Eight Questions is an occasional series of interviews that I’m including on the site. Being a naturally gifted (read: lazy) interviewer, I will be using the same eight questions in every interview.
This time, the questions are being answered by author D.P. Lyle, who – as well as producing his own award winning mystery novels and non-fiction – juggles careers as an MD and as a story consultant, having worked with many novelists and the writers of some TV shows you might have heard of such as Law & Order, CSI: Miami, House, Diagnosis Murder, and Monk. His blog on forensics for writers should be in every author’s internet favourites or rss feed.
1 – What did you do before you did this and what do you miss about it?
What I did before writing was practiced cardiology but I still do. So I don’t miss it, since I still do it.
What could make me quit practice after 40 years? Obamacare. More and more bureaucratic BS has stuck its nose between the patient and the doctor, interfering with proper decision making and preventing good healthcare. Began with HMOs (stands for Health Maintenance Organization – its purpose is to maintain the health of the organization and has nothing to do with patient care) and will end with Obamacare – which also actively interferes with the delivery of healthcare. The good news? Obamacare will die because it was ill-conceived and not sustainable. So who knows what the future will hold.
2 – How many projects are you working on at the moment and what can you tell us about them?
I’m working on several things right now. One is a book in my Samantha Cody series and two others or standalones. In addition I’m working on putting together CraftFest for next year’s ThrillerFest. Also, Jan Burke and I have started a new radio project which we call Crime and Science Radio. It airs every other Saturday morning on Suspense Radio. Visit my website and there are direct links to both future and archived shows.
3 – If you had to quit either reading or writing which would you pick?
Neither, as they are both necessary. At least for me. I enjoy reading and I enjoy writing and I don’t think you can write without reading a great deal. That’s how you learn.
4 – If you could magic another hour into the day, where would you put it and what would you use it for?
The old time problem. I have a hate – hate relationship with sleep anyway. Always have. My mom says that even as a kid I would fight going to sleep. I find it a colossal waste of time. Fortunately I only need five or six hours a day, but that’s every day, and it adds up. Wasted, wasted, wasted time.
5 – What is your pet hate in writing / language?
I’m not sure I have a pet hate but there are things that I find annoying. If someone doesn’t do their research and makes glaring errors then that can pull me right out of the story. For the most part I’m fairly lenient about this because the purpose of a novel or a movie is to entertain and at the entertainment value is sufficient then a few errors can be overlooked. But glaring departures from logic are irritating.
6 – Are there any genres that you love to read but which you never write?
I used to read a lot of science fiction but really never had a great desire to write it. I don’t read it so much anymore sticking mostly to mysteries and thrillers, which are the genres that I do write in. I like to read the occasional literary novel but probably will never tackle by genre.
7 – Do you have any writing rituals, habits or idiosyncrasies that you can share?
I don’t have a set schedule for writing or a set number of words to get done each day or any other rituals. I write when I feel like writing and I don’t when I don’t. Fortunately, I often feel like writing so I managed to get a good deal done.
8 – What are you selling and where can I buy it?
I have 13 books in print, both fiction and nonfiction. Visit my website and you’ll see a list of all the books that are available and how they can be purchased. Also check out Crime and Science Radio. It’s a fun show.