Trouble With The Curve

Through the first part of a rather inauspicious Little League career, I struggled to hit straight fastballs and was fortunate that young pitchers back then were discouraged from throwing the curve. When I graduated to Babe Ruth League, the first two curveballs I ever saw knocked me on my backside despite both being called strikes right […]

The Great Reservoir of Unfinished Business

With rare exception, I have used this space to blog about my novels and the occasional political rant. Both topics expose my progressive ideals which, in my view, reflect the better part of me. But as I integrate my newest role—person with Parkinson’s disease (PWP)—into my being I have been engaging in a great deal […]

Crafting Intricate Plots: My Writing Process

I’m not one of those writers who can sit at the keyboard and let his characters take over completely–not that there’s anything wrong with that. Many people enjoy a fast, light-weight story, but I prefer to read more intricate plots, so that’s what I write. The premise for my first novel, The Jinx, had been […]

When Eye Candy Fights Back: Adding Depth To a Love Interest

Frank Paine, the protagonist in King of Paine, is a former Hollywood stud who’s recently joined the FBI, a role that screams for a centerfold on his arm. As a former beauty queen and TV starlet, Jolynn Decker could easily fall into the “eye candy” stereotype, a conclusion not contradicted by our first look at […]

My Inspiration For King of Paine

I’m often asked about my inspiration for King of Paine because the story melds two wildly different story lines (and because one of them centers around some pretty kinky sex, and on first sight I seem about as vanilla as it gets). In the main story, Special Agent Frank Paine hunts an online stalker who’s […]

Buried Treasures: Treats for the Watchful Reader

For me, writing is a lonely sport, thousands of hours invested in a novel with only sporadic feedback from my critique group and beta readers. In early drafts, when I’m focused on building characters and weaving plots together, solving the puzzles that make a novel sizzle provides its own thrill. The grind of revising later […]

Researching An FBI Story

King of Paine is a complex story with many subplots and themes, but at heart it’s about a flawed man, Frank Paine, seeking redemption by joining an organization striving to recapture its own fabled mojo after a string of historic failures. With the ghosts of Waco, Ruby Ridge, and 9/11 whispering in his ear, Frank’s […]

Rooting for a Flawed Protagonist

Readers love to root for their action heroes, so even when authors endow their main characters with flaws to add depth and realism, the “defects” are often designed to make you sympathize with the character more (like a job applicant who reluctantly admits to being a workaholic). The archetypes are familiar: the rogue cop whose […]

Weaving Social Themes Into Suspense Novels

Like many thriller/suspense authors, especially those trained as attorneys, I craft intricate, well-researched plots, engage my characters in thought-provoking social drama and spice their lives with alluring romantic entanglements. The most challenging aspect of mastering this genre is incorporating contemporary social issues without preaching or compromising pace. Two early John Grisham novels illustrate the perils. […]

Researching the Psychology of BDSM

Despite the provocative image on King of Paine’s cover, I did not set out to write a novel about BDSM. The story remains primarily a whodunit that follows two investigations, the FBI’s pursuit of a stalker committing a series of kinky Internet crimes and a reporter tracking the disappearance of wealthy senior citizens. But as […]

“Who Are You Chatting With? The Dangers of Anonymous Internet Communications”

Ever since my two sons began using AOL’s instant messaging service in the late-1990s, I’ve been intrigued by the potential for good and evil inherent in anonymous Internet chat, a device featured prominently in both of my novels. Like every parent, I feared my kids could become vulnerable to predators if allowed to roam cyberspace […]

King of Paine Hits Bestseller List!

King of Paine cracked the Top 100 Kindle bestseller list for its category and has risen into the Top 50 this morning! Thank you, readers, for giving it a try. Please consider posting a brief review on your favorite sites when you’re done reading it–a book’s success depends upon great word-of-mouth recommendations from happy readers. […]

Kindle Giveaway Contest

King of Paine

I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the official launch of my second novel by participating in the King of Paine Kindle Giveaway Contest. Early readers have weighed in with nothing but four- and five-star reviews and, with your help, it’s time to start spreading the word. One independent reviewer called King of Paine “a complex, […]

King of Paine Blog Tour

I’m pleased to release the schedule for the King of Paine Blog Tour, which together with a Kindle Giveaway Contest also announced today, will mark the book’s official launch. Each day from December 1 -21, King of Paine will be featured on one of the world’s greatest book blogs, with reviews, book giveaways, interviews and […]