TBM: How do you imagine the ideal reader of your book?
FE: The ideal reader of The Tourist Killer is a baby boomer who thinks and asks questions as they read. Boomers will identify with a main character of their age who can do things they might like to do. They should also appreciate many cultural references aimed at their generation.
TBM: How was the writer inside of you born?
FE: When I was in elementary school, my first cousin was in college majoring in journalism. He won some prestigious awards and I loved his writing. I wanted to emulate him. It wasn’t until I was in my late fifties that I started blogging, writing reviews, and essays when the writer within began to blossom.
TBM: What genres do you work with and why are you attracted to these forms of writing?
FE: My first two novels have been referred to by readers as political thrillers. While I no longer follow politics on a regular basis, I’ve always been attracted to the “conspiracy theory of history” as opposed to the “random acts” principle. I was in the sixth grade when Kennedy was assassinated and a long time favorite, inspiring novel has been Captains and the Kings by Taylor Caldwell.
After a hiatus of almost forty years, I’ve recently written a short story. It is science fiction. My publisher is excited about it and it may be the start of another avenue for me.
TBM: As a reader, what elements of a story do you love, or do you hate?
FE: Characters with depth who have something to say keep me reading. Engaging dialog is important to me. Several of my favorite novels are filled with characters with whom I enjoy spending time. Because of my friendship with them, I read those books again and again.
Authors who use the same formula with every book lose my interest and they need strong characters to keep me reading.
TBM: A. What inspired you to write The Tourist Killer and, B. What do you hope your readers will remember from this book?
FE: A. Once I decided to write a book I began to work backwards. Female baby boomers top the chart for e-book sales (at least they did when I began TTK) so I decided my main character should be one of them. Choosing an uncommon career that would benefit from some of my own experiences made it easy for me to identify and get into the role. My wife provided valuable insight to keeping Claudia feminine and someone to whom readers could relate.
B. My desire is that readers of all demographics would be inspired to excel at their chosen profession and dare to make unusual choices.
TBM: How long did it take you to write this book and what did you do the day that you finished it?
FE: A little over a year of my spare time was invested in writing The Tourist Killer. (The practice of pharmacy pays the bills.) During the several months it took to complete editing and re-writes, I began work on my second book, The Presidents Club. The day The Tourist Killer went live on Amazon, I took my wife out to dinner at our favorite restaurant.
TBM: What would you like to say to your readers?
FE: I hope my book helps you to escape and find it easy to become involved in a life that for some would be fantasy.
TBM: How did you come up with John Hixon, Claudia’s lover?
FE: John Hixon is an amalgam of several real life characters -- three former co-workers, all of whom I admire for their unique skills and knowledge. There’s also a bit of myself in Hixon, too.
TBM: Why they should read The Tourist Killer.
FE: There is more of real life in The Tourist Killer than many might expect from a novel. Readers will get acquainted with this book’s variety of interesting and eclectic characters. One of my goals was to offer the reader a good look at the other side of several lives and challenge them to compare what they find in these pages with their own.