Q: What inspired you to write novels, particularly political thrillers?
A: I love a good thriller, a book where I can zone out and forget about my problems and the world around me. I needed a creative outlet as well as a fallback for my day job so I decided to write what I enjoy reading about. Since there's a lot of downtime with what I do I can swing in two to five pages in a single sitting.
Q: How did you come up with the plot and storyline for Raw Vengeance?
A: I've always been interested in politics–especially social issues–so I wanted to give a voice to the issues. Frequently people spew hate and catchphrases they hear on cable news programs without giving any thought to the people that their rhetoric effects. My protagonist, Rich Fordham, is an up-and-coming journalist who meets these people and humanizes the experience. All too often I talk with people who express an opinion without any personal experience to back it up other than it's just how they feel.
Raw is about Rich Fordham, a journalist who wants to be the next major war correspondent like Dan Rather or Peter Jennings. His decision to cover a school shooting in Chicago has racial and political implications putting Rich's career–and his life–on the line.
I chose homosexuality as part of the story because it's the last major social issue that divides our country. Whether or not you agree with it is up to the reader; I attempt to personalize the issue by showing how bullying can have a traumatic effect on gays. In my novel Kingdom of Rage, I take on major corporations (big oil), women's rights, and the Middle East.
Q: Why write about bullying?
A: I was bullied back in elementary school because I was the quiet, shy kid who didn't know how to defend himself with words–I was too afraid of retaliation. It wasn't until my teens and adult years that I learned how to defend myself. In college, I was confident enough that I was the guy defending the guys being bullied. But really, my writing about bullying is a metaphor for how the middle class gets bullied around by large corporations and greedy CEO's, and corrupt politicians. It's the same mindset–it's all about power, control, and manipulation.
Q: How does your protagonist take on these issues?
A: Rich Fordham, the journalist, gets lied to the face by a CEO who's threatening to lay-off thousands of his employees and blames it on the economy. I paint the picture as the CEO's and managers who are inept and refuse to change and Rich is the one who cuts through the BS.