How much research did Fear Has a Name take?
Most of the research had to do with the accuracy of the timeframes involved with travel, routes and maps. Also, I always research to make sure my legal accounts, crimes, charges, etc., are as accurate as possible. There was a good deal of research involved on the topic of bullying, because one of the main characters was bullied as a boy, a hot topic right now, about which I am passionate.
What other new writing projects do you have on the horizon?
I’m just putting the finishing touches on book two in The Crittendon Files, tentatively entitled Poison Town. In this thriller, Jack discovers that a large fiberglass manufacturer on the poor side of Trenton City may be emitting pollutants that are killing workers and residents. As he and his best friend, reporter Derrick Whittaker, get further and further into uncovering the sinister details of what’s really going on, that knowledge becomes a very dangerous thing—for everyone involved. I’ve also started writing book three in the series, which finds Jack out of a job and working part-time at an arena/entertainment venue where something very big is going to go down. In this book, we may even see a surprise visit from rock star Everett Lester, who was the protagonist in my first two books, Dark Star and Full Tilt.
What message would you like your readers to take from reading the Crittendon Files Series?
There are several things. 1) Try not to judge a person until you’ve worn his or her shoes; 2) Bad, difficult, trying, unthinkable circumstances DO happen to Christians; 3) Fear is a part of life, but God wants us to throw all of our worries onto him, even those unthinkable trials; 4) No one is beyond God’s reach.
What organizations are you involved with?
American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW); Agape (special needs ministry); Men’s Step Up (Atlanta men’s bible study).
What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
When I got my first contract I started talking about writing books full time. I thought getting published was the ‘be all, end all.’ Few people realize that, just because you have a few books published, doesn’t mean you are ‘making a living’ at it. I still hope to write novels full time. But until then, I do my freelance writing (marketing copywriting). I guess I also didn’t realize how much time and energy goes into books, from writing and editing to marketing and promoting. It takes TONS of time, effort and passion.
Who is the person who most influences your writing?
God. I was once very lost, actually until I was about 27 or 28. So I know what it is like to live on the dark side, to live for other things, to try to find satisfaction in the world. God transformed me and I try to show that in some way in all of my stories.