TELL ME MORE ABOUT YOUR NEW RELEASE. IS IT A SEQUEL TO THE GOOD FIGHT?
Nothing Good is Free is the second book in The Good Fight Series and is the sequel to The Good Fight. It continues Jeff’s story now that his mentor, Jim, is dead. He tries to search out information that may lead him to why Jim strayed as he did near the end of his life. He also struggles on his own with the same conflicts Jim did such as holding together a job and his home life. His girlfriend, Brooke, takes a much larger role in this book. In fact, their romance is a central them.
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER IN THE NOVEL AND WHY?
In this book I gave the persistent detective, Martell, a starring role alongside Jeff. I think it’s probably a tie between the two for my ‘favorite’, but it was a lot of fun writing Detective Martell in this way for the first time. He’s caught in a tight spot knowing the identity of the vigilante even as the entire police department is doing their very best to catch Jeff. In fact, because of Martell’s history with Jim and because of his new relationship with Jeff, the police want to use Martell as the face of their new campaign to catch the vigilante. It’s a really fun ride and watching the way Martell balances trying to keep his own job along with trying to help Jeff is really engaging.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE YOU, ON AVERAGE, TO COMPLETE A NOVEL?
For me, it’s all over the map. The first book I ever wrote (currently unpublished) took a little over 3 months. It is almost 700 pages, and the editing was atrocious because I wrote it too fast and was too new to writing. Nothing Good is Free took around six or seven months to complete and is only about 200 pages. That of course doesn’t count the editing time at the publisher. I always have several ideas going at once and am finding as my writing career progresses that I put more and more effort into each and every book. I’m sure I’ll get to the point where it may take a full year to get a manuscript exactly where I want it to be before going to the publisher.
WHICH ACTORS/ACTRESSES MOST CLOSELY PHYSICALLY EMBODY THE WAY YOU ENVISION YOUR CHARACTERS?
This is a great question and honestly is one I think about a lot. At the beginning of The Good Fight, Jeff is just finishing up college. He’s a tall, thin kid, kind of dark, and I imagine him with very piercing eyes. I’m not sure who Hollywood has to offer. I have often thought that Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) might work as a Jeff now that he is older. The problem is that it’s hard to know any Hollywood personality well enough to think that they might have the morals and personal conviction to play someone like Jeff.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR MAIN CHARACTER’(S’) THEME SONG(S)?
For me, that’s an easy one. The 80’s hair band “Triumph” sang a song called “Fight the Good Fight”. The message is wholesome, and inspiring. I also have a bit of a soft spot for that kind of music. My wife’s not a big fan, but what can you do?
WHAT SPECIAL RESEARCH, IF ANY, DID YOU NEED TO CONDUCT TO WRITE YOUR LATEST RELEASE?
Researching this book was the most fun I’ve had yet. At one point, Jeff needs to break into a Mercedes. I wanted to be as realistic as I could and it turns out (using Google of course) that you can find all sorts of research papers from across the country reviewing the proper equipment and techniques to break the cars electronic security system. The trouble wasn’t researching; the trouble was trying to write it into terms that were even vaguely understandable.
I also frequently use mapping websites to try and better understand the area I’m writing about. I know and love the Chicago area that the book is based in, but I try to describe things exactly as they are to enhance the reality of the writing.
Lastly, a lot of research goes into the gear that Jeff and his new counterpart, The Red Vigilante, use during their missions. Sometimes explosives are involved, weapons, defensive gear or armor and everything they wear and use is real. It’s a lot of fun.