Questions and answers …

For nearly half of my 36-year career at The Tennessean and Gannett, I was paid to ask people questions. That’s what sports writers do.

With access to athletes that the public rarely gets, we ask coaches and athletes the probing questions we think Joe Fan wants answered after the game.

Why did you drop the ball? How do you feel about your chances of making the playoffs? Will that injury keep you sidelined long? Would you run the same play if you had it to do all over again?

I still ask those types of questions as a free-lance reporter for several news outlets, but now I am seeing the flip side.

As a newly published author, I am getting requests to speak on panels, do interviews or hold book signings and talk abut my debut novel, Vendetta Stone.

I had some initial reservations about the spotlight being turned on me instead of shining it on the subjects of my interviews.

Turns out, it’s not bad.

I did my first panel discussion at Killer Nashville last month, serving on a “crime beat” session with several former and current journalists, including panel leader Steven Womack, Gwen Florio, Lyndee Walker and Eugenie D. West. Steve moderated and asked questions, then a crowd of about 30 fellow writers got their turn. It was a lot of fun.

I just conducted my first full-fledged interview with fellow author Michal J. Tucker (full disclosure: we are in the same critique group in Franklin, Tenn.). Here is the link to his review of Vendetta Stone and our interview.

If you have a favorite bookstore you would like me to visit (and get books into) or are part of an organization you would like me to visit, feel free to contact me.





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