- SECRETS, LIES, & LOVE
- TIME TO LOVE AGAIN
- DESIGNED FOR LOVE
- SHADOWS IN THE ATTIC
- ELUSIVE MISSION
- RING AROUND THE ROSY
- GERIATRIC REBELS
- ANOTHER DAY
- DEADBEAT DADS
- ALL IN THE FAMILY
- IT'S ONLY MAKE BELIEVE
- ENTANGLED MINDS
- TROUBLE COMES IN TWOS
- TWO LOVE AGAIN
- TROUBLE COMES IN TWOS
- LOVE ON THE ROCKS
- ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL
Friday, June 11, 2010
1: Thank you so much for being here,Paul. First up is the obligatory question. When did you first begin writing?
Well that’s a tricky question...I have been writing in my business life for more than 20 years. Each role I have had, whether it be my own company or larger corporate gig’s I have enjoyed writing white papers, promotional materials, training manuals and the like. As far as this book goes, I started it just over 8 years ago, LOL. I divorced in 2000 and went through a “mid-life” attempt to re-capture some of the things I thought I had missed out on. I got a tattoo, bought and learned (badly) how to play the guitar and started playing around with plots and character development for a crime thriller. Life kept moving on and I started and stopped it seems like a hundred times before I settled in about 14 months ago and really put rubber to road as they say. I spent the better part of 6 months almost isolated writing chapter after chapter until I was ready to share it with anyone. Once I received some feedback, I was even more driven to complete it. As I look back, this book is the culmination of many years of thinking, jotting down, tearing up and re-working...it has been a truly amazing process, one I hope never to forget.
2: What inspired you to write?
I have realized over the past year or so that inspiration for me comes in many forms. I like to think of myself as a student in human behaviour. My post secondary education is in psychology and counseling and I think my whole life I have enjoyed people and how we interact with each other. I am driven from an odd place. One where others think I should be doing something else, something better or something less complicated...something different than what I am doing at the time. It has taken a long time for me to finally just sit down and do what I have been telling others and myself to do...Just write...complete something and if it does nothing more than that, then it will be great...why??? Because I did it, I wrote my novel!!! Now I have the fire within burning strong...my inspiration comes from many people, places and many things...mostly from my dear friend Lisa and my two boys, Evan and Zack!
3: What do you like the most and least about writing?
I think, for me the best thing about writing is the creativity, the complete and total freedom to invent a person, a group of people, places and events. I like being able to take some of the characteristics I have encountered in my life and build them out into my story. How I can weave together all the various plot lines and how each character interacts with another, directly or indirectly. It is simply amazing for me when I am reading a book to find that one paragraph, maybe even just a single sentence, you know the one, that captures me and almost pulls me into the book. I want to write that great moment. I believe I have it in me and in digging deep this past year and a bit I have found it. I hope to put my words in such an order that readers become captivated. Where turning the page is a must. Where the reader looks at the clock and tells themselves just 5 more minutes, many times over. That is the best thing about writing for me...creating that moment, that paragraph, that chapter, that one sentence that grabs the reader so completely they just “have” to read on.
As far as what I least like about writing...well...I guess right now it is all the other life events that have to keep going on...I would love to be able to write full time and enjoy that kind of freedom, but I can’t right now, so it is a time issue I guess. The other component to writing that I struggle with is simply the fear of rejection. I am a pretty thick skinned guy, but having a whole book out there for the first time has been scary...exciting, most enjoyable, even exhilarating, but scary at the same time. I’m not sure this ever goes away, so I am using it to motivate me further down the road on the second book. I want it to be better than the first and my fear is driving me harder than the first, so we will see how it all plays out. I will keep you posted.
4: What do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?
LOL!!! Lisa and I have an active life. Fun, for me, has become very simple. Cooking a nice meal, having a great conversation, walking down at the beaches on a hot, sunny day together, curling up and watching a great movie and reading to her each night...I am not the big out at the club kind of guy anymore. Sometimes we take off and go up north to a lake, or south to a friend’s place where we tune everything and everyone else out and just be together. In reality, each day brings fun and relaxation. If it didn’t then the “everything” becomes a series of chores, of “musts” and “shoulds”. Everything opens itself to become boring, mundane and difficult to swallow. Therefore, I try to find the fun in anything I do, because as someone once told me it is easier smiling than it is frowning, it is healthier if we can laugh out loud, with others and at ourselves and I have learned that activity is the appetizer to the best relaxation. I choose to look at the world through rose colored glasses as much as I can, not stained ones.
5: Which authors do you like to read?
I enjoy a number of different authors. I like James Patterson, Stephan King, John Caldwell, Jack Welch, Anne Rice, Stephanie Meyer and have just started reading Danielle Trussoni ... I find her phrasing and descriptive language fascinating, brilliant even.
6: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?
Hmmmmm...there are so many answers I could give here, the heavy ones or the more lighthearted ones. I am a firm believer in the power within each of us to change. I have been in a bad spiral down for a long time. The divorce really rocked my world, but after numerous attempts and much support that I ignored, someone finally broke through and I have once again found that fire within. So no matter what anyone’s circumstance may be, each of us has the power to change. That would be the heavier answer. On a lighter note, I am a huge Springsteen fan and an even bigger Toronto Maple Leaf fan. I hope that answers the question.
7: Tell me about your current novel, where I can find it and your website/blog.
Darkness on the Edge of Town can be found at www.xoxopublishing.com. It is available both as an e-book and in an eco-friendly print version. As I am writing these answers I don’t have the specifics on the various retailers that will be carrying it, but should that become more clear before June 11th, I will update you.
