate it with people of his or her choosing. If the writer deems, he or she can alter that world and its people. What other profession allows such
To date, I can’t say I’ve experienced anything that can be called a worst.
Tell us about your travels.
The most fun trip this past year was traveling
to France to research scenes for my sequel, Revenge Best Served Bloody. It’s a surreal experience to have the honor of seeing and doing things in Paris and northern France and then inserting the essence of those experiences
into a novel.
Do you plot novels or allow them to develop as you write?
In the three books I’ve written and the fourth I’m preparing
to write, I’ve made detailed outlines of the story I want to tell. Yet, as I write the plot develops a life of its own causing me to deviate from the outline. The outline ends up being a general guide, and the plot flows of its own accord.
Have you taken any creative writing courses and would you recommend them?
Yes, and yes. When I decided to enter the profession of writing, I knew that as with all professions,
one has to learn new knowledge and gain new skills. As a result, I took several writing courses, read How-To books on writing, and joined a writer’s association. The latter has allowed me to take part in study groups and seminars.
I’m not being boastful when I say that I’ve learned a great deal of the technical aspects of my new profession. I still have much to learn and am continuing the learning process. A caveat is that writing is also an
art and mastering that art is the difference between a technically proficient writer and a great one.
Thank you for a fascinating interview Donald