Q: When is the next Cordell Logan book due out?

A: I’ve been working on other projects lately. However, I recently had a good idea for another Logan mystery, and I am writing it now. Hoping the book will be out in 2021.

Q: Is the Ruptured Duck based on a real airplane?

A: The Duck is modeled on N3566E, an old but reliable Cessna 172 my father-in-law used to own and let me fly so long as I paid for fuel and maintenance. I put several hundred hours on that plane before acquiring the Piper Cherokee I currently fly.

Q: Where do the ideas for your books come from?

A: Honestly, I wish I knew. I can be sound asleep or taking a shower with my brain on autopilot and—boom--an idea will come to me out of seemingly nowhere. One place where ideas for books never come is when I’m flying, an activity that requires full concentration.

Q: Which do you prefer, journalism or writing fiction?

A: I’m inspired by both. Each has its challenges and rewards, and each benefits the other. Writing fiction can help teach a journalist how to tell a fact-based story more engagingly. Practicing journalism teaches the writer of fiction the value of technical veracity, accuracy and detail in prose.

Q: How do you like teaching?

A: Love it, especially when students are motivated to get better at their craft. What I don’t enjoy is editing stories in which the student makes the same mistakes over and over.

Q: What kind of stuff have you done for the CIA and DIA?

A: I could tell you, but then I’d have to, well—just kidding. Actually, much of my work for the agencies has involved helping train intelligence collectors and analysts to be better at their jobs.

Q: If you were not a writer, what would you be?

A: World War II fighter pilot would be my first choice, but I guess that’s out. Realistically speaking, there’s nothing in truth I’d rather be. Getting paid to tell stories beats working for a living any day of the week.