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Q & A


 What did you do before writing?

I stuck to one career. My day job was a structural engineer. For those who are unfamiliar with what we do, structural engineers essentially "make sure the buildings don't fall down." In simplistic terms, they are the ones who design the foundations and framework in conjunction with the architect, thus enabling the contractor to build the project. After many years, it was time to slow down and do something else. I turned to writing.


 You write thrillers, why?

Why not? They're escapist in the sense someone is always in danger, and it never is the reader, which from a standpoint of reading in safety—is a good thing. I was never a voracious reader growing up, but when I did, I tended to read the books that were packed with adventure and mayhem, with words and characters that got your blood flowing. I had always had the urge to write, but the responsibility of running a structural engineering firm with the headaches of trying to keep the doors open during lean times never allowed me the time to really get serious about writing. Several years ago, that passion became a reality and at first I thought science fiction would be a great genre to explore, but I eventually settled on thrillers.


 You have created a woman protagonist in your novel, The Möbius Sequence. What was the impetus behind her character?

I have a fascination with mathematics, having taken a fair amount of courses in college as any engineering student will attest too. From that passion, it was obvious a mathematician would have to be created, one that can use his or her logic and calculating skills in fighting the tyrannies of evil that are thrust their way. I settled on a woman, Mallory Lowe, a college mathematics professor. I felt this type of character would have a broad range of appeal; a women when put in perilous situations is able to use her mathematical skills to her advantage, a woman who uses the left side of her brain in lieu of a left hook.


 Why is Mallory Lowe a college professor?

I wanted to showcase a protagonist with a background that does not include a license to kill—no CIA, FBI, Black Ops, or other machismo platforms. Her lack of a dangerous background allows the reader to relate to her as an intellectual problem solver as she battles the forces of evil. Given a gun, she knows how to use it. My aim was to create a hero (or heroine in this case) that uses math and logic to zero in on the psychopathic minds of terrorists and power-hungry despots bent on domination.


 What kind of conclusions do you like to see in the thrillers that you write?

I believe all novels should have some kind of sentimentality for the reader, where they can see themselves as one of the characters going through an emotional phase. Engineers, I believe are mislabeled as emotionless in their life work—nerdy, technical, but contrary to that, we do possess an emotional side as do most humans and I strive to implement that in the characters that I create.


 What's your writing process like?

When I was still working as an engineer, my writing would happen in the evenings for a couple of hours and on weekends. Since I am now retired, I either write or do research during the mornings for a few hours then rush to work out in the health club, have lunch and come back for a little more writing. This type of schedule seems to work for me.


 What kind of research do you do for your books?

This boils down to the engineer in me. Engineers have to be precise in their field, as mistakes and errors can cause monetary losses, or worse than that, loss of human life (if the building falls down). We don't want that. Having that burden hanging over one forces one to be precise. In my writing, I like details and I like accuracy. I don't want to create a situation or scene where the reader will step back from the page and say "that doesn't make sense", or "that doesn't seem realistic." I therefore rely on a great deal of research. I rely not only on the Internet, but find that libraries still hold the wealth of accurate information.