This Author Spotlight features Los Angeles-based thriller writer Douglas Wickard.
Douglas is the author of A PERFECT HUSBAND (see above). He lived in New York for many years, writing plays, screenplays, and teleplays. He is a world traveler, a veteran, and submitted his first short story to Reader's Digest at the age of twelve.
1. How did you get into writing?
I have always been a storyteller and kind of a geek. The first money I received for a Christmas gift I ran out and bought a dictionary… I know… I always felt safe around books, words and creativity. It was an escape.
2. What do you like best (or least) about writing?
Character development. To me, the process of creating living, breathing, jump off the page characters is what it’s all about. Finding the honesty, that hum underneath all the pleasantries and developing that relationship with them. The least thing I like about writing is the procrastination factor. Once I’m on the saddle I’m good to go, but getting to that desk and turning on my writer’s light (as I call it) and going for it can get tricky. It’s a constant battle with DISCIPLINE.
3. What is your writing process? IE do you outline? Do you stick to a daily word or page count, write 7 days a week, etc?
No. I enjoy developing the story alongside the characters. I will come up with an idea for a story, and then I’ll find a way to start the novel and then I just kind of go for it. Usually around the 100 – 150 page mark the characters and I are beginning communication (that sounds so psychotic) and they pretty much lead me into the next phase. I like the surprise. There is always a plot twist they throw in that I could NEVER come up with. It’s pretty extraordinary! I write 7 days a week, particularly when I’m working on a deadline. I usually write a commitment letter to myself at the onset, because it is really is about the commitment to the story, characters and ending. I don’t like leaving loose ends no matter how hard I procrastinate.
4. Who are some other writers you read and admire, regardless of whether they are commercially “successful?”
I am a voracious reader. I read more when I’m not involved in my own work, but I try to read everything out there. I am just now getting into Indie writers… not so much in the past. With the current marketing of my book, I never realized the HUGE sea of independent writers and authors out there. It is amazing and inspiring.
5. Should the question mark in the above question be inside or outside the quotes?
Inside. Like my belly button!
6. What’s your stance on the Oxford Comma?
CONFUSION ALERT! Music or grammar! I use them. I usually catch the need for their use when I’m rereading for edit. You can tell when there is a need for a comma before the and… it adds a certain dramatic STOP before continuing.
7. What is your book A Perfect Husband about and how did it come to fruition?
My novel came to fruition back in the 90s when I was helping a publishing/writer/author friend of mine come up with ideas for her second novel. We would have an artist’s day once a week at a different restaurant in NYC where we would discuss current projects, ideas, etc. APH came from one of those lunches. The original title was THE KILLING FIELD, but there was some conflict on the name and Patricia, who I dedicated the book to, passed on the idea, so I took it and wrote it in 2005. I finished the first draft manuscript in 2007 and Patricia edited the finished draft in 2009. Since then, Patricia has passed away, unfortunately.
8. What’s your current writing project?
My current project is called ENCOUNTER. San Francisco is the backdrop for this thriller. Married men, visiting San Francisco for business, are disappearing. Without a trace. I’m introducing a new character -- Inspector Vanessa Sanchez -- hopefully you’ll be seeing a lot more of her. She’s turned out to be one feisty Latino! Also, SAMI SAXTON has turned out to be quite the anti-heroine. I will be writing a sequel to APH called A PERFECT SETUP, which will take Sami and Drew (her BFF) on a Mexican Riviera Cruise. Seduced by a debonair Lord of a Mexican drug cartel, Sami becomes the unsuspecting mule for drug transport across the border. Oh, the trouble these two can get into!
9. What book(s) are you currently reading?
I’m embarrassed to say: Full Service: the Memoir of Scotty Bowers.
10. Who or what inspires your writing?
Nothing is more comfortable to me than getting lost in a story, lose my way, and then find an exit out! I am so fortunate to be able to do this sort of work.
Finally, is there anything you’d care to add? Please also include where people can read your published stories, buy your book, etc.
My novel A PERFECT HUSBAND is available wherever Ebooks are sold. Thank you, Ryan!!!
You're welcome, Douglas. Thank you for sharing your work with us. Let us know when ENCOUNTER is available.
Be sure to visit Douglas's website DouglasWickardBooks.com and purchase a copy of A PERFECT HUSBAND today!