My hope is to impact my readers.

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My goal is to not only entertain but enlighten — and perhaps inspire some debate.   All my books, including future ones, are intended to get people thinking — to open their minds to what may be, to potential realities they may hot have considered before.  And in the process, see themselves and the world in a better light.  As the saying goes, “If just one person benefits …”

What inspires me to keep writing?

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I want to contribute something positive to the world — and something different.  It’s too easy to get depressed and feel like you’re wasting your life away here in prison.  Writing like this gives me a sense of purpose.  Also, with so much interest these days in alternative spirituality and the paranormal, I think there is a need for my brand of “metaphysical suspense,” as I call it.  Plus, on a selfish note, writing helps me “escape” from this place, if only for a while (which is why I normally put in twelve-hour days at it).

So grateful for the responses from my readers!

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I’ve been blown away by the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.  I never expected so much enthusiasm for “Escaping the Wheel,” and I hope “Vengeant” is enjoyed as much.  My favorite response is from readers who say they’re eager to check out all the other books mentioned in the story and from the reading list. And I’ve had more than one fellow prisoner tell me the book has changed their life, so — wow!  I couldn’t be happier.  I’m really looking forward to the response from China when it’s published there soon.

My biggest challenge in writing my first book

stencil.facebook-post (2)Besides the constant NOISE! and interruptions and lack of privacy and no real desk to speak of, I’d have to say it was simply my lack of experience as a writer.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into, how big a mountain it was I had to climb.  (If I knew, I would have never started.) I’ve never taken a course in writing or held much stock in any books on the subject; I only know good writing when I see it.   Then of course there was the publishing process…  OMG! So much to learn! But I’m extremely proud of the outcome.

How prison has shaped my writing.

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In addition to having all the time in the world on my hands to write, I’ve had years an years to simply think — of my mistakes, of life, of human character, and the world as it is.  And more importantly, I’ve been blessed with countless books — wonderful, wonderful books — and the opportunity to read them all.  Through them I’ve become a regular connoisseur of the written word and there are plenty of authors I try to emulate.  Also, when writing about redemption and forgiveness, which both my novels are ultimately about, prison is actually a pretty good place to be.

How I drew on my personal experience in creating my characters.


I would have never come up with the story or characters if I hadn’t been through the wringer of the Texas criminal justice system.  Both the prosecutor and my so-called defense attorney are portrayed in the book.  And living in the South, in Texas, has exposed me to many religious fundamentalists, who I’ve debated with and who I based the character of Gloria on.  And in prison there are plenty of “gangsters” to get material from, for Santos’s character.  And there are, unfortunately, too many people like Dani out there, who I’ve known.   But the main character, Trip, is wholly based on myself; we’re essentially the same person; that’s even my nickname in here.  So his point of view, of course, came easily.

When I decided to write “Escaping the Wheel”

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I first had the idea for the story about ten years ago, and it stayed with me.  And although I’d always dreamed of writing a novel someday, I didn’t have the confidence to think I could actually pull it off, that I could match the high standards of the books I most like to read.  Then one day, about five years later, I figured that if the story would ever be told, I’d have to be the one to do it.  So I gave it a shot.  I spent over four months creating an outline; then three years later…