What inspired you to write Thursday At Noon?
A 340 page novel doesn’t pop out of the box fully developed and ready to be dictated. They start as a one liner or a one or two sentence concept that gets expanded and detailed over a lot of time.
This is the third of six suspense novels, most of which are set in the Middle East, WW II, or the Cold War, so I have a ton of research in the tank and have a good feel for those backgrounds. They are packed with the conflict and tensions that make for a good thriller, and make it easy to fit in a good plot. I have always liked the novel and movie, “Night of The Generals” with Omar Sharif and Peter O’Toole. Basically Sharif is German military cop who is trying to catch a serial killer as WW II crashes down around him. That concept of a murder mystery inside a major international crisis is the genesis of Thursday at Noon.
Which character do you like best? Least?
That’s like asking which of your children do you like best. Many readers and critics have liked my ‘bad guys’ best, and I do think I have written some memorable psychos – Tinkerton the lawyer in The Undertaker, Kruger in Amongst My Enemies, Gestapo Chief Otto Dietrich in Winner Lose All -- and I would rank Colonel Rashid in Thursday at Noon right up there with them, at least when it comes to lopping off heads with a scimitar. On the other hand, I really like the good guys in this one too – Hassan Saleh, the Egyptian Homicide Detective; Thomson, the burnt-out CIA agent, and Reggie Perper, his friend.
Did you write this book based on the initial concept that you came up with or was it a process of evolution?
Both. The ‘process’ always starts with the concept, then is one of asking questions upon questions, adding characters to fit the plot lines you create, finding the layers, and building the twists and turns from the interaction of the characters.
What was the most difficult scene to write? Why?
I don’t usually have that kind of problem, or what they call ‘writer’s block.’ However, like most writers, I tend to obsess over the first chapter, the first scene, the first page, and the first paragraph, thinking (rightfully so), that they are the most important ones in the book. If the writer doesn’t get them right and grab the reader’s interest, they’ll never get much further.
Early riser or night owl?
Night owl when I’m ‘writing’. Morning’s okay for cold-blooded proofing.
Do you write your manuscript longhand or type it?
Type with a word processor, but I am also trying the new Dragon text dictation software.
Favorite food to eat while writing?
Coffee, coffee, and too many munchies - Triskets, usually.
Did you have a playlist of songs that you wrote Thursday At Noon to?
What was it? I usually have the classical music station on FM; but it could be anything, because I tune everything out when I’m writing.
If you could talk to any author living or dead. Who would you choose? Why?
Many contemporary suspense writers, such as Silva, Connelly, Crais, Parker, Child, Baldacci, and Flynn, because I would like to learn more about how they work. However, I would choose either Hemingway, because I love his writing, or JRR Tolkein, because of phenomenal imagination it took to write the Lord of the Rings cycle with its settings, plots, myriad of characters, myths, and even languages.
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