Common reader's question: "You wrote this?" (flips open the book) "Okay... what's the first sentence in the second chapter?"

My answer: "I don't freakin' remember."

Here's the deal- I don't write that way and my cheeseball brain doesn't function like that. Yet, some people think that's a good test of if or not you actually composed the text.

The reality is that when I start a story, I actually move into it. I try and put myself back in that place and time and look around. With the help of some modern resources I take myself back that that specific time and date and see what life was like. Then, once I get orientated, I add in all of the tastes and smells and sensations that the people would have experienced- apply them to the facts and write the story. If I feel like I'm "there" then my readers will feel like they are there as well.

Then I leave it and move onto the next story. The story previous is thus zipped into my brain's cluttered memory bank and eventually over-written by new data. Occasionally I'll open up one of my previous books and upon reading a paragraph or two I say to myself, "Did I write that? Dang... that's pretty good." Frankly I don't remember writing it. Additionally, on a few occasions I'll come across a good prospect event for a shipwreck story, but think that it sounds a bit too familiar. After a check I find that, nope- I already wrote it.

Thus you have my world as a writer. It is not neat rows of files in alpha-numeric order, but rather it is a full-blown mess of strewn-about papers, ideas, drawings, maps and stuff I wanna write about... if I haven't already. If you get one of my books and wanna quiz me on it, well... I don't take quizzes... ever. On the other hand if you wanna take a story and wade through the reference material and thought processes needed to construct it- I'll be happy to join you in the process. Hope yer' not busy for about a month.

A random book signing at Whitefish Point

Overall, I love my readers- even the ones who try and quiz me. Although everyone should keep in mind that my most recent book 18 months to hit the stores after I finished it- so I'm working years ahead of what you are holding in your hand when you try and quiz me.

What's the first line in the second chapter?

Damned if I remember- I'm working in 1882 right now.

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My 17th Shipwreck Book!

My 17th Great Lakes title is in from the printer!

Avery now has my latest book on their web site! Order yours today!

Also check out this book of mine...