1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
It's a toss-up between Father Sullivan and Beatrice Amon. Father Sullivan is street-wise and tough yet he has this childlike faith and sees God's prescence even amidst chaos. It is a beautiful thing. As far as Beatrice goes, well, she proves that often times people are not the ogres we might think they are. I'll leave it at that.
2. Coffee, tea, or milk?
COFFEE---it gets the old engine running; milk #2
3. What else can you do besides write?
A lot of folks have called me "Mr. Fix-it". I can do most any kind of home repair or remodeling work. I can fix cars too, if I have to. However, I have not done much of that over the last few years. Blew my back out about 15 years ago and nowadays it does not take much to set me back to square one where I can hardly move. So, I have to be careful. I can also play the harmonica and if I need to clear a room quickly all I have to do is start playing. I also have worked with the St. Vincent De Paul Society for about 20 years and have spent lots of time working with those in need. That is EXTREMELY rewarding.
4. Who are you reading right now?
I'm reading a YA book by Cynthia DeFelice titled, "Under the Same Sky". It's about a 14 year old boy who wants a dirt-bike. His dad, a farmer who employs migrant workers, decides that he should earn the money. He challenges his son and the boy goes to work with the field hands. It is about learning to face your prejudices and be with people who are different. Nice story. Teaches a fine lesson.
5. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
The scene in "The Priest & The Peaches" where Beatrice Amon spontaneously interacts with Father Sullivan. The scene just began to happen and, I swear, it even got to me as I wrote it. I could not believe that I had tears in my eyes. Anyway, I'll leave it at that. Don't want to give the story away.
6. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I think they call someone like me a "pantser" because I do go along for the ride. I do have a potential ending in sight when I start. But it is always like some of those remodeling jobs I have done. There are always changes made as you go along and you never know when you will need to make them. Then BOOM!--you open up a wall and there are plumbing pipes staring at you. They're important but they are in the way. What to do??? So you adapt. Anyway, my outline comes after I'm finished. So does a synopsis. According to all the "poobahs" out there I'm doing it all wrong. Well, my goal is to get to the finish line. For me, getting there is all that counts, even if I fall down ten times, bust myself up and wind up bloodied.
7.(Bonus question, lol).
Funny you should ask. I just watched "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" with my 4 year old grandson two days ago. It was GREAT----