Have you always been a writer?

Many of my business ventures involved writing articles, dozens of which have been published in print and digitally. However, in 2011 I retired from business to devote myself to writing my first suspense novel, DEADLY SWITCH, which was published in 2013. SCARE AWAY THE DARK was released in March 2018. 


Where do the ideas come from for your books?

They tend to be ripped straight from the headlines. With DEADLY SWITCH, a well-known personality in my city really was found dead in his waterfront mansion with a needle in his arm. However, for many reasons, I tend to fictionalize the story from there. I keep journals everywhere (yes, even by my bed) in which I simply follow my characters wherever they take me. If I’m not speaking with them daily, I know I’m not engaged in my story. For SCARE AWAY THE DARK, I’ve always been fascinated by the omnipresent Mafia presence that very few residents of Calabria or Sicily will openly talk about and, I have some inside knowledge. With book three, which I can’t tell you the title of for purely superstitious reasons, the premise comes from TWO mind-blowing international newspaper headlines.


What is your writing schedule; do you write every day?

I do write every day—Monday to Friday for six to eight hours a day. It’s my job, it’s what I do. However, as I’m currently on book three, my intention is to write in the mornings (I’m an early riser) and stop at about one o’clock. This year I will be focusing on marketing my first two books and engaging more with readers, both of which I’ll do in the afternoon—along with some gardening, Pilates and keeping an eye out for dolphins just outside our house.


How do you do your research? Do you meet with experts and always travel to the locations in your book?

While I love the opportunity to meet with experts (if you are one, I’d love to talk to you!) I do a lot of my research online, then verify it with key people I know. With DEADLY SWITCH, the greatest compliments I received were from reader reviews saying they could tell I’d been to that location (Tropea in Calabria) because they could taste, feel, and smell the locales. The truth is, I hadn’t been to Tropea until a year after the book came out. For SCARE AWAY THE DARK, I had the opportunity to travel to Sicily twice, so it was a natural place to set my second book. No doubt my upcoming travels to Asia and Malta will be reflected in my current work in progress.


What/who do you like to read? 

I actually share my recent must-reads in the Weekend Reads section of my newsletter. You can sign up for it on my home page. Since the age of four, I’ve read everything I could get my hands on, including cereal packages. My parents always read to me and allowed me to take out the maximum number of books on each visit to the library. I devoured Nancy Drew, then Daphne du Maurier’s historical mysteries. Now, I read non-fiction and literary fiction, but my guilty-pleasure is the genre of thrillers and suspense. Looking around the library in my study I see books by Chevy Stevens, David Baldacci, Patricia Cornwell, Michael Slade, Dan Brown, Stieg Larsson, and even the UK’s Anne Cleeves and Canada’s Louise Penny. 


What are your favorite television shows?

I watch very little TV, instead preferring to find my escape in books. Currently though, I’m enjoying Blue Bloods, Madam Secretary, Billions, and Homeland. I have recently discovered, and am binge-watching, Acceptable Risk. It's a conspiracy thriller, a co-production between companies in Canada and Ireland, and set in Montreal and Dublin.