What drew you to write in your genre?
Crime fiction is what I have always loved to read most. There are other genres I'm drawn to as well, but the mystery community is so incredibly generous and supportive, writing in that vein has always felt right.
What other genre would you like to write in?
I've always loved horror and science fiction (mainly future realism) as well. I'd love to write the great American horror novel.
What are your most influential books/favorite authors?
Here's a random sampling:
The 101 Dalmatians, Dodie Smith (the first "real" book I ever read; it made me want to be a writer)
Pop. 1280 or anything else by Jim Thompson (because he was a tormented genius)
Watchers, Dean Koontz (I even taught a class based on this novel)
The Charm School, Nelson Demille (with whom I later became friends)
Death on the Nile*, Agatha Christie (the first novel I read in French (title: Mort sur le Nil); I devoured it during a trip to Egypt)
What do you think makes a story memorable?
The characters, the relationships they have with each other, the relationship they have with the reader. Even the most clever plotlines fall completely flat without characters to bring them to life.
What do you think is essential in a classroom?
What did you learn from your favorite and/or best teacher?
By giving yourself completely to the task at hand, you may very well discover that your best path may lead in another direction.
What makes for the most "success" in student?
"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." Calvin Coolidge
How did you come to teach at The Writer's Path?
I was first a student at The Writer's Path in the mid-1990s. I believed in the program then, and I still do today.