Tell us about yourself. Please share a short bio with us.
I have always loved a good story. Growing up around an extended family, I learned to appreciate the stories told by my great grandfather of “the old days” in Boston, of the family histories related by my grandparents, by my aunts, uncles and parents. And then there was the assortment of characters that always seemed to be around my parents home. Priests, cops, bar owners, bikers, Marines, cross country hitchhiking cousins, and even international animal rescue workers all provided their own unique stories, and a base for my imagination.
Based on a lifetime of colorful individuals and a love of the mystery and crime fiction genre, I published my first novel, Lake Effect, in 2003. I am active in several online writing communities, and has written several short stories, as well as article on topics from rehabilitation to fitness and health to poker basics. My latest novel, a sequel of sorts to Lake Effect, was just picked up by Charles River Press and is due to be released sometime in mid-2010.
I live in a beautiful town on the shores of Lake Erie just south of Buffalo, NY, with my wife, Trish, and my son and daughter.
Tell us about your book and where it can be found.
Key Lime Squeeze follows Buffalo P.I. Joe Banks as he tracks runaway husband and insurance executive, Robert Boothby, all the way to Key West. But this is no ordinary midlife crisis victim, because he runs away with the money he helped his criminal in-laws steal from his own company, and Banks finds himself saddled with the family’s enforcer for a traveling companion. They discover they aren’t the only ones looking for Boothby, leading to a confrontation with Banks’ old mentor-turned-mercenary who is looking not only to recover the stolen money, but also to blackmail the Cantolinos at the same time. The job becomes a game of cat and mouse with the Cantolino crime family, as allies become enemies, and enemies turn to allies, with help coming from a most surprising source. Even the police can’t be trusted when there’s so much money at stake. The story twists and turns to the very end, as Banks discovers who to trust, and who’s in on the squeeze.
My first novel, Lake Effect, can be ordered through your favorite book store, from the publisher, (PublishAmerica), and from many online bookstores like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, etc.
What age did you discover writing? What is your earliest work about?
That’s a great question. I have been writing all my life, starting with really bad poetry for my wife, my girlfriend at the time. I have written journal articles for a rehabilitation publication, and then really started to take fiction seriously when I turned 40. My first novel, Lake Effect, is about the carjacking and murder of two small children in the dead of winter in the Buffalo, New York area. Private investigator Joe Banks, himself a father of two, is called in to help find out what happened when it turns out the victim’s own family may have something to hide. It was a lot of fun writing this character and his family, and is the start of what I hope will be a successful series.
Who has inspired you as an author?
I have been inspired most by my favorite authors, notably Robert B. Parker, Harlan Coben, Janet Evanovich, and most recently I’ve become a big fan of David Baldacci. I also gain a lot of inspiration from my family, my wife being my biggest supporter, and from my writing friends I’ve met in person and online. I owe a lot of my approach and knowledge of writing, promotion, and publishing to my friends Kim Smith, Henry Gravelle, Stephen Clark Bradley, and Suzanne James.
What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
The most interesting comment I’ve ever received about my writing came from a Marine stationed in Iraq a few years ago. He got his hands on a copy of Lake Effect as part of a CARE package sent from his family and friends. He wrote and thanked everyone for the goodies, and that the book gave him a taste of home. He also told his mother it was the first book he ever read cover to cover, and was planning on keeping it with him as he is re-deployed to Afghanistan. I may never have a bestseller, but that was the best review I could ever hope for.
Do you have a specific time or place that you write?
The truth is I write whenever, wherever. I have note pads I keep close by for ideas and information, and I use a Toshiba laptop to write. It lets me work in my family room after homework and kid’s bedtimes, at the office during my lunch time, at my son’s karate dojo. I guess you could say I am a very opportunistic writer.
What’s next for you?
Primary for me right now is getting Key Lime Squeeze released and out to the public. After that, I have a third Banks novel currently in progress, with a working title of Crossing Midnight. A lot of the characters people liked from Key Lime Squeeze are back as Banks takes on human traffickers, a street gang, and corrupt politicians in an attempt to find a missing Chinese prostitute.
Thanks a lot for the opportunity to share all this with your readers, and I hope they take the time to check out Lake Effect, and look for Key Lime Squeeze sometime this spring/summer.