am I working on?
I need to tell you that "Jake Devlin" is both a pseudonym and a
lead character in my novels. (You can learn more about him [and me]
the "About the Author" column at the right. PS. it's all true.)
I write this, in late May 2014, I'm about two-thirds of the way thru my
third novel, "Devlin Sub Rosa," which I'm aiming to finish and launch in
September (maybe October) of 2014.
both a prequel and a sequel to my first two novels, and in this one, I've
challenged myself to write it entirely in dialogue, no narrator, (other
than in the Prologue, which was a one-page scene I wrote for "The Devlin
Deception," but didn't fit in either that book or "Devlin's Defiance").
does my work differ from others of its genre?
of my readers told me that my first book reads like David
crossed with Monty Python. What genre is that?
don't write in a particular genre (horror, YA, sci-fi, fantasy, police
etc.). I try to create believable, moderately dynamic
that readers can relate to (sorry for the final preposition) and empathize
novels are, I think, realistic, contemporary, humorous and
at mature, intelligent readers with a good sense of humor
who are not overly prudish. They should also be moderately
at reading between the lines, since I don't tend to lead them
by the noses.
fact, I like my readers to occasionally exclaim, "Wait, wait. What
-- that doesn't make -- oh, okay," even if the "Oh, okay" comes
few chapters later ... or earlier, come to think of it. (Sneaky me.)
also have a hard time staying serious (or read that as "somber")
more than a few minutes at a time.
described my first novel as an "anti-political absurdist thriller,"
I'll leave it to my readers to define the genre for themselves.
do I write what I do?
decades, I, as well as many Americans, have been outraged, disgusted and
frightened by the USA's polarized and downright
"democracy." (Nothing striking or unique about that.)
those same decades, I've tried to dig deep behind the lies, propaganda
and filtered news We the People have been and
to be fed, often by talking with "insiders" and picking
brains. (Okay, that's a bit different; but I've always been
curious about how and why people behave in
ways that they do.)
the idea of a (possibly benign, possibly not) dictator to
the country arose, the first part of my novel fell into place
virtually demanded that it be written. So I began.
I remembered two plays I'd seen back in college in the
Luigi Pirandello's "Six Characters in Search of an Author"
"Enrico IV," from the early 1900s, in which he played with
boundaries between fiction and reality in some clever ways.
also remembered a play I'd written, produced and directed in 1974,
similar themes, which was well-received and gave me some insights into
and experience with plot, pacing and character creation.
memories gave me the second part, using a story-within-
format, and thus Jake Devlin was born, as both author (pseudonym) and character.
(I use a pseudonym so that when the CIA, FBI,
or Interpol come prowling, I want them looking for "Jake Devlin," not my
I'm only half joking.)
I kept asking the "What If?" question and made Jake's life
threatened and complicated because of what he (not me,
okay?) was writing.
when a beautiful woman with perhaps a dark secret in her
slithered into his life, that gave me the chance to include
obligatory gratuitous erotica. (Too little for some people,
much for some others. Ah, well; ya can't please everybody.)
thus "The Devlin Deception" and its sequel (and spoiler),
Defiance," came into existence.
I also seem to have a fairly offbeat sense of humor, so there's
of that in my work. Just for a quick example, back in the '90s,
on Bonita Beach, looking out at the placid waters of the
with dolphins and manatees swimming by, I wondered how
elderly* beachgoers would react if Godzilla suddenly appeared.
found a way to write something similar, but logically motivated,
foreshadowed, realistic and believable, in spite of its total absurdity,
into my first novel (twice, in fact).
in Bonita Springs, the average age and the average high
seem to be about the same: mid-eighties.)
why do I write what I write, really? Because I'm now fascinated with
the idea of blending fiction with reality and with the characters who've
now developed lives, conflicts and interrelationships of their own, especially
as I changed the pace for the second book, again for
third, and again for the fourth, which is now just percolating in
back of my brain. After that, who knows? The ideas keep
up and the characters keep surprising me. (It's an ongoing
for this old retired guy ... and it's fun.)
does my writing process work?
