I read a lot; I like good stories, and, truthfully, there are lots of good stories, but my favorites are no longer being written because the writer died. I set out to write a story I would want to read, one that would fill that niche. I wanted a story with an action-based story line, some humor, some introspection, and characters you can believe are real.
Louis L’Amour wrote westerns in that manner and sold millions of books, books that were read and re-read over and over. The characters were friends and family to his fans. Louis wrote about what he knew, and that made his characters real and his situations authentic.
I read westerns and many other fiction novels, but I write about what I know. Growing up in Alaska, I know hunting, fishing, flying, boating, and survival. I worked in construction camps, the Army’s Military Police, and Anchorage Police. I traveled a lot across the US, Canada, Europe, India, the Caribbean, and Mexico, and can make some unusual places a part of my stories.
Escape from Playa Del Carmen was inspired by a trip to Mexico and my always present police paranoia. Couple that with an overactive imagination and a lot of criminology knowledge, and there was a seed for a book. I asked myself how I would get back home if stranded in Mexico, unable to get official help from Mexican authorities or US authorities? How could I ever get into such a situation?
From that beginning, Don Sackett started to live in my imagination and my nightmare scenario, and over several years (working for a living gets in the way of writing) of editing out my dyslexia and taking direction from my editor, I crafted a story I would want to read. I like to read short books like L’Amour wrote. A novel that I could read in one sitting, for instance, flying from D.C. to Houston, or read on a lazy Saturday afternoon. James Patterson has picked up on that market recently too.
Who writes like me? Although I never set out to write like anyone, and never had thought about it, several of my readers told me that I write along the lines of Lee Child, who writes the Jack Reacher novels, or Craig Johnson, who writes the Longmire series. Child’s books made it to the big screen starring Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher, and Johnson’s character, Sheriff Longmire, made it to the small screen played by Robert Taylor.
I have read books by both authors since then and liked them. I have spoken with Mr. Johnson and believe we may have been brothers separated at birth. I cannot say that I write like either one of them, but I certainly feel honored that my readers feel that way.
We (I use ‘we’ because any endeavor is a team effort and a published book is, for sure) hope to have Escape from Playa Del Carmen published soon, and I will post when and where it is available.