Do you have any unique talents?
I’m not sure that I have any unique talents, but I enjoy writing and I happen to think I’m pretty good at it. When it comes to writing, I try to really paint the picture of each scene for the reader. I want the readers to be able to immerse themselves in the book and feel like they’re really there, and I want them to really feel like the characters are real people. I think I excel at painting that picture for the reader with some really good descriptions of the people and places. Other writers will tell a story but be weak on character development and we might get a once sentence description of the place. I go over the top with descriptions—characters’ mannerisms, the sights and sounds around them, what they’re wearing, colors, the other people around them. By the time I’m done, there’s not much left to the imagination regarding the characters. You get to know them in most cases and get a feel for what they’re like, what they’re thinking, what they might do, and so on.
Some people like this and some people don’t. If you’re looking for a quick read where you can paint the picture in your own mind the way you want it, my books probably aren’t for you. I’m going to tell you how I as the writer, the storyteller, envision the scene and the people. With my writing, you’ve got to have the time to commit to sitting down and immersing yourself in the book. You have to be willing to stay focused on the task at hand while you’re reading, particularly my mystery novels. A lot of the clues that I give and the keys to figuring out the mystery are very subtle, so you’ve got to pay attention. If anyone that reads any of my books says there wasn’t enough description or they didn’t feel like they connected with characters or places, they either didn’t read the book or weren’t paying attention.
I get a lot of criticism for my lengthy descriptions and attention to detail. Mainstream writers have gotten to the point where they’re writing on about a fifth grade reading level to accommodate the masses. I’ve been encouraged by a lot of folks to lighten up my books when it comes to how I develop the characters and the scenes, but I’m really very proud of my ability to use words to paint the picture for my readers. I don’t take it personally if some people find my work a couple levels above their reading comprehension or their preferred level of leisure reading, but I’m not about to change my approach and my style and basically dumb down my work to sell a couple more books. In business there’s always this great debate between quality vs. quantity. I prefer to sell a quality product, and I think I accomplish that.