· What is your book about?
At its core, Arkansas Connection is about the lunacy and the often mad cast of characters that make up the behind-the-scenes teams of major league baseball. More than being a 'sports' novel, it's a character study; I'm actually not a huge baseball fan, but I've always been fascinated by antics of managers, coaches, and the like—on the field and off!
· Describe your writing in three words.
Quirky. Insightful. Creative.
· Are your characters in the book based on anyone you know?
Not so much the characters, but there's a medical element to the book that's very much drawn from my own experiences. I've been a physician for many years, and a lot of what I've seen and heard would really fall into the category of "stranger than fiction." So I amalgamated many of them to add an interesting additional dimension to the story. Anyone who works in the medical profession never has a lack of insane stories to share!
· What authors inspire or influence your work?
All authors. I think one of the most important things for writers to do is to READ. It's the only way to become a better writer. I'm shocked sometimes that I encounter writers who really don't read themselves—either contemporary or classic literature. You just can't improve as a writer if you're not surrounding yourself with the music of words in all its forms. Even reading a bad book can teach you a lot about writing. So I would say I am the sum of all the writers I've read over the years.
· Do you need visual media to describe people or places?
In a sense—I often use real life people to inspire my characters. I really do believe that a writer's best tool is their ability to people-watch. Spending an afternoon sitting on a park bench, or in a coffee shop observing passersby and interactions will give you some of the most valuable insight in to creating characters. Not only does it open up a wealth of options in terms of physical description, but what you'll learn about human interaction and relationships will be invaluable! I think that's probably one of the reasons that whole cliché about writers working in coffee shops developed—They're like character development smorgasbords!
· Is the Thesaurus one of your best writing friends?
Yes and no. The thesaurus can be your best friend when there's a word on the tip of your tongue that you just can't quite remember, or you're just looking for a particular turn of phrase. But I also think there's a danger to overusing it—and I think sometimes it becomes a crutch for writers. If you're going back to your thesaurus again and again and again, you probably need to be doing something different in terms of your writing. Just because you're using a synonym to describe something, doesn't mean you're not being redundant or repetitive. So use it sparingly!
· Who gets to read your drafts before they're published?
Several parties. I had some of my friends read it over for structure and pure enjoyment, but then I handed it over to an editor. The latter is so, so important. When it comes to technical editing, you MUST have an external editor, especially if you're self-published. And this doesn't mean getting your friend or family member to read it over (unless they're a professional editor), it means giving it to someone who really knows what they're doing. It may cost you a bit, but in the long-run it's worth it to have a professional product!
· Is there anything else you would like to say to your readers? ENJOY!!
· Where can readers find you and your book(s) online?