Q: What got you into writing?
A: I was always a writer, even as a youngster. People who knew me in high school or college will remember me as Class Poet, or editor of the literary magazine. When I got into my late teens, I started writing more fiction, some short stories. Then I started my first novel when I was about twenty-five. Once I finished the first one, I launched into writing the next one without ever looking back.
Q: Tell us about your new novel, Whizzers?
A recovering alcoholic, Mike, discovers his six-year-old cousin, David, travels through time as a whizzer to bring comfort to those in need. Mike soon finds himself along for the ride, and while he gets the opportunity to bring solace to some of his greatest heroes, he must also confront his own greatest demons.
Q: Is any of this based on your own experience, or is it strictly fiction?
A: A couple of characters from my previous novels bear a slight resemblance to real people, but very slight indeed. However, Whizzers is a different story: the narrator is a fictionalized version of me, and he meets up with a variety of people, including some fictionalized versions of relatives. And yes, all the standard legal disclaimers apply. I think if you or someone you love has ever been bullied; faced addiction or alcoholism; or wanted to give or receive comfort, you’ll like it.
Q: Who would you say have been your greatest influences?
A: The biggest influences on my fiction were probably John Gardner, Kurt Vonnegut, and Hunter S. Thompson. Then Balzac, Faulkner, Fitzgerald--lots of others. Balzac and La Comédie Humaine will always top the list for me. I’ve read maybe 30% of his work, so I’ve barely scratched the surface, and he gets me every time. He really knew all levels of society and human nature.
Q: When is Whizzers coming out?