Welcome to Why I Can’t stop reading Bernard DeLeo. Thank you for your time.
Thanks for the opportunity.
Let’s start with something easy:
1. Tell all your readers a bit more about yourself?
I was born and raised in Warren, Ohio. I served aboard the Aircraft Carrier USS Ranger from 1969 through 1972. After getting an AA degree in automotive technology in 1977, I went on to earn a BA degree in English in 1980. I’ve worked at and owned an automotive repair shop in Oakland, CA since 1976. I have written twenty novels, fourteen of which are listed on Amazon. Three of the twenty have release dates from now through summer.
2. When did you start writing?
I caught the writing bug in the fall of 1974 in a college Creative Writing class, where we were required to write short stories. My first was a story from a dog’s point of view. During critique time, a classmate said ‘you can’t write a story from a dog’s POV’. My professor said, ‘he just did’. I was hooked.
3. What comes first, the characters or the story?
It switches from one novel to the next. At times an idea forms because of something in real life I want to change, in which case I’ll create the characters I need to get the story done. At other times a character profile pops into my head and I’ll build a story around the character. My novel COLD BLOODED is built around a writer/assassin Nick McCarty. His attributes came to me before the story.
4. Do you outline the story or just get straight to the writing?
I get right to the story. I have writing friends who do intricate storyboards, outlines, and practically create the novel in sections. It works great for them. For me, I’d quit writing rather than do it. One thing I do is keep a character database and a timeline database for each novel as I write. In the timeline database, I include an ongoing synopsis. That way when I write The End, I will have readymade blurbs and synopsis for either querying agents or for marketing and self publishing.
5. What is your writing routine?
I have my notebook computer by my side at all times at home or on trips to write at any time. At my auto repair shop, I have a backroom where I write. I go there in between jobs and write at every opportunity. I don’t write by routine. I write constantly. I write comments, blogs, automotive advice, short stories, novels, and anything I can think of. The quickest way to writer’s block is limit yourself to one work in progress, and hammer your head into the wall until it’s finished. If I have a slow spot in my ongoing novel, I’ll write an automotive blog, or a short story, or do some social commenting, or even start a new novel.
Now for the deeper questions:
1. What started your writing career?
The passion to create an alternative to reality.
2. From where do you draw your inspiration?
Everything around me. Nothing and no one is safe if they are within my purview. 🙂
3. Are you secretly a psychopathic assassin that kills for the government?
No, I’m a 62 year old Grandfather with an imagination. 🙂
4. All jokes aside, do you relate to Nick in any way?
Of course. Nick came out of my head. It would be impossible to deny we have a bond.
5. Which authors / books have most influenced your writing?
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, John D. MacDonald, Donald Hamilton, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Ian Fleming. Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ is the only book I have ever read cover to cover, and then started over again at the beginning to read again straight through.
<strong?Now I would like to do a short round of word association (this is purely for me to check of you aren’t a psychopath.) Please tell us the first word that comes to mind.
1. Dogs – Friend
2. Heckler & Koch USP – Tactical .45 caliber handgun – Defender
3. Pancakes – Avoid
4. Waterslides – Fun
5. Barbeques – Steak
And last but definitely not least
1. Where would you like to be in 2 years time?
Right here in my auto shop backroom (where I’m writing this) writing my next novel. If you mean publishing progress, naturally I would like to be a bestselling author; and since I write screenplays based on my novels, I would also like to see them made into movies.
2. If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Carlos Hathcock, the greatest Marine sniper ever – because I’d like to hear the tales he has to tell.
3. If you could, would you change anything in Cold blooded?
Not a thing.
4. Which of your books do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
HARD CASE, because I avoided writing for decades in first person POV. I decided to do so with HARD CASE. Although it was a pain after writing exclusively in third person, it turned out very well, and I found that humor can be done much easier in first person.
5. Should you be able to time travel, which time would you go to and for what reason?
The future, because I already know what is in the past.
Thank you so much for your time Bernard.
Thanks for having me, Angelique
Please see link for review on COLD BLOODED