1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
I have small kids, so I typically write late at night, after everyone's gone to bed. I find myself more productive at that time, although it makes for some rough mornings trying to get everyone out of the house. I'm not a morning person.
2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
I often will scribble notes by hand, but as soon as a project starts to take shape, I switch to the computer. I can type faster than I can write, and if I don't get something down out of my head, I'm liable to lose it.
3: What do you draw inspiration from?
I work more from the vantage point of story. I'm always on the lookout for a good story, largely because I'm always worried I'll never come up with another one. So, I guess I say I draw inspiration from panic.
4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?
I really like to hit 1,000 words per day. For my next manuscript, I plan to shoot for 1,500 a day, but that might be pushing it a bit.
5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art?
Even though I have an agent, I chose to self-publish my debut novel. Since October 2010, I've written a number of viral animated videos (about law school, writing/publishing, among other things) that have gotten about 2 million hits, and so I wanted to take advantage of that exposure for my novel. We'll see if it works.
I knew the kind of cover I had in mind, but I definitely needed help. I found a cover designer out in California (GOS Multimedia) that did a great job making my vision a reality.
6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?
I don't really know. I don't know how good a writer I am, but I'm probably a better writer than I am anything else. Actually, I think the truth is that writing chooses you as a career. I doubt anyone in their right mind would become a writer if they had a choice to do something else.
7: Do you own an ebook reading device?
I've got a Kindle. I love it.
8: Who are some of your favorite authors and what are you reading now?
My favorite writer overall is probably Carl Hiaasen. Other favorites are Stephen King and Dennis Lehane.
Three favorite books:
1. The Stand
2. Mystic River
3. Lonesome Dove
I am currently reading The End is Now by Rob Stennett. A satirical look at the Rapture.
9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?
I just saw one for The Passage by Justin Cronin that was really good. It was set inside the military compound where the vampires that ultimately destroyed civilization were engineered. It featured a soldier being attacked by viral after a power failure. Creepy. I've thought about a book trailer, but I'm not sure about going in that direction yet.
10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book?
My book is about a stolen lottery ticket, so the name The Jackpot seemed to fit really well. Plus, I've noticed books and movies that are called "The [Something]" often do well, so I've got this attraction to these titles. The Godfather, The Matrix, The Departed, The Town, The Firm, The Client, and so on. I think people respond to clean, short titles. That said, I realize there are probably fifty examples of crappy movies or books with that name template.
11: What are you working on now that you can talk about?
Just starting outlining a new thriller. Plus ideas for a number of other books.