I dedicate almost all of my books to my father, who passed away before I first published anything.
One of the last things my father said to me before passing away was that I should do everything in my power to continue writing. While growing up, he dreamed of becoming a science fiction writer. When I started writing thrillers and science fiction stories, my father loved reading everything I wrote. He would have been intensely thrilled had he lived long enough to see my first publication, much less the 28 books and 65 stories that followed. I remember signing for my first novel (The Termination Node, Ballantine/Del Rey), thinking about my father and wishing he was there to countersign the contract. I dedicated Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu: The Adventure of the Deadly Dimensions to him - of course.
In another life, I’d be a surfer-girl and live on the beach.
I’ve always wanted to be a beach bum with constant access to perfect waves. Growing up and in my early teens, I rode a buggy board on the waves all day. At sixteen, I started working at a public pool but still found time for the beach. I swam competitively, so I also enjoyed swimming in the ocean - horizontally to the shoreline. Later on, I swam a mile every day before going to work. I still love the beach, but now, I’m content to sit under an umbrella with a rum drink and watch the waves pound the shore.
Or maybe, in another life, I’d be a scientist, working in a basement lab to find a cure to cancer.
This was my other really big childhood dream. At night, in full color, I dreamed that in this basement lab, I was a geneticist/biochemist, wearing a kitchen apron with a long-haired cat at my feet. I lived alone in a tiny house by the sea, surrounded by flowers and lovely shrubs, much as I imagined where Miss Marple might enjoy living. I think part of me wanted to be a scientist Miss Marple, who solved the mysteries of cancer.
My taste in music is incredibly varied.
One of my all-time favorite albums is Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black. I probably love every track on this album. Another favorite is Adele’s 21, which I’ve listened to almost as many times as Back to Black. In my car, I listen to a jazz station, and another all-time favorite artist of mine is Herbie Hancock. Check out his 1994 Dis is da Drum. Without Kraftwerk and later techno (and trance) music blaring in my earphones, I never would have survived my cubicle jobs. Thanks to my parents, I’ve been a lifelong fan of Enrico Caruso and Maria Callas. In fact, Callas’ rendition of Casta Diva in Bellini’s Norma greatly inspired some key scenes in Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu: The Adventure of the Deadly Dimensions.
While I’m writing a novel, I never stop thinking about it.
Because I’ve now written two Sherlock Holmes novels -- the second, Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu: The Adventure of the Neural Psychoses (Titan, 2018), is with my editor -- Dr. Watson’s narrative voice is always in my head. Someone randomly asks me a question. In my brain, Dr. Watson, with his 1890’s diction, frames the answer, startling me! I rephrase it in 2017 diction before opening my mouth.
I enjoy traveling to other countries and meeting people from other cultures.
I like talking to other people about themselves. I like learning about what they think and why. I love to see how people live, what they eat, how they treat each other, artistically what they create and devise. What are their views about the world? I’m much more interested in other people than I am in myself.
I see stories in everything.
My mind is always making up stories -- whether I’m viewing paintings in a gallery, looking at buildings or trees, watching people walk down the street, or talking to people. I take hundreds of photos, read hundreds of books, and constantly observe people and how they interact. Everything fascinates me.
I constantly jot down notes, which I rapidly lose.
There must be 100 little notebooks all over my house, all of them filled with story ideas, tidbits, and observations. I don’t know what’s in any of these notebooks. I don’t know where I keep any of the notes, even when I want to find them.
I’m actually an introvert.
When I appear in public, it must appear to people that I’m quite extroverted. This is something I have learned to do. In reality, like many writers, I’m a private person, who prefers quiet, tranquility, books, contemplation, learning, and ideas.
I’m writing two more Sherlock Holmes novels.
Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu: The Adventure of the Neural Psychoses amplifies the overall threat posed in The Adventure of the Deadly Dimensions. In addition, a rift dumps killer creatures into the Thames River, and a plague of insanity races through London, afflicting even Dr. Watson. People are addicted to devices that could have existed in Holmes’ time, but didn’t: I created the devices just for this book. In the midst of all of these catastrophes, a murderer runs wild, killing with purpose. Professor Moriarty, who is making a fortune on the suffering of the addicted, is out to get Holmes at any cost.
I’m currently writing the third novel in the series, Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu: The Adventure of the Innsmouth Nightmares.