I first came up with the idea for the novel about eight years ago. I wrote numerous drafts and with each one I came to know my protagonist a little better. The plot never really changed that much with the rewrites, but the main character and her back story were in a constant state of flux until she became very real to me about three years ago.
What inspired you to write this particular story?
Having been born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada I wanted to show the beauty of the city through my protagonist’s eyes and the devastation that the city has wreaked upon many people who have lived here, or who only have visited here. The city is a paradox.
Who is the most unusual/most likeable character?
My main characters assistant, Megan is the most unusual, likeable character. She is from New Orleans and experienced the hurricane Katrina. She is also familiar with the ancient art of Santoria and worships Damballah the Snake God. Megan has definite opinions and puts a different slant on most things.
How has your background influenced your writing? How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?
Having grown up in Vegas I’ve met many gangster and wanna-be gangster types. I based the gangster character, Vic Costello on someone I knew very well for many years. My main character’s boss, Bernie was loosely based on a very outgoing, funny character who had been well known around town for years. Vegas is a Mecca for offbeat, outgoing, fun loving people. I think being brought up in a gambling town has caused me to realize how dangerous gambling can be and I’ve seen how it can affect people and families. I’ve also seen how people change when they come to this city and become so different from whom they’ve always appeared to be.
What do you like to read?
I love PI fiction, police procedurals, mysteries, suspense and even some romances. I will read anything and find some enjoyment in every genre.
What has changed for you personally since you wrote your first book?
I know I’ve become much more observant of people and more aware of life changing situations that are going on around us all the time. I hear life changing stories from the news, from strangers and from friends. I also have developed a habit of asking myself how different personalities would have reacted to the same problem or event. In fact, I think I am probably constantly writing in my head and developing characters now that I am a published author. I have gained more confidence in my writing. I find that I want to write more and I feel as though something is missing if I miss a day of writing.
What’s been the most surprising part of being a writer?
It always surprises me when the words come – because many times I have no idea what the story is going to be about, or who the characters are. I find that if I just relax and begin to type the characters will surface and pretty much tell me the story. It is awesome and I love the process.
Do you have a saying or motto for your life and/or as a writer?
A quote from Maya Angelou and I try to remember this every day:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”