How do you promote this book? Blog posts like this one, my website, some paid advertising, book giveaways and trailers, word of mouth, Facebook, Twitter, the kindness of strangers…
Will you write others in this same genre? Absolutely. I’ve had several readers ask when the next Leine Basso’s coming out. I love writing her character (and Santiago’s).
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Human trafficking is not something that happens only in other countries. It’s happening here, in the U.S.
Have you included a lot of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot? No. All the characters are strictly from my imagination. Some of the scenes in the book may or may not be attributable to an imprudent nature on the part of the author.
How important do you think villains are in a story? Their role is huge. The villain not only helps to drive the story, they also help to define the protagonist. Can you even imagine Harry Potter without Voldemort?
What are your goals as a writer? To write the best, most entertaining book I can, and not bore myself or the reader.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? I’ve taken several research trips in order to incorporate as much realism as possible in all my books. My latest research trip was to Mexico, much of which I’m incorporating into the book I’m currently working on.
Can we expect any more books from you in the future? Yes. I’m currently working on book #6 in the Kate Jones Thriller series, and will work on book #7 after that. I hope to have book #3 in the Leine Basso series available by the end of the year.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Hopefully, still doing what I’m doing, with several more Leine Basso thrillers available, along with more Kate Jones. Maybe another couple of standalone novels, too.
What are some of the best tools available today for writers, especially those just starting out? There’s so much information online for new writers. I’m a contributing author at the supremely helpful blog Indies Unlimited. Their entire raison d’être is to help new indie authors navigate the ever-changing publishing landscape. There are several other helpful blogs about writing, grammar, structure, scene and sequel, characterization, promotion, you name it. I have a list on dvberkom.com as well as on my blog, dvberkom.wordpress.com. They’re not exhaustive by any means, but a good place to start.
What contributes to making a writer successful? Persistence and a thick skin. Belief in yourself and your ideas. The ability to engage in complete and utter denial. And, you really have to enjoy making stuff up.
Do you have any advice for writers? Write. Revise. Write. Revise. Take a writing class. Identify your weaknesses. We all have them. Then, find out a way to turn it into a strength. Becoming a good writer never ends. You’ll always be learning. Don’t get complacent. Always try to find new ways to express your ideas. Be open to change. Don’t write when you’re drunk, because if you find out you’re a better writer after a few drinks, then you’ll have to stay drunk to have a career. That can get expensive.
Do you have any specific last thoughts that you want to say to your readers? Love what you write. If you don’t, neither will readers.
What do you do to unwind and relax? Reading, cooking, gardening, hiking and camping. I’m a photographer, so I also enjoy getting out and shooting pictures. Having dinner with friends is another activity that’s pretty high on my list. I’m also quite fond of hot tubs, massages and red wine—not necessarily in that order.
What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing? The ability to make a living doing what I love. That, and being able to write research trips off on my taxes.
If you could leave your readers with one bit of wisdom, what would you want it to be? If it smells bad, don’t eat it.
When you wish to end your career, stop writing, and look back on your life, what thoughts would you like to have? I don’t intend to stop writing until I’m dead, and I NEVER look back. Something might be gaining on me.
Genre – Romantic Suspense
Rating – PG13