Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Where do you get the ideas for your Matt Davis Mystery Series?

A: I read a lot of true crime books and magazine and newspaper articles about crime.  I’m a firm believer in the adage that says, “truth is stranger than fiction.”  I also am extremely curious about everything that goes on around me.  I guess you could say that I’m a bit of a voyeur.

Q:  Do you base your characters on real people and real places?

A: Sometimes.  For instance, the two police officers who serve under Chief Matt Davis on the Roscoe police force are based upon two friends of mine (with their permission, of course).  Roscoe, itself, is a real town that I fell in love with over 30 years ago.  I try not to write anything that will reflect badly upon it, and often take a good deal of literary license when describing buildings and businesses within the community.

Q:  Do you ever find yourself “blocked”  and do you believe there really is such a thing as “writer’s block?”

A:  Yes and no.  Sometimes, I’m just not “in the mood,” or I’m simply unable to write the way I want to.  In those instances, I simply take a break and try again later.  However, I don’t believe there actually is a condition such as “writer’s block.”  I believe that successful writers discipline themselves and work through any “blocks.”  Those who profess to be “blocked” are simply not disciplined.

Q:  Have you always been a writer? 

A:  I suppose so, in some ways.  My father was a compulsive writer of letters to the editor, and I believe I subconsciously admired his skill at putting words together, and tried to imitate him as a child.  Even today, I am forever addressing the issues of the day, utilizing that very same forum.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a voracious reader.  As a child, I entered contests at our local library, winning ice cream cones for reading ten books in a proscribed period of time.  However, it was luck that probably played the biggest part in my  introduction to “serious” writing.  I was newly married to my first wife, and badly in need of a job, when an enterprising employment agency employee noticed that my major in college was physical education (yes, I was a “jock”) and then later English.  He suggested that I apply for an opening for a position as a sportswriter with a large, urban newspaper.  To my surprise, I got the job!  It was there that I began my love affair with the written word, and I have written in some form or other ever since.

Q:  Besides writing, what other things have you done?

A:  The answer to this question would require an entire website, but I’ll touch on a few of the “work experiences” that I have had:  surveyor, substitute teacher, handyman, advertising copy writer, truck driver, cab driver, limousine driver (it was while at an airport, waiting for a client, that I began my first novel, in 1987), professional fly-fishing guide, house painter, life insurance salesman, real estate salesman, retail store owner...

My late mother used to say that I was a “Jack of All Trades, Master of None.”  However, God must have had a purpose in mind for me, because throughout my writing career, I have been able to draw upon all of those experiences to populate my books with many diverse situations and characters that I hope set me apart from other writers.  Whew...I’m exhausted.

Q:  What is the most challenging aspect of writing a mystery?

A: Without a doubt it’s the plot.  Sometimes I get lucky, and an idea just pops into my head.  Then, with a little prodding, the story line just finds its way along, like a drop of water wandering haphazardly down a pane of glass.  Other times, it’s like pulling teeth, and I really have to sweat to find the correct path.

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