1) What was your inspiration for your story in Hell’s Kitties?
The story is an extension of the Raising Hell universe. Since my wife Carol and I rescue cats for Austin Siamese Rescue http://www.austinsiameserescue.org it wasn't a far leap to the idea of riffing on Lucifer making a punishment from a cat rescue.
The Raising Hell universe was inspired by working with several organizations whose mission statements were dedicated to empowering their clientele, but whose management structures undermined the autonomy and self-identity of the employees (and, to some extent subverted their mission statement as well). I had the misfortune to work directly with the CEOs, and my supervisors contributed to the vision of hell as well.
I remember having to leave my office for a meeting and receiving an email that I must have lied about the meeting because my supervisor saw my car parked on the street and it was pointed in the opposite direction of the way it should have been parked it I were really going to that meeting. She wrote me up in an official report for lying to a supervisor. (In reality I had simply parked in the only opening on the other side of the street.) The reprimand remained on my record until I left.
This became my vision of hell, a regular job, minutiae wearing you down forever with Lucifer as a petty minded bureaucrat.
2) What project(s) are you currently working on?
I'm doing a screenwriting workshop with Aaron Sorkin, a class at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and preparing the adult version of my novel Seeing Jesus, which I'll release in 2017.
3) What is the scariest or funniest thing that has ever happened to you?
I was watching the Republican primaries thinking how funny they were that people were letting Trump upstage the serious candidates, even though none of them seemed especially strong. The debates got funnier and funnier with the three stooges Trump, Cruz and Rubio trading blows like the slapstick serials and suddenly only Trump was left. That was pretty scary.
4) What does the near future hold?
I've been housebound with severe osteoarthritis and compressed lower spine for years. But I'm having a second knee replacement before Christmas and treatment for my lower spine. I'm already walking farther than I've been able to walk since 2009, so increased mobility is in my future. I hope to do some appearances for my books.
5) Why did you become a writer?
I've always been a writer. I started writing in junior high school(which doesn't exist any more)—really bad novels, comics and TV scripts and slowly improved.