I want to thank you for allowing me this interview with you.
First of, Can you please share with the readers a little about yourself.
I was born in Columbus, Ohio, and raised in Gary, Indiana. I attended college at Miami University in Ohio. I received my dental and medical degrees from Howard University and Boston University and a masters of creative writing degree from Boston University. I have been a pathologist at University of Colorado Medical School for thirty-five years. To date I’ve written twelve novels, most of them mysteries and medical thrillers. SPOON is my first literary novel. Although I have written several literary short stories.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Most of my spare time I tend to spend time on my cattle ranch in Wyoming where I love to fly fish and run the ranching operation. I also write most of my novels there, although, my permanent residence is in Denver.
You own a cattle ranch. What type of cattle do you raise?
I do own a cattle ranch, the Triangle Long Bar ranch in southern Wyoming. Prior to that I owned a ranch in Steamboat Springs for eighteen years. I have run Black Baldy cattle, a cross between a Hereford and Angus and straight Black Angus cattle. I am currently running 250-head of Black Angus cattle.
Do you have a morning routine?
I do not have a morning writing routine since I have to get up quite early to go my day job at the University of Colorado Medical Center. On weekdays I write when I can. On the weekends I have a morning routine, I typically get up, have coffee and a Danish and write for two to four hours. If I’m at the ranch on the weekends, I typically follow the same routine.
What comes first for you…the plot or the characters?
Interestingly, neither the plot or my characters come first, especially since after twelve novels, I’m pretty much set with the characters. What usually comes first is a kernel of an idea. That idea then generally works itself into a plot that characters are placed within.
What inspired you to write Spoon as this is different from your CJ mystery series.
SPOON was originally a short story that I wrote as part of my masters in creative
writing thesis at Boston University. The story was ultimately published in a literary magazine and then published in my collection of short stories, ISOLATION AND OTHER STORIES. For some reason I couldn’t quite get SPOON out of my mind. However, my publishers at Warner Books and then North Atlantic Books, a subsidiary of Random House, are largely interested in me publishing mysteries and medical thrillers, not literary pieces. I, therefore, went to Fulcrum Publishers, a literary house, and they published SPOON. I also was interested in writing a novel that had some of the same flavor of the famous western SHANE.
Is Spoon based on a real person?
Spoon is clearly not based on any one real. He is absolutely and completely a figment of my imagination.
How did you come up with the name Arcus Witherspoon?
The central character’s name is Spoon, a derivative of his last name, Witherspoon. I spent a long time trying to come up with his first name and finally decided on Arcus because I wanted the name to have some semblance to the word Arc which in a sense means far-reaching, largely because of Spoon’s oddly strange clairvoyance.
What can readers look forward to from you next?
My next novel will be a CJ Floyd mystery entitled FIRST OF STATE. It is a prequel to the entire CJ Floyd mystery series and takes place between the years of 1971 when CJ first comes back from Vietnam and 1981 when he becomes a fully developed bounty hunter and bail bondsman. FIRST OF STATE also takes the reader through the process of CJ getting back into mainstream society after suffering through a war and explains how he meets many of the characters who readers will see in future novels.
Any last words to the readers?
Most of all I hope that readers will continue to read. It seems that the younger generation is doing less and less reading. Contrary to popular belief, reading is very important. The number one predictor of how a student will do in medical school for instance turns out to be reading comprehension. Not how well the applicant performed in calculus or chemistry. So young readers out there, take my word for it, reading is an absolute key to success and getting to where you want to go in life.
Thank you again for this interview.
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