-Did you enjoy the research or the writing more on this novel?
Normally I don't enjoy research, but in the case of THE PARADISE PROPHECY I had a lot of fun with it. Looking into the history of ancient documents like The Devil's Bible and Steganographia was not only fascinating, but also had a great influence on the direction, scope and depth of the story itself.
What is your writing style? Are you an extensive outliner or do you just do it all organically as it comes to you?
In most cases I work organically. I come up with an idea and run with it. In the case of THE PARADISE PROPHECY, however, I outlined it fully because I wanted to have the story firmly in my mind as I wrote. That said, I wound up straying pretty far from the original outline, and I think the book is much better because of it.
-What is a "Good Day" of writing for you; how many words or pages?
The definition of a "good day" varies. Most of the time I'll be happy writing a couple thousand words. But if I've written less and I'm very happen with what I've written, I'll consider that a good day. Five hundred words that sing is a much better outcome than two thousand that are utter crap.
- Do you edit and polish as you go or do you save it to the end?
The only thing I save for the end is the end. When I'm done with a draft, I don't want to see it again until I get editor's notes. So I'm an edit as I go kind of guy. Each scene is polished to a shine before I move on to the next one. My mother always told me to wear socks without holes so that I wouldn't be embarrassed if I got in an accident. So if I drop dead tomorrow, I won't be embarrassed by manuscripts full of holes.
-Have you ever considered doing anything in the short form, a digital short story?
I actually have a digital short story up on Amazon now. It's called BOTTOM DEAL. It originally appeared in Lee Child's KILLER YEAR anthology, but I thought I'd throw it up online. I have another short story coming up in a new thriller anthology that's due out, I believe, early next year. They haven't given the anthology a title yet, but my story is called SPEECHLESS.
- I have to say, you messed with my head on this, where did this come from, the idea for this novel?
It actually came out of discussions with my editor and others about the "villains" in Milton's PARADISE LOST. A thriller is only as good as its bad guys, and Milton's fallen angels were perfect candidates. I wanted to treat them as misunderstood rebels who felt they had been cheated by an absent God and, over the centuries, grew into the demons we know today, corrupted by their desire to have a paradise of their own here on earth. But their vision of paradise isn't one that we humans might agree with, so it takes a couple of mismatched mortals to stop these creatures from taking over the world.
-What is next for you?
I hope to be writing the further adventures of my heroes, Callahan and LaLaurie, for some time to come. It all depends on how badly the readers want to see them again...
- Do you have a favorite recipe that you would like to share?
Devil's food cake? Believe it or not, my cooking is a lot like my writing. I just start throwing ingredients into the mix and hope it turns into something great. And if I do have a recipe, I usually stray from it.
- What is one question that you have been dying to be asked by someone that has been left unasked? Hit me!
The question I never get asked is "Why are you so damned handsome?" I don't know why nobody ever asks me that. In fact, it kind of hurts my feelings that they don't. ;)