From all the
books you have written, do you have a favorite?
I think that my first book, SPECIAL
CIRCUMSTANCES, will always be my sentimental favorite. I had
the idea for the story ten years before I actually started to write
it and it will always be very special to me. I think every
author has a special affection for his or her first
point in time did you decide that writing was the "thing for
I knew I wanted to
be a writer when I was in high school. I can't explain it, but
it is something that is "hot-wired" in to my psyche. I didn't
really do anything about it until I was in my thirties. I
studied accounting in college and went to law school. I've
been a corporate and
securities lawyer in private practice since
1983, but I knew all along that I would try to write a book
advice would you give to someone interested in becoming a
Read a lot and
write a lot. Study the genre that you'd like to write.
Try to make the time to write a little bit every day. It's
very difficult to keep your story flowing if you don't do some
writing every day.
What is the name of your favorite mystery
In the modern era,
my favorites are L.A. Confidential and The Usual Suspects. Of
the classics, I liked Anatomy of a Murder, The Maltese Falcon and
the Hitchcock movies.
What other authors do you enjoy
lawyer-writers, I like Scott Turow, Steve Martini, Lisa Scottoline,
John Lescroart, Richard North Patterson and Michael Nava. Of
other mystery writers, I like Robert Crais, Michael Connelly and
Martin Cruz Smith.
What other types of jobs have you had?
I've been a corporate and securities lawyer in
private practice since 1983. I work for the San Francisco
office of a large law firm called Sheppard, Mullin, Richter &
there anyone, in particular, who influenced you?
My favorite writers when I was growing up were
J.D. Salinger, Kurt Vonnegut and J.R.R. Tolkien. Of the
lawyer/writers, my favorites are Scott Turow and Steve
led you to write mysteries?
I've always enjoyed the genre. I became interested in
writing courtroom drama after I read Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent
you read reviews of your books?
Yes. Thankfully, the majority of reviews have been
very positive. It isn't fun to get negative reviews, but you
learn to deal with it.
How would you like to be remembered?
As a good husband and a good father. As
for my books, it's very rewarding to know that I've been able to
entertain a lot of people and I hope that they've learned a little
along the way. I would like to be remembered as a writer who
respected his readers' intelligence.
What do you believe is the highlight of your
career so far?
written three books that have been critically and commercially
Do you write on a fixed schedule?
Yes. When I'm writing a first draft of a new
book, I take time off from my lawyer job and I stay home and write
from nine in the morning until about three in the afternoon. This
coincides with my kids' school schedule. I work late at night
from time to time, but I try to avoid it.
How did you get started in
wanted to do it. I wrote my first book on a laptop computer
while I was commmuting to work on the ferry from my home in Marin
County to downtown San Francisco. It took me three years to
finish my first book.
How do you come up with plots?
I come up with ideas from things I read in the
papers or see on the news. My colleagues at work often provide
good plot ideas.
How do you spend your free time?
I coach little league and spend as much time
as I can with my wife and our twin sons, who turned 11 this
year. Between writing, lawyering and family,
I keep pretty
have a message you would like to give to all your readers out
Thanks for reading
my stories and for supporting my work. I really appreciate
it. And thanks to everybody who has taken the time to
write. Lawyers don't get much fan mail and I'm very