I must tell you that I have no diagnosed or undiagnosed
illnesses ... at least as far as I can tell.
my writing process often works by my intentionally inducing
that parallels MPD, Multiple Personality Disorder, in
I develop characters, give them a plot point to bring out
a chapter or scene and then let them loose in my mind, see
(and if) they do it, noting down what they do and say.
also like painting them into a corner to see if they can come up
a way to escape or solve the problem; sometimes they do,
not. If not, then I cuss at 'em and intervene.
follow Ernest Hemingway's advice, "Write drunk, edit sober,"
though I don't drink. Instead, I try to take all the filters off
I do first drafts, and put at least a few of 'em back on when
edit ... and edit again ... and again ... and ... oh, you get the idea.
don't start with a detailed outline, just a general idea of the
plot arc (or arcs) I've devised for each book (and the
arcs for the entire series). The outline gradually
into place during the process ... most of the time.
a daily basis, I wake up early (no alarm clock; just naturally),
my cooler and drive to Bonita Beach, where I sit in my car
read other authors' books for perhaps half an hour while the
comes up, and then roll my lounge and other stuff onto the
and set up for the day. Then I usually take a nap. (As
says, "There's a nap for that.")
when I awake, I've got some ideas for dialogue, plot or
on the particular issue I'd planted in my subconscious the
night. I write down enough notes that when I get home
to the keyboard, I can add them to my manuscript file(s).
I'm working with dialogue, as I am for "Sub Rosa," I do a lot
talking to myself, which most of the beach regulars have
to understand, luckily. It helps me to speak the dialogue
especially if I'm working with dialects, as I did with the
alternate epilogue in "Deception" (all the "thou shalt
the cowth" and "I shall burneth thethe paperth" were
fun to rehearse ... and throw in some lithping, ath well).
any -- and I do mean "any" -- sentence or bit of dialogue,
are many options for the next sentence or response, and
least one of those is what I call "the absurdist option," and I
ask myself "Do I dare?" to take that option and send the
careening off in a new direction, and I sometimes
myself with a resounding "Yes!" (Luckily, the beach
mostly understand that when I'm chuckling to myself,
not going over the edge. Tourists and snowbirds, maybe
so much, especially when I actually laugh out loud.)
my first book, imagine, if you will, building a masonry wall
your garden. You get a load of bricks and then set them in
with mortar one row at a time. In my case, I wrote a lot
scenes (the bricks) first and then set them in place when I
to the point where they fit.
my second book, I challenged myself to see if I could write,
a combat scene (not armies, just two vs. 17 or 18), and B,
graphic, explicit sex scene, both of which my readers tell me
can. (The sex scene got SO explicit I was scared to put it in
book, so I wrote some dialogue suggesting that the author
it online and put a link in the book itself. Which I did, as I
with a final alternate epilogue in the first book. Female
have told me it led to several cold showers ... and in
few cases, the use of certain battery-operated devices.)
also took a hint from an old joke ("I just finished Chapter 93
James Patterson's new book, and i'm only on Page 20")
wrote shorter chapters. It's more episodic than the first
a result, but it all comes together in the end ... sort of.
doing the same thing in my third one, but in this one I've
the main plot arc first, in the odd-numbered chapters,
I'm now filling in the three subplots in the even-numbered
And again, it's all in dialogue (after the Prologue).
you'd like to see the results of all that, feel free to click the
below to get to my home page. You can also scroll
down for my email address; I do respond to all.
to pass the torch on to three other writers
E.L. Wicker, who writes young adult vampire stories with her own special
(and VERY clever) twists. But I think I'll let her introduce herself
here in her own words. And the link to her blog post is..HERE
read and I write, then I read and I write some more and when I am done
doing that, I read – then I write. Sometimes, I pen the occasional tweet
– okay, that’s a fib, I tweet too much, it’s a problem but there is no
Twitter rehab so I’m getting through it one day at a time.
was born in Ireland and moved to England when I was nine years old. I live
in Hampshire with my husband and my two children. We have four cats and
a dog and I am trying to convince my husband that we need an elephant in
the garden. He doesn’t seem too receptive to this, I cannot fathom why.
write fiction for young adults. I have completed one book – it just needs
an edit – and my second book is well underway. I write about the supernatural
with a huge focus on vampires. My passion is writing, from the moment I
wake until the moment I sleep all I want to do is write. I have been a
bookworm since a very early age. At school I started writing because I
wanted to be able to make up my own stories. I won competitions and always
did really well whenever it came to creative writing. I wrote a poem
in German at school for a competition, my teachers would not submit the
poem – they said it was too good. I was immensely proud at the time. Now,
I like to pretend that sure, it was too good – yeah right.