Q: Why did you choose a topic like child abduction for your first novel?
A: I like to raise awareness of everyday issues through fiction. Knowledge reaches people through story—people who might not otherwise seek-out information on a particular subject. Each and every time someone reads First Night of Summer, awareness is raised for the safety and welfare of children.
Q: What is the response you get from people you meet?
A: People have fantastic things to say about the book. There is definitely a certain level of discomfort regarding the subject matter, but it should be uncomfortable. Child predation is something that goes on every single day. Only by learning about it can we change it.
Q: Ricky Doors is such a vile, evil character. Where did he come from?
A: Research. Research. Research. All other characters were built from my imagination, but Ricky Doors is a product of research. There were times I hated him so badly during the writing process I would actually throw the material away. In the end, though, I decided an accurate portrayal was more important than my own comfort. Men like Ricky Doors are out there—make no mistake.
Q: When did you first start writing?
A: I began in July of 2009 with short stories. I would write in the middle of night as a creative outlet. The idea for First Night of Summer came to me in October of 2009.
Q: What inspires you?
A: Simple: Life. There’s so much around us to pay attention to, but most of us never acknowledge it. My inspiration comes from the most random places. I never know when something will hit.
Q: Will you write another book?
A: Definitely. I have already started on my next thriller novel.
Q: What are you reading right now?
A: Terminus by Joshua Graham.
Q: What inspired you to write First Night of Summer?
A: The original scene I envisioned was a plane crash with a father and daughter. I began to ask myself questions. How did they get there? What caused the crash? Where were the others? I knew I wanted to write a story of perseverance and hope, and I found an effective way to do that by writing from the perspective of a family, not the typical investigator/detective view point. I’m able to portray the dynamic between a husband and wife; parents and their children; friends; enemies. It keeps the plot very emotionally close and easy to identify with. I did studies with detectives and psychologists to really find out what happens behind closed doors in these child cases. Although it was difficult to write in some parts, I wanted the evil to be realistic and hold true for the reader. It is only through the deepest of darkness that we can truly see the light.
Q: Who is your favorite Author?
A: Vince Flynn. I just love his Mitch Rapp novels. Vince and his books were both influential, and instrumental, in getting me where I am today.
Q: Who is your favorite character in First Night of Summer?
A: Chief of Police Charlie Biddle. There is so much more to this guy than meets the eye, and it applies to real life. I love when someone that I’ve known for a very long time throws me a curve ball. It’s those infinite details that makes each of us truly unique. And time is the only way to uncover them.
Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” – Albert Einstein
To accomplish great things, one must endure great sacrifice.