I often get asked questions about the books, so here are a few about the most recent one.
Q – Where did the idea for this story come from?
A – I had lunch with my friend Kit Dodd who played viola with a symphony. We went to high school together, but hadn’t seen each other in years. He and his wife live in a world of music and the arts, and I spent most of my life in the military and then had a construction drafting business. It’s hard to imagine two people with less in common, but we’d always gotten along well. I wondered how I would manage if I tried to live in his world. It might be amusing, but hardly interesting for a book. Then I questioned how Kit would manage if he was dropped into a world of cops and military people? Now that had potential. Then it became about creating a plausible story line. As a side not – Kit would have adapted an overcome just as Ben does.
Q – So is the hero based on Kit?
A – Inspired by is a better choice. Kit provided a lot of background and was generous with his time in answering questions. Certain things that he said made it directly into the book. Kit was such a positive and decent man and irrepressible in many ways that I tried to carry that into the writing. The book is dedicated to him.
Q – Most of the men in your books cook. Does Mr. Scott do the cooking?
A – Not at all – this why it’s called fiction. He’s capable of preparing quality ramen and outstanding fried egg or grilled cheese sandwiches. Anything beyond that is not happening. I’m not particularly fond of cooking, so I fantasize about men who do that sort of thing. I like to think of them as warrior chefs.
Q – The photo on the cover looks like the described cemetery. Is that a real place?
A – Yes. The photo is from a small family cemetery in Southern Arizona and was taken by the editor for this book Arwen Newman. We walked back into this cemetery one afternoon and I fell in love with the place. I’ve visited it several times since, and I try to go in the spring when the irises are blooming. The description of the cemetery is reasonably accurate, but I took a lot of liberties with the ranch itself. There are loads of these small ranch/family cemeteries out here and we’ve visited many of them. This particular one is my favorite and that’s why I incorporated it into the book.
Once again – write what and who you know.