Questions, I get questions. And, often, the same ones over and over (therein the essence of frequently asked questions). Hopefully, the Q & A below will save you from writing me an e-mail (which you can find out how to do below), searching on the Internet for an answer, or will maybe just give you a chuckle just because I am so damn witty and impertinent.
Here we go, and in no particular order:
Q: What makes you so damn special?
A: The fact that I have survived numerous head traumas which have left me permanently scarred, but still functional enough to write stories that reflect someone whose brain has been jarred one too many times.
Q: Where can I get your books?
A: The saddest notes I get from readers go something like this: "I went to my bookstore to buy (fill in the title) and they never heard of you." First of all, like Carrie, every time someone publishes my work, I think, "They're all gonna laugh at you." Second, I'm not too surprised. I like working with small presses and many times, these presses just don't have the clout to get into the chain brick and mortar bookstores. That does not mean you can't buy my books from them (you can always ask a friendly clerk to order one for you...in fact, you can get on the phone and ask hundreds of clerks to order hundreds of copies, but only if you truly intend to pick them up and pay for them; I would never advocate fraud), it just means they don't stock it. The short, and best, answer to this question is order my books from Amazon, or any other good online bookseller. They usually have everything in stock, often have the lowest prices, and will ship right to your door, so you don't even have to get out of your bra and panties to crack the cover on my latest tale of dark suspense. And yes, that last crack includes the guy readers in my audience.
Q: I want an autographed copy of one of your books (or all of your books). How can I get one, or six?
A: Actually, other than setting up a meeting with me in Seattle, there are several ways we can go about this. The easiest way is to click here.
Another way is to buy your book from Amazon or other online seller and have it shipped to me. I will personalize, sign, and send back to you. Or you can e-mail me and I'll give you an address where you can send your book(s) and a small fee for S&H, and I will personalize, sign, and send back to you. E-mail me for details and cost. All of this may lead you to wonder...
Q: How do I e-mail you?
A: Click here for my e-mail address.
Q: I am an aspiring author. Will you read my short story, poem, novel, work-in-progress, blog, and so on and so forth?
A: Other than, "Where do you get your ideas?" this is my most frequently asked question, which should give you a clue as to how I must answer. I actually wish I had the time to mentor and critique other writers, especially ones just starting out. I'm always honored when someone asks me if I won't read something of theirs and I always feel horrible when I have to decline. It's not that I don't want to. It's just that if I said yes to everyone who asked, I'd never have any time to devote to my own work. So I have to make it a policy to decline all such requests. I would suggest, however, you find a good local on online critique group. There are lots of them around and they can often be very helpful.
Q: Where do you get your ideas?
A: This is the number one question for writers. And most of them have various smart ass reponses, as do I, but I will spare you them here. The truth is ideas come from all over: dreams, an incident in the newspaper, something that happened to me when I was seven, a glimpse of a stranger on the street...ideas just come. There is no one place they can be found. I find that just by being open to them, I often have more ideas that I have time to put down on paper.
Q: What advice would you give to a writer just starting out?
A: Do something more practical! Don't let yourself in for a lifetime of rejection, heartache, and low pay. If you still want to write, knowing those are the very real risks you'll take, then you probably are a "real" writer. My advice to people who are writers and want to make writing an important part of their lives is simple: read a lot; write a lot. Those are really the best ways, in my opinion to learn and hone your craft. You can take classes, which can help you sharpen and polish your prose, maybe learn a few neat shortcuts, and what pitfalls to avoid, but nothing teaches writing better than sitting down in front of a blank surface and/or sitting down with a great book and trying to understand how someone else did it.
Q: What do you do when you're not writing?
A: I'm a Cancer, which means I really, really love the comfort of my shell. So my favorite things to do usually involve staying at home: I love to read, watch movies, and just hang out with my partner and our dog. I love to cook and can read a good cookbook with the same excitement as I might read a good novel. When I do go out, it's usually to discover a new restaurant, see a new film or play, or, most frequently, to go to my gym. I go to the last place five or six times a week, as much for my body and physical health as for my emotional well-being.
Q: What? This is the end? These are all your FAQs?
A: Well, at least until more questions pop into my head (or more opportunities to wisecrack). Or until you send me the same question enough times to warrant posting it here. You can send me questions at my e-mail address (see above). And do check back here, because I'm sure I'll be adding to the FAQ list.