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An interview about my writing process

This interview originally appeared in Connections e-Magazine:

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I love dogs, food, books, running, and talking to strangers from all walks of life. These things manage to weave themselves into my life’s work, whether it’s my media company, a novel, or one of my podcast interviews.

When did you start writing? Did an event or person prompt you to take that leap?

My first stab at writing was for my high school’s yearbook staff. Copywriting for terrestrial radio for nineteen years paid my bills. But I didn’t start writing novels until 2018. That’s when my kids challenged me to write one. The subject matter wasn’t their choice, though.

How / where do you find the plots you write about?

Everyday life. I love people watching and talking to people and integrating them into plots.

Mark Twain said “Write what you know.” Tell us about your writing process. Are you a plotter or a panster? Do you plot, plan, and conduct hours of research; or, do you just sit down and write whatever comes to mind based on your personal history and knowledge?

No disrespect to the legend, BUUUUUUUT…I despise that trope. How does someone who writes about aliens from Mars live the experience of someone who encounters aliens from Mars? Yes, research must be conducted. Yes, you should know what you’re talking about. But I don’t think fiction writers should hold themselves to that kind of unrealistic standard. Instead, write what you love. If you love it, you most certainly will know it.

As far as my process, I do what I can to make sure my facts and details are accurate.

And while I’m not a plotter, my newest book was written with the help of a short outline. But I allowed myself to go rogue. Doing so allowed me to write a couple of disturbing twists in the second half of the book.

Tell us your latest news.

Allow Me to Ruin Your Christmas is on-sale now. It’s a holiday mystery with a twist of dark humor set in Houston during the holiday season. Bestselling author Adam Hamdy was gracious enough to write up a blurb: “If you like your festive stories dark and twisted, Freddy Cruz has a gem for you.”

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I want readers to take away what they want to take away from it.

What books have influenced your life the most?

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein, Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins, The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo, and Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk.

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