What’s the theme of GIDEON?
Primarily, it’s about family. The Harper family, the Sanchez family and the Moretti family. While they’re extremely different, they all have one thing in common, which is a close familial bond that motivates them to go to extremes to protect one another. The book also explores the concept of revenge versus justice and raises the issue of social responsibility.
What was the inspiration for GIDEON?
I’m fascinated by the idea of dropping an ordinary person into an extraordinary situation and seeing how they react. What would an intelligent, law abiding young woman do when she suddenly finds herself being hunted by a killer and going to the police isn’t an option? Add to that, she’s a doctor and has taken an oath to save lives, but the only way to protect herself and her sister might be to kill her predator. To me, that’s a very rich premise to explore.
Now that GIDEON RESURRECTION has been published, when will the next book be released?
The third and final installment of the GIDEON trilogy will be out in 2024.
After a career of writing for television, why did you decide to write a novel?
I’d always had a passion to tell a story in a more prosaic style. Interestingly, I originally wrote GIDEON as a pilot for a one-hour dramatic TV series but found that a sixty page script didn’t do the story or the characters justice. Also, I wanted to explore the themes and emotional impact on a much more complex level, which a novel allowed me to do.
What are the main differences in writing a screenplay versus writing a novel?
A screenplay is essentially a roadmap for actors, directors and the crew to collaborate with the writer to bring the story to life. Scripts, especially those for ongoing television series, are lean when it comes to descriptive prose, which is unnecessary because TV is a visual medium. A novel, on the other hand, gives the writer the opportunity to verbally paint the entire picture for the readers. Plus, prose allows the characters to carry on inner dialogues to convey their thought processes, their intents, and their emotions.
What is your writing process?
I start with the main characters and basic story/inciting event, then build around that. From there, I’ll jot down story ideas and additional characters in a notebook and continue to expand upon the story until I have enough for a brief (two or three page) outline. The next step is to develop the details as I discover “who,” “how,” and “why.” After considerable planning, tinkering and revising, I’ll end up with a structured outline that includes a running clock. I find this very helpful when writing a mystery with multiple storylines, because I want each story to play out with appropriate pace and urgency. Once I begin writing, I’m not 100% wed to the outline. Occasionally a character or a plot point will take me in a direction I didn’t anticipate, which is a usually a good thing.
Are you planning to continue to write and produce television series?
At this point, I’m quite content to write novels, but I’m always open to new and interesting opportunities when they arise. I miss the camaraderie of being on set and I love the creative interaction of working on a series, but I don’t miss the extremely long days and spending every weekend writing or rewriting scripts to stay ahead of the nonstop churning machine of production.
Other than writing, what are your other passions or interests?
Music, cooking and reading.
I’ve played guitar since high school and enjoy getting together with friends for impromptu jam sessions. As for cooking, many years ago I cobbled together a compilation of recipes into a cookbook of sorts, and I update it every few years. It’s called 44 DEGREES and it’s available for free on this website.
Like most writers, I am a voracious reader. My favorites (in no particular order) are Dean Koontz, Tom Perry, Stephen King, John Lescroart, Meg Gardiner, Michael Connelly, John Sandford, Robert Crais, Gregg Hurwitz, Dennis Lehane, George Pellicanos, Neil Gaiman, John Grisham, Charlie Huston and James Lee Burke. I’m constantly on the lookout for new writers.
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