Questions & Answers
What was it like writing your first novel? Did you follow a specific process or did the words just flow out?
It was a great experience requiring a lot of patience. I don't outline. I figure out where I want to start and where I want to go and then the words flow. Unfortunately, they don't always flow perfectly the first time. That's where the need for patience comes into play. I think one of the greatest attributes writers can have is to know when they've written something poorly and have the fortitude to do it over and over again until they get it right.
Your hero comes across as highly masculine, but not without emotion and emotional need. Was it difficult to create such a dynamically believable character?
Not at all. It's who I'd like to be when I grow up.
What makes someone a hero and what was it like crafting the hero of your book?
My definition of a hero is also my definition of a Boca Knight; anyone willing to fight and die for everyone's right to live in peace. My hero, Eddie Perlmutter, is a larger than life action hero who enforces peace with an iron fist and inspires others to follow his lead to the best of their ability.
The book deals extensively with issues of religious choice, stereotype, and the myriad ways individuals express their free will in order to experience spiritual truth. How have your own experiences inspired these themes?
My experience has taught me that intolerance for differences in religion, race, creed, and ethnicity has probably caused more grief in this world than anything else. One religion’s spiritual truth can be another’s ultimate falsehood. With Boca Knights, I was trying to explore the inconsistencies in and difference between all religions, and found the only path to peace in tolerance.
Many of your characters are, at first glance, extremely flawed individuals, but you guide readers toward a redemptive viewpoint for most of them. Do you believe in an inherent human goodness and, if so, how do you justify the evil of villainy?
I do not necessarily believe in the inherent goodness of all people, but I do believe in the goodness of most people and in the righteousness of free will. Most of my characters redeem themselves because, as it says in the book, “all things are possible.” Our experiences as individuals shape our moral aptitude, but at the end of the day everyone has the choice to do the right thing.
Boca Knights deals with issues of place. How do you think a person’s location affects their personality, especially regarding transplants from one culture to another?
It depends on the person. Someone in a new environment may not be able to adapt, leading to frustration and withdrawal. Another person might demand to be accepted exactly as they are, which also creates stress. A person willing to adapt without losing their individuality will stand the best chance of finding happiness in a new location.
The book features an interesting dance between technology and age, how has that played out in your career?
When I was a kid I listened to radio and saw the first television being delivered to my neighborhood. Computers were totally alien to me. I fought it at first but gradually moved into the cyber age. Word processing and the internet have been a tremendous help to my ability to communicate and create.
Can you compare and contrast your business experience with your literary one?
Both business and writing require the ability to communicate in a clear, concise manner. To establish a loyal customer base in business you have to develop a good product, sell it and continue to deliver your customers what they want. The creative process is different but the business principles are the same.
What is it like for you to divide your time between Boca and Boston?
It's great. I enjoy the best of weather in both locations and have friends in both places. My business does not demand I be in either location whereas I have an international customer and supply base. Writing can be done anywhere. I also have family in the north and south.