- GUEST AUTHOR -
Today I interview a highly motivated author from the USA.
Welcome, Larry ...
1. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING JOURNEY.
I live in the Sunshine state of Florida. I am happily married to a woman who is also my friend and CPA. I started very young as a poet to impress my then girlfriend. Now I write all sorts of iterations, poetry, short stories, novellas and books and write in multi genres.
2. WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?
I started writing poetry as a young boy, took up guitar added music to my words. As I got older, in my teens, I branched out to writing short stories and now I’ve blossomed out to being an international award winning multi genre author.
3. WHAT TYPE OF PREPARATION DO YOU DO FOR A MANUSCRIPT? DO YOU PLAN EVERYTHING FIRST OR JUST SHOOT FROM THE HIP?
I use current stories ripped from the pages of today’s news that may have some similar relationship then I figure out a way to connect them with plot lines and various characters to carry out and drive the story. I love to be creative as much as I can to push myself and the stories.
4. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
I love the creative aspect of writing. Every piece I write, whether it be a poem, story, novella or novel, I love putting it all together as one would a puzzle until it becomes fleshed out and a complete picture.
5. WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
I’m a good writer, but bad at the marketing angle. It takes so much time to promote and market your latest work, I find it takes me completely away from what I love doing best—writing! One more thing just as hard is letting go my creation and handing it off to another. Pushing that send button takes a lot out of me.
6. WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME A WRITER?
I worked in a corporation environment as an installation manager for a major Telecom company. My story here is: Many of the managers, directors and VP’s would come to me to correct or write documents for them. My reputation as being a formal writer of a certain high quality preceded me.
7. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?
I like to write series so that I can bend and mould my characters depending on the storyline. My second book in the Detective Gloria Ramos series titled “Broke Girl” is so far my crowning achievement. I entered the book in a writing competition on a whim and won! I get many kind reviews and feedback from readers.
8. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
I’m working on the fourth in the Detective Gloria Ramos series and my first adult novella based on a true story of a woman who was abused by her father, uncles and priest, savagely beaten and raped then threatened with death if she tells anyone.
9. WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I love to write and to share my stories with others. There is an enate desire, of which I cannot control other than by sitting down at my keyboard and letting my imagination run free. It’s a complete turn on for me!
10. WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?
I’m multi genre: fiction Poetry, short stories and books, memoire, historical family saga and adult fiction.
11. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
If you have the passion and the stick-to-it-ness then don’t ever QUIT! Find your niche, start there and branch out, as you learn and become more seasoned, into other areas.
12. DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?
I do suffer writer’s block occasionally. When that happens, I don’t try to force the story, I let it come organically. If you’re a good writer, the pieces will fall into place.
13. DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?
I do not have a writing schedule. I simply write when I feel I have something to add or to jot down. I do try to write at least something every day, even if it’s nonsense or an idea for my current or a future project.
14. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?
I’m most comfortable in my office which, by the way doubles as our laundry room, of course, not when it’s washing day.
15. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN WRITING?
My favourite part of writing a story is the beginning of the project. The first sentence and paragraph are so important to the remainder of the story. It also signals the beginning of a new adventure and growth for me personally and my readers.
16. WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?
My favourite authors are, I have two, Wilbur Smith and John Irving. They’re the best when it comes to story-telling, full of action, romance, drama, historical settings and creative characterizations. They both write in multi genres and are so diverse in their stories I feel these traits are the hallmarks of great writers.
17. WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER?
I was told to never, ever quit! They couldn’t wait for the next instalment.
18. WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?
One reader described “Possum Kingdom”, the first in the Gloria Ramos series, as pretty sexy, almost vulgar with the opening sex scene.
19. WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
My very first novel “Second Chances” included several stories about me and others I grew up with, although the main character was named Hunter O’Connor. I have a sequel coming out later this year title “Crossing Rivers”: a historical family saga of both my parent’s families growing up and facing many life threatening dangers and other terrible events. The names have been changed to protect the innocent and those who are not.
20. OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
I love to play guitar, fish in the Gulf of Mexico, bike ride, take long walks, golf, blues music and read, read, read, oh yeah, indulge in my main vice—ice cream.
21. DID YOU HAVE YOUR BOOK / BOOKS PROFESSIONALLY EDITED BEFORE PUBLICATION?
All my books are professionally edited prior to publishing. I touch my manuscripts at least thirty times before handing my babies off to be corrected, sliced and diced. It’s a necessary evil, we all must endure.
22. DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
I wake early, have coffee, playing solitaire against 400k other players, read the Wall Street Journal, answer emails and start writing til noon. Go to the beach! Watch Tiger Woods win the Masters! Watch Game of Thrones and Billions! Finally talk to my wife on the front porch as it quietly rains.
23. IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND WITH ONE PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE? WHY?
My wife! She’s funny, a great friend, patient and very resourceful when I’m not!
24. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO SPEAK TO WORLD LEADERS?
We need to stop and listen to our planet talking to us about how we’re damaging it beyond repair. We only have one. After that is used up, then what?
25. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
Continue writing and stretching my skills into different directions like script writing and possibly non-fiction or Si Fi.
26. WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON BOOK TRAILERS? DO THEY SELL BOOKS?
I’m not completely sold on book trailers, yet. I’ve not heard if it is useful or not except by those who produce them. I’ll keep my eyes open for more feedback.
27. DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN ANY OF YOUR CHARACTERS?
Yes! Hunter O’Connor is my alter ego in “Second Chances’ and “Crossing Rivers”. I really try to live vicariously through him. He is a writer and will appear again in the not too distant future.
28. DOES THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY FRUSTRATE YOU?
Publishing is not the frustrating part nor is the writing of the manuscript, it’s the marketing! You can have your book set up on all of the online book retailers, along with the other 8 million books out there, but if you don’t have the proper promotional package going for you, then be prepared to be frustrated and settle for fewer book sells.
29. DID YOU EVER THINK OF QUITTING?
No, I don’t think of quitting. Having said that, I have slowed down so that I can enjoy life in Florida and travel with my wife. Those things are very important to me.
30. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE MANUSCRIPT TO WRITE? WHY?
My favourite manuscript to write was my first novel, “Second Chances”, I’ve written many poems and short stories up to then, but I wanted more, I was capable of more. I took several of the stories I wrote put them in a sequence, then tied them together and built the characters around family members and friends I knew. It was a thrill ride I will never forget!
31. HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE ‘SUCCESS’ AS A WRITER?
Success as a writer is starting and finishing a project whether it’s large or small, polishing it to a fine bright shine, passing it on to be shared by others and getting an at-ta-boy afterwards. It’s not always about the money.
32. WHAT SHOULD READERS WALK AWAY FROM YOUR BOOKS KNOWING? HOW SHOULD THEY FEEL?
They were entertained by the scenes, characters setting, and also learning something about that time and place. I include actual stories, a smidge of history and settings in my stories.
33. WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE YOUR BOOKS MADE INTO MOVIES? EVER WRITTEN A SCREENPLAY?
I would welcome the event of having my books turned into movies. The detective series is full of current news events with high levels of character building, actions, chills and thrills and usually with a happy ending = made for the movie audience. I have not written a screenplay, but that is on my short list to learn the craft.
34. HOW MUCH THOUGHT GOES INTO DESIGNING A BOOK COVER?
I love for my covers to be striking and give a hint of what’s to come. I actually peruse the many graphic designers listed on the internet displaying their pre-made covers. There is so much great talent out there I always find that one special design that completely fits my story and I go with that one, adding my own title, tagline, and back matter.
35. WHAT’S YOUR ULTIMATE DREAM?
To win the Pulitzer in Literature! We all need something to aim for!
36. WRITING IS ONE THING. WHAT ABOUT MARKETING YOU, YOUR BOOKS AND YOUR BRAND? ANY THOUGHTS?
This is my Achilles heel. My brand is becoming more and more apparent, but without professional guidance and handling the cost in time and money often does not justify itself. I use various promotional web sites, both free and with a fee attached. I sell more books internationally that I do in the US. I’m slowly, but surely getting more and more involved in social media and interviewing professional publicists to help in the arena. Anytime I can land an interview, with a book blogger I take full advantage!
37. ARE YOUR BOOKS SELF-PUBLISHED?
I have a publisher, Apollo Communications who publish my books and happen to have their own printing presses. They set me up on all the online book retailers and libraries around the globe. Promotion is pretty much in my humble hands.
38. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN FIVE WORDS.
Creative, detailed, systematic, storyteller and funny
39. WHAT PISSES YOU OFF MOST?
What pisses me off the most is when I have to kill off one of my main characters. I spent much time and effort creating and developing them to eventually doing them in to heighten up the story or change direction. It’s like losing a close friend.
40. WHAT IS THE TITLE OF THE LAST BOOK YOU READ? GOOD ONE?
You won’t believe this, but it’s one I’ve read many times before, but it’s one of those timeless classics you have to pick up from time to time and read again – The Catcher in the Rye!
41. WHAT WOULD BE THE VERY LAST SENTENCE YOU’D WRITE?
If I don’t see you in this life, I’ll meet you in the next!
42. WHAT WOULD MAKE YOU HAPPIER THAN YOU ARE NOW? CARE TO SHARE?
I’m very happy and content with how things are going for me right now. I have a beautiful wife and life in Florida. I’ve recently moved here from Dallas, TX. I’m living life anew, reborn and happy…And that Pulitzer Prize for Literature thing...
43. ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?
I wish for people to enjoy my books and poems that are sold/ordered everywhere. I’ve been featured in three anthologies with two in Emerging Poets and one of Emerging Fiction Writers published by Z Publishing 2018 and 2019: sold on Amazon exclusively. I have four books published: “Second Chances”, “Possum Kingdom”, “Broke Girl”, “Little Birds” and number five soon to be released, “Crossing Rivers”. I have two more books in various stages of production, one very close to hand off to the editor, my first novella and the other is the fourth instalment of the Gloria Ramos series. Both will be out next year. I have no plans on stopping any time soon. Like my uncle, author of over 140 books says, “As long as you enjoy what you’re doing--Don’t never, ever quit!”
Clancy's comment: Thanks, Larry. I like your book covers. Very striking. Stay well, and keep writing.