This week, my landlord, after starting 15 months ago, finally completes putting in my central air conditioning...right in time for the cool down. Sigh! Today, I hop in my transporter, pick up author Jerry Hooten, and we're off to Cabo San Lucas where we partake in margaritas in the El Squid Roe bar. It's where i snapped his picture for this week's interview. Speaking of...
1. Who is Jerry Hooten and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?
My ‘anomonimity ‘ (I think I made up a word.) Ask anyone “Who is Jerry Hooten” and you will get the same response. “Who?”
2. Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?
I have been pretty well trained to be a first class burglar. Nice to have a fallback career.
3. What interested you to be become a writer rather than something else such as becoming an Arctic explorer?
I think that meeting Michael Connelly and having the opportunity to assist him with some of his research for his books. I had been a fan of his from the beginning. I had been a writer wannabe since I took typing in High School.
4. Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?
Michael Connelly and the late Barara Seranella because I have had dinner with them and enjoyed it immensely. Just about any mystery writer. I feed off of their experience.
5. If I were stranded on a deserted island (or suffering a four hour layover at the airport), why would your book(s) be great company?
I think it would be because they are a fast read and I try to keep the chapters fairly short.
6. Share the Hooten process of writing in regards to: idea and character development, story outline, research (do you Google, visit places/people or make it up on the spot?), writing schedule, editing, and number of rewrites.
I usually get my ideas out of the blue. I got the idea for “Don’t Talk to Strangers” while driving to Oregon. The sequel, “Dead End”, came out of the rewrite process. I got the idea for “Friends and Others” from my grand daughter’s imaginary friend. The characters seem to develop on their own as I’m writing. I don’t do an outlne, (probably should), I do my research online and at the library and a lot of it comes from personal experience (twenty five years of law-enforcement). My schedule is erratic, not by choice. I like to have my wife edit. She is very critical. I lose count of rewrites. At least ten per book, and that’s before the edit process.
7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?”
My advice would be to just start writing. Ideas have a tendency to develop on their own. I think that process works for about anyone. Once you get started, you can arrange your methods. I do “NaNoWriMo”, the National Novel Writing Month contest that occurs every November. It’s a contest against yourself to try and write 50,000 words in the month of November. The focus is on quantity, rather than quality. I think it is a great motivator. I’ve finished the last two years, but I’m way behind this year.
8. I saw an amusing T-shirt the other day which read ‘Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?
I try to go with the flow. Avoid confrontation. Keep smiling.
9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?
As I mentioned earlier, I’m doing NaNoWriMo. I’ve started on a new idea for this year. I also have several good starts from previous years.
10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?
I have a website. Two, in fact. One is the “Mystery Writers Resource”, where I give tips and links on writing for mysteries. The second is my security site. I’m still available to do investigations and security consulting. The first is http://www.facebook.com/l/de067FldUCniKDbu80qwG4yBOrQ; www.jerryhooten.com, and the security site is, http://www.facebook.com/l/de067Bi-B8s8mvpT2VANJRRS5zQ; www.tech-conrite.com. I have a newsletter that is in limbo right now. Back issues are available on my mystery writer’s site. I plan on starting it up again soon.