Q&A

Where did you get the idea for Miles to Go?

When I decided to sit down and try my hand at a genre novel, it was not long after 9/11 and I was becoming informed for the first time about politics and international issues. The novel seemed like an opportunity to think through some hard issues.

Is Rennie inspired by anyone?

I think of her as her own person. If any character informs my thinking of heroic women, I would say it would be Ripley from Alien.

Where do you see the series going?

I’m not sure how far I will take it. But along the way I want to examine the notion of what it means to be a patriot, what it means to be an American.

How important is the romance element to your series?

The series is first and foremost an an action thriller series. Romance will figure into the lives of the characters where it’s appropriate. I suspect I will focus more on Rennie’s romantic life than, say, Vince Flynn focuses on Mitch Rapp’s but ultimately the focus will be on the mission at hand.

How much research did you have to do for Miles to Go?

Quite a bit, really. There are many aspects in the novel that I was unfamiliar with before I began. Such as HALO jumping.

How many more books will Rennie Vogel appear in?

I think at the very least two.  I’m working on the second one now and have an idea for the third. I’m definitely not ready to let her go yet. I hope readers won’t be either.

What do you like to read in your spare time?

Assuming I have any spare time, I like many different genres of novels from thrillers to historical to classics to contemporary literary fiction. I also like to check out what’s new in graphic novels. And then of course, there is the reading I do for research.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

When I was a teenager, I tried to write comedic spy thriller after I had seen the JoBeth Williams movie American Dreamer. I didn’t get very far with it but I knew from that point on that I wanted to write.

What are your thoughts on the craft of writing and how have you made yourself a better writer?

You can never stop improving your writing. There is always something new to learn. I have been best served by reading good quality fiction across many genres. And then most importantly, sitting down and doing it, letting yourself put something down on the page that you know you hate and then figuring out how to fix it.

Who inspired or influenced your writing?

A lot of writers inspire me. Sarah Waters, Patrica Cornwell, John Grisham, Alice Munro. Influence is harder to determine, I think. I think my style for the Rennie Vogel series is most influenced by Thomas Harris and Vince Flynn. Also, film. I’m very influenced by the pacing and structure of action movies.

What are your thoughts on the ebook phenomenon?

I have mixed feelings about it since there’s nothing I love more than the physical book. Just think, it hasn’t been many years that “book” would need a qualification. But I have  a kindle and use it though most of my reading is still accomplished the old fashioned way. I do appreciate though how much easier it is, say, for international readers to buy American books. Cheaper, too.

When will the second book come out?

That’s hard to say. I’ve been very busy gearing up for the release of Miles To Go. My secret goal is to have the novel finished by the end of the summer.

What is best part about being a writer?

That’s easy. When a reader enjoys your work.