Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my wife, Elizabeth, and my golden retriever, Ruby. I have written two books: Praying for Restraint (Legacy Book Press, 2021), and Less than Human (Black Rose, 2016).
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is Praying for Restraint, which tells the story of Allen Long (me), an assistant nurse recovering from PTSD who successfully struggles to survive an inner-city hospital work environment that is so toxic that it threatens his body, soul, and marriage. The book is both a triumphant memoir and an expose of a hospital so horrific that it nearly defies belief. One of the worst aspects of the hospital was that the doctors refused to sedate or restrain violent psych patients. As a result, these patients attacked staff, patients, and visitors. The title refers to my prayer back then that these patients would be restrained.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I like to write when I’m alone in the house or when my wife is deeply involved in a cooking project. Also, I initially wrote Praying for Restraint as a diary in the present tense. After I resigned from the hospital, I converted the book into the past tense.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Praying for Restraint exhibits a dark sense of humor, which I suspect was influenced by Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. I also have a really clean writing style that I probably comes from writers like Ernest Hemingway and Ray Carver.
What are you working on now?
Right now, I’m on a break. I’ve been writing and publishing non-stop for the last two decades.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Offering free Kindle books on Amazon and promoting the giveaways via companies such as Pretty Hot Books.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
If you are writing memoir, be completely honest about your positive and negative qualities. If you try to make yourself look perfect, your book will lack authenticity, and you will ruin it.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I’ve discovered that a piece of writing will be successful if I write about a compelling thought or memory that is associated with a strong emotion.
What are you reading now?
Best American Short Stories.
What’s next for you as a writer?
This is a question I’m asking myself right now.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Too many to name. A few favorites are Beartown and Us Against You by Fredrik Backman, and The Round House by Louise Erdrich.