Thank you for willing to be interviewed!
1. When writing military fiction, what comes first, the people or the situation? Almost every time when I write my fiction, the characters come to me first. Before I step into the tricky—sometimes muddy—waters of the plot, I make sure I know the characters. To me, that’s essential because in order to know how the plot plays out, you have to know what your characters will do in the situations the plot presents.
2. You have a couple of different countries and cultures represented in Talon. How much research did you have to do for Talon? There is always an incredible amount of research. I’m easily distracted, so I often have to turn off the internet to write, but in doing so, I also end up cutting off a tap for information. Research doesn’t necessarily come before I write. It’s an active part of my process. I’ll get my characters into a situation, want them to do “X,” and wonder—can they even do that? And off I go to dig out the plausibility from research tools, either via email, books, or internet searches.
3. When you started writing the A Breed Apart Series, how far in advance do you plan the subplots of the other main characters? Or do they surprise you? Subplots often develop of their own accord in my stories and/or develop organically from the characters or something else already happening in the story. Sometimes, however, they are a plot device I use to give readers a peek into another aspect of the story. For example, while writing the third book in the series, Beowulf: Explosives Detection Dog, I needed readers to see a different viewpoint to what was happening. . .and I wanted something a little different, so I gave a minor character a very prominent subplot role. The effect—at least to me and my editor—was incredibly powerful.
4. You have written quite a few novels. Has there been any one character that has stayed with you the longest? Max Jacobs is still *right there* in my mind. He’s a commanding character, and I just haven’t felt as if he’s been willing to step down and leave me alone. I still would love to see him take center stage in a movie or made-for-TV drama or something. The guy has a lot of “presence” and skills.
5. Can you tell us about what you’re working on now? Currently, I am working on Raptor Six, the first book in the Quiet Professionals. This series focuses on the OA452 group (Green Berets) that readers meet through the A Breed Apart books. I think readers will really enjoy this series because there is a constant team-camaraderie that is similar to the Discarded Heroes series. . .but maybe a smidge more intense.