Welcome Brian, and tell us a bit about yourself
I was born in Salem, MA, and I am married to a US Naval officer. We have four children. I am a roller coaster junkie, a New England Patriots fanatic, and my favorite color is burnt-orange.
How do you find time to write?
I’ve published 4 novels, and my typical day during the writing of each book was totally different from each other. When I was writing my first book, Dreams Are Unfinished Thoughts, I was in the middle of moving from MA to GA, changing police departments, and recording an album with my band, Transpose. So, a typical day would be: get everything done first for the move, switching jobs, the recording studio, and whatever time was left at night: work on the book. We also didn’t have any kids yet.
With my second novel, Welcome to Parkview, my wife had been deployed to Djibouti and I was working full time at the police department in GA, and we had 2 kids now. So, I was alone without my wife, with 2 toddlers, and working full time. The My day would be: get the kids to day-care, go work fighting crime for 8 hours, pick the kids up and do whatever household chores I had to do (laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping etc.), feed the kids dinner and put them to bed around 6:30, then I would work out for an hour, and then I would work on Welcome to Parkview after I showered until whenever I passed out at my laptop.
With my third novel, Yours Truly. 2095, the Navy had sent us to Japan for the next 4 years. I had to take a leave of absence at the police department, and we moved the family there. I did not get a job right away, as my wife wanted me to be the stay at home parent during our time in Japan (I did eventually become a Criminal Justice professor for the college on base, but that’s irrelevant to the book.) We moved in November 2011 and by January 2012 I was itching to write. For the first time, I had the TIME to write, and not having to worry about a new job, moving, or wiping poopy diapers. So, in February 2012, I started my outline, and writing the book was my full-time job for a while. We sent out 2 kids to Japanese Kindergarten (called a Yochien in Japan) and they were gone Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 4:00. I would bring them to the bus stop, wave goodbye, go back up into our apartment, and write until the bus brought them back. It was the first time I could write without distractions, and the first time I was writing not being dead-tired at night after putting in a full day.
Moonlight City Drive, was the first book where I had a legit writing office. When we moved from Japan to North Carolina, one of the stipulations my wife had on finding a new house was that it would have a writing office for me. One with doors. And a writing desk. And I could decorate it any way I wanted. So this new novel was written, for the first time, in a closed-off environment from the distractions of the outside world (and that includes the kids, TV, and normal household noise.) So, it’s not surprising that out of my 4 novels, this one was completely the quickest from inception to publication. When I was in my office writing, my wife treated it like a job, so she made sure the kids stayed away from me and other household chores were taken care of, so I wouldn’t be bothered. I did go back to work as a police office in NC, so my days off from the streets were my days on writing the book.
What’s your publishing tips?
Hire a professional editor! Don’t think you can edit your book yourself.
Any promotional and marketing tips?
Successful authors realize that writing is only a part-time job. Marketing and promotion is the full-time job part of being an author. Bookmarks, business cards, book trailers, Facebook ad campaigns (when done correctly), network network network, offering free copies of older books to gain fans who will purchase your new releases, participate in every book festival and convention within your driving range, any time you talk about your books online, always use the title of the book and not “my book.”
Tell us about your recent book
Moonlight City Drive is a trilogy. Part 2 is scheduled for 2019 and Part 3 for 2021. It’s a supernatural crime-noir story arc. Set in a Dick Tracy meets Sin City atmosphere of 1947 Las Vegas, the story follows a detective on the trail of a Jack-the-Ripper-style killer, who he starts to admire and must decide if he should continue the cat-and-mouse chase or join the killer in his cleansing of society, unaware they all might just be puppets being controlled by a vengeful and ancient witch and her growing army of ghouls.