I am a full-time writer and ghost writer who has lived in Las Vegas for more than thirty years. I developed a fascination with the area, and all its wonders, while working for nearly fifteen years at several Las Vegas casinos. In my role as a security officer, I was the person who actually shut and locked the doors of the Sands Hotel and Casino for the final time. I eventually became a hotel investigator for a major Strip casino, during which time I developed a love for writing stories about uncommon events. When not at my keyboard, I can usually be found talking to tourists on Fremont Street, investigating some old building, or sitting in a local diner hunting down my next story.
What inspires you to write?
I imagine that like most authors, there are stories constantly playing in my head that are vying to get out. At any time, I have 13 or 14 of them competing for attention in there–it gets crowded. There is also the joy of sitting and reading a good story, being taken away to another time or place, or both, if only for a few hours or a few days. To be able to do that for another person, to take them away form their lives, and have them enjoy the time is a remarkable and inspiring thing.
Tell us about your writing process.
I guess I'm a little of both. I start with a premise to the story, which inspires me, so I write a little to capture that inspiration. But I can only write so long without truly knowing where I'm going, so I stop and outline a little. This is typically done with index cards. I write down whatever ideas come to me. It's a fun process because I just let my mind wander. When I'm done, I take the good ideas and arrange the cards in an order that makes sense and go back to writing. I put myself in the time and place of my main character–looking at events through his eyes. It's like I'm watching a movie and telling the reader about what I see. Sometimes the story changes from what I wrote on my cards–characters tend to have their own ideas of what should happen to them–but I mostly follow the "outline" I came up with…mostly.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don't talk to my characters, but I am transported into their heads, seeing the world through their eyes. I become the character I am writing, at least for the time I am writing the book. I do the things they would do–on the pages of course–being careful not to do things or act in a way that they wouldn't, unless, of course, there is a reason to act out of character.
Who are your favorite authors?
Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett are my two favorites by far. My first introduction to Crime Noir came in the form of a book titled Lady In the Lake. By the time I turned the last page on that book, I was hooked! Later in life I discovered Lawrence Sanders and his character Archibald McNally who was a happy-go-lucky, accidental investigator, having failed at almost everything else in life. That character and Chandler's Phillip Marlowe had a great influence on the creation of my Massimo "Max" Rossi character.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I am one of those hybrid writers. I have been both traditionally and independently published. Therefore, I know the joy of walking into a bookstore and seeing books on the shelves with my name on them. It's a great thrill! That said, I have also learned how hard an author has to work to promote and market themselves. We all think that once we are published our worries are over and we're going to become James Patterson, Joyce Carol Oates, or Stephen King. It doesn't happen that way. I began independently publishing because I was already having to do all the promotional work, so I might as well have total control–and total profits.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think more and more people will be independently publishing books. However, those who do really need to see it as a business. They need to get good covers and good editors. I have a cover designer whom I love, an editor who goes through the manuscript with a fine-toothed comb, and beta readers who help discover plot holes, if they're there. I treat it all like a business. I do everything a publisher would do, without skipping a step. Independent publishing has helped more readers find very good authors that wouldn't have been found otherwise.
What genres do you write?
Crime Noir, Mystery, Hard-Boiled Fiction, Pulp Fiction, Historical Mystery, Supernatural Mystery, and nonfiction
What formats are your books in?
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All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.