My blog is: http://paulgreeneexperience.blogspot.com/
Please feel free to join up and interact as I go along. I set out to write something each day, but writing the sequel and life’s other twists and turns have made it more a once every three or four day event. I will get better as the first book gets integrated more into the mainstream and I am not so involved in its launch...I HOPE!!!
8: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
Yes...Never stop!!! Find a mentor or trusted friend that you can share with and get honest feedback from...two or three of these are better because one may not like the genre or type of story, but regardless it is their feedback you will most value...and oh yes, never stop!!! Always believe. If you can simply complete your first book the power to move forward and continue is absolutely incredible!!!
9: Do you base your characters on real-life people?
Yes and no. In an earlier answer I talked about characteristics I have encountered in people I have and do still know. I have taken some of these and created a new person. If you are asking if anyone in my story is more real that fictitious...I am going to leave that to everyone’s imagination. Those tidbits are one of my great joys...although I have written this in the hope that others will read it and like the story, there is deeper meaning in it for me and those moments within the book are very precious to me.
10: Where do you get your ideas and what inspired you to write this book?
I cannot tell you where the first idea for this book came from. I mentioned earlier that it has been an evolving concept for more than 8 years. What amazes me is that the basic plot has held firm all this time. Now with the second book I know a news article inspired the basic plot. Flash Drive wraps itself in a real life global issue and narrows down to a specific story that centers around my lead character, Steve Hicks. The third book in the series will also come from a real life series of events that a good friend has recently gone through. It captures perfectly the need to raise another central character’s profile while at the same time moves the whole connectivity along for my readers. As I said earlier, inspiration seems to come in many different forms at the quirkiest of times.
11: What are you currently working on?
The next book, as I just dropped, is called FLASH DRIVE and is the second in a planned 3 book series with Steve Hicks at the core. I also have a book started in a completely different genre, romance and have started the layout on a children’s book that is inspired by both of my boys and Lisa’s 3 wonderful children. It should be a lot of fun!!! But my primary focus is dedicated to the Steve Hicks series. I have so much more for his character and those around him. When I sit down to write the words come flying out. I think the struggle will be what to include in book two and what to save for book three. Relationships are a wonderful thing...writing them to be believable is sometimes the challenge I think.
12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
Another tough one...I guess that I have made a tremendous amount of mistakes in my life. That today I choose to be simple in my ways and try and be the best person I can be. I love my two boys dearly and have found great love and joy in my relationship with Lisa. I hold great hope for my future no matter where it leads me and that integrity and brutal honesty are paramount to a happy, healthy life.
Baby this town rips the bones from your back
It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap
We gotta get out while were young
`cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run.
Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run, 1975
What a perfect day I thought as Springsteen blasted through the sound system in the truck. The lake house will be a sight for sore eyes I kept reminding myself. I had driven the past 4 hours straight and had only 30 or so minutes to go. I was running, escaping, everyone knew it and I did not care. I had spent the last couple of years working what seemed like 24/7. My down time was spent trying to clear my head in the concrete jungle by walking my dog Tasha, a beautiful Malamute Husky or passing out from sheer exhaustion. I had decided enough was enough. I needed some time away if not a permanent change…I needed my little slice of heaven and my home on the lake was just that. I needed to be close to the people that mattered most in my life, my two boys.
As I left the city behind, I thought of all the people, places and things I would miss…it was a short thought. The people, places, and things I would not miss crept into my thoughts and they took me much longer to review. Clearing my head, I told myself...Out with the old and in with some fresh new perspectives. God how I needed this! Tasha and I had not been up to the lake house in more than a year, almost two. I could not wait and judging from her excitement as I turned on to the last stretch of familiar highway, neither could she. Together we would relax, re-energize, and make some decisions on the next steps, in the ongoing journey of ours.
As a homicide detective working the special crimes unit, I had been involved in some of the cities worst cases over the years. My job had cost me a marriage, lost time with my two boys, friendships and both my mental and physical health, hence the leave of absence. The past three years had been especially difficult. I had been working with a select group of detectives on a high profile serial case. Nine murders spanning 3 years all committed by some lunatic that liked to play ritual games with his victims and the police. He dropped us notes, left blood-painted messages at his crime scenes, made the odd phone call to us on the task force and then there was his bizarre signature, ritualistic killing style. I shook my head hard to lose the imagery.
All this and with the exception of some constantly evolving behavioral profile bullshit from the department Psych Unit, we were no closer to catching this guy than we were on Day One. He had gone into hibernation again as he did each September 22, one day after his final kill of the year. He went silent from then until the first day of spring each March. He told us he did not like the cold and added some bullshit about the importance of the seasons changing and then he would disappear for close to 6 months.
Well, this time I was pulling the disappearing act. Spring was coming, the lake would be beautiful and I did not have another season, let alone another day of this freaks show left in me. I was positive he would start up again and I figured it best I leave now before he got rolling. I wrapped up my files and transferred all my information to my rookie replacement on the team, Sean Krieger. I then packed up my personal belongings and put the few sticks of furniture I had in storage. It took me all of two days to put all of my city affairs in order.
Today, Wednesday March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day, I loaded Tasha and our few simple boxes into the truck and we left the city, the job, and the insanity behind. Tasha has been with me for the past 9 years. She needed this return to the lake as much as I did, maybe even more. “There’s the sign Girl,” I said...it read Wolf Lake 15 KM.
She sat up and I could feel her energy and excitement across the seat as her tail wag speed increased. It was great to see her so happy! Walking her in the city doesn’t hold a candle to the wild runs across the land we have out here and when spring and summer hit she can’t get enough of the lake water! This will be great for the two of us. I felt the darkness that had been my life for all too many years now, slipping away already.