FAQs with Suspense Author, Joe Klingler


Are any of your characters based on real people?

No real people. The behavior, speech, and philosophies of my characters are carefully conjured from my mental database of anyone I’ve ever seen, talked to, known, read about in a novel, saw in a movie, or encountered in my dreams, by an unknown, subterranean, subconscious process that I can’t begin to explain because it is mostly felt.

Which of your books is your favorite?

The next one. Each of my books was both a joy and a slog through an insect infested tropical jungle to write. They each satisfied a curiosity I had, answering a “what if?” question. But I am most excited about what I’m trying now with the next book, today, in this time, in this cultural context.

What books do you enjoy reading in your free time?

FICTION. Mysteries: currently reading everything John D. MacDonald wrote. Much of it for the second time. Thrillers: Just finished Racing the Light by Robert Crais to see what Elvis Cole has been up to. Historical Fiction: anything set before the invention of the smartphone, an invention that truly changed the way humans interact.

NON-FICTION. Autobiography of Andrés Segovia. Traditions of the Classical Guitar by Graham Wade. Galileo’s Revenge – Junk Science in the Courtroom by Peter W. Huber. Spies, Lies, and Algorithms by Amy B. Zegart. War on the West by Douglas Murray.

What are your long-term writing goals?

To sell enough books to keep writing. In a practical sense, find out what happens next for Damon, Qigiq, and Tommy Cuda: my three existing series. In a broader sense, I would like to write a historical novel, science fiction, and something a little spooky and on the edge of paranormal. Stephen King once said that so long as he knew what the next two novels were going to be about, he was good. So I keep careful notes when ideas arrive out of the blue, and make sure that I always have two ideas waiting in line.

Where do you typically write?

On an iMac with a long stroke, noisy, old-school typewriter keyboard (by dasKeyboard) in the sunniest room in the house. I find the intensity of sunlight a core necessity for fueling the energy required to put words together.

Do you read all your reviews? Including the bad ones?

First, I’d like to say thank you to any reader who has not only read my work, but taken the time to comment on it. There is no doubt that reviews help to sell books. Second, yes I read the bad ones too. These can be rants, or they can be insightful suggestions on how to improve. The name of the game is striving to improve on the next book.

Are there any books you love so much you wish you wrote yourself?

Oh yes. 11/22/63 by Stephen King: a master commentary about being careful what you wish for. Anything by Robert B. Parker. The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges about the quest to break the codes used by the Germans in WW II. Even way back to a book called Four-wheel Drift by Bruce Carter, about a young race car driver and the engineer that made it possible for him to win. That book fueled my interest in both racing and engineering while I was still riding a bicycle. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Persig. Shopcraft as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford. Both about bikes, and life, and travel, and how to find yourself in the midst of it.

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