Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I was a born and raised a Seattleite. Except for a period of study in London, all my schooling was here in Seattle. My neurosurgical practice took me to Memphis, TN for an 8 year period after which I returned to Seattle. I’ve have lived and practiced here ever since. I love living right in the center of the city.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
Deadly Odds is a variation of the first thriller I attempted to write. That one was a disaster and will never (and shouldn’t) see the light of day. But the kernel of the story stuck with me. For years the idea of being able to beat the odds gambling seemed unrealistic, but then Nate Silver became famous for his work, validating the premise of my hero’s gambling success.
What inspires and what got your started in writing?
I’ve always loved to read thrillers and dreamed about one day writing one. Then one Saturday after coming home from making rounds at the hospital, I decided the only way I’d ever do it was to sit down and do it. Writing my first book wasn’t as hard as I thought but getting published was an entirely different matter and encompassed ten years of rejection before landing my first contract with Tor/Forge for Deadly Errors. Been a lot easier since then and I’m grateful for the breaks I’ve received and the agents I’ve worked with.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
I write in my study each morning with a cup or two of coffee. I still maintain “surgeon’s hours” which means I’m up early. I’m very disciplined about my writing, devoting a minimum of two hours every day of the week, holidays included. It’s a fabric of my life now.
Weird ideas seem to pop in my head, often triggered by ongoing events in the world. I keep a list on my computer that I’m constantly add and subtract to. Nate Silver’s canny ability to predict the past several elections was the seed from which Deadly Odds grew.
What do you like to read?
A read everything that comes out by my favorite authors, such as John Sandford, Michael Connelly, Robert Cray and many others. I also read a ton of non-fiction.
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
Keep at it and don’t let rejection stop you. Like Woody Allen said, 80% is just showing up.