Are events in The Raven Society real?
It’s a work of fiction but fact is, for most part, many of the events are a composite of things that actually happened. The Society itself—the Raven Society–is mostly yarn.
How did you go about writing The Raven Society?
By seat of my pants, like the way I fly. Usually early in the morning—which is strange because I’m typically a late-morning person. But I’ll leave that quirk for psychiatrists and psychologists to ponder. About 4:30 a.m. (coffee in hand) I’d generally ink out one to three scenes, rewrite and then read them to my wife later in the day. She set me straight as needed and I’d revise. This went on day to day until the first draft materialized. After which came the hard part. I revised, revised, revised….When I couldn’t stand it anymore, I knew we were close to ready.
What writers most inspired you?
Three who have departed for the Great Beyond: Ernest Hemingway; Robert B. Parker; and Raymond Chandler. And those still with us here on Planet Earth: Michael Connelly; Robert Crais; and Lee Child. Thank you all.
How do you select settings?
The vast majority are places I’ve been to and relished.
How do you select characters?
Most are composites of people I’ve known and either loved or disliked. Be careful, or you could end up in my next novel, dead or alive.
How do you develop scenes?
Many, if not most, are based on real-life events I’ve experienced.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
When I told my high school history teacher I wanted to be an aerospace engineer, and she laughed. Then again, as an engineering and science major at NYU, when I took my first literature course. But, as with lots in life, writing went on hold while I served as a USAF pilot and CIA combat flyer. Later though, as an engineer, I was published as principal author with my master’s thesis advisor. It was a technical paper on time-optimal Space Shuttle rendezvous that rekindled the spark. Then as a trial lawyer—where writing is part and parcel of most days–I co-authored a “how-to” book on litigating lawsuits that sold nationally, Defective Product: Evidence to Verdict. After that, the flame never went out.
What are you working on next?
All I can say is: It’s a legal thriller that takes place in California and Havana, Cuba (among other places).