1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Sometimes I think it would be sitting on a West Virginia mountain looking over the green hills rolling away from me until they turn white, but never seem far away. But that wouldn’t last long. West Virginia has too many bad memories, and besides, I need more stimulation than that. Maybe walking through Midtown Manhattan with nowhere I have to be, except maybe at the go club, playing a leisurely game of go.
2. What is your greatest fear? Finding out I’m not as smart as I think I am. Even though I’ve already found that out many times.
3. What makes a book great? Extraordinary people doing extraordinary things. I want a book that takes me away from the nastiness of reality, not that soaks me in it. Who called that escapism? Whoever you were, screw you. You can’t destroy a good and important thing by hanging an insulting name on it. You probably love James Joyce. How can you read that crap?
4. Who are your favorite writers? So many. Robert E. Howard. Lord Dunsany. Tannith Lee. Ray Bradbury (although his work went to hell after he got his head shrunk). Julie Anne Peters. Emily Kimelman. Isaac Asimov. Mickey Spillane. H. Warner Munn. H. Allen Smith. Robert Heinlein for his YA work; nuts to his adult stuff. Christopher Hitchens, and not just for his atheism. Penn Jillette. Gail Carriger. So many they crowd my brain and I can’t get them out. Oh, mustn’t forget Kristi Belcamino and her fabulous character Gia Santella. Love them both.
5. Who is your favorite character in fiction? Right now it’s Sara Wilde from the Immortal Vegas series and its sequel series Wilde Justice, by Jenn Stark. I’m over the moon for Sara.
6. What historical figure do you most identify with?I’d have to go with the nameless Continental soldier in the orderly retreat from the defeat at Bunker Hill. He was walking down the hill with his buddy and met a British soldier. The Brit said, “You are my prisoner!” The Continental said, “I reckon not.” The Brit fired and killed the buddy. Our boy fired and missed, and then took his buddy’s weapon, fired, and missed again. By this time the Brit was reloaded, so our boy took his weapon away from him and killed him with it. I really understand that guy.
7. Which talent would you most like to have? To read and understand any human language without having to learn it. Or maybe super strength. I can’t decide. Realistically? To dance. I love dance, but I can’t do it.
8. What do you like most about my books? The extraordinary character Gia and her ability to dispense justice on her own hook. In reality, she’d be a crazy vigilante who needed locked up. Screw reality.
9. What is your most treasured possession? The Hagstrom Isabella classical guitar I bought in Las Vegas in 1969. It’s beautiful and has a wonderful sound. I don’t play anymore, but I still treasure that instrument.
10. What is your motto? I’ve never thought about having a motto. I might go with “Judge, and be prepared to be judged,” by Ayn Rand. More likely is, “Who do you think you’re fucking with?” Yeah, that’s a terrible motto, and it’s nearly got me killed more than once. If you look me up on Google, you might find a mug shot. Three young toughs accosted me in the parking lot. I prevailed, so naturally I got arrested. There is no justice.