What I write about –

For the most part, I write about the paranormal, the occult, and metaphysics using ordinary people as characters. I like to make factual statements sound as believable as statements of fact. It provides the element of an immediate mystical atmosphere that can be incidental to the plot, or crucial.
I choose settings I’m familiar with, such as Chicago, where I lived until I was fourteen, and Gary, Indiana, where I finished high school, and Los Angeles. I moved to L.A. when I was in my early twenties. It became the most favorite city in my life because of its restaurants, and beaches, and women, and its cosmopolitan atmosphere.
A story generally occurs to me full-blown. I don’t have a lot of trouble getting it written. I write it until it’s finished and then I edit, edit, edit. I am able to work two projects simultaneously, sometimes three. It depends on what ideas are working in my mind at the time. Although, and idea may float around in my head for a long while before I write it. I might compose two or three poems while I’m writing my fiction. I try not to read when I’m writing. I tend to fall into the author’s voice and style and out of mine when I do. I was re-reading Chaucer and Shakespeare while I was writing “Robert’s Choice” and I wound up putting several frame tales in the text and a few lines of original poetry, as well.
My characters are modeled after men and women I know, without exception. They provides research that is already done. I know them and it’s easy to project them into the story. The two women in “Robert’s Choice” and “Alex in Wonderland” are good examples of that. Munch, in Alex in Wonderland, is a guy I hung out with for years in Gary, Indiana. He’s the funny character who tells the frame tales and runs the tragic subplot throughout the story.
My interest in the paranormal was spurred by Carlos Castaneda and Jane Roberts, whose several volumes I’ve read many times. Reading all the great names in science fiction played a hand, as well. Mainstream fiction came to me from the great magazine fiction of the forties and fifties. The beauty of the short story form appeals to me. I prefer the novella length in writing longer fiction.
What I write about, specifically, is people. I have a love/hate relationship with people. They are charming an irritating at once. Oddly, I have found a far greater fondness now of people I used to know than when I knew them. I think we tend to take our acquaintances and relationships for granted in the present and we love them more in the long absences they take in death and nostalgia. It makes my characters as easy to write about when I love them as when I don’t.
One of my present works “Grady Grady” (working title) is mainstream fiction about love and deceit. I’m writing it in the form a a concerto, in three parts. The other, “Bad Guys” (also a working title), comes from the Mafia guys who were friends of my family in the fifties. It’s a screen play revenge story set in Chicago about a bad guy who is set up to have four other bad guys after him. I’m not feverish about writing them, but they’re coming along great, or at least to my satisfaction.


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