Recently, I was asked a series of questions about my debut novel, Kash and Kars. I have compiled the questions and responses below, which I thought I would share with you.
Q. When did you first start writing stories?
It really started in Grade 4. I use to write short stories and entertain the class with them. My teacher, Mr. Allison, presented me with a Hardy Boys novel as a parting gift at the end of the school year, and inside the cover he wrote, “To the greatest story writer I know.” That was really inspiring for me.
Q. What gave you the idea to write Kash and Kars?
It came to me almost 20 years ago when I was hired to write catalog copy for a classic car auction company. But, all I had was this idea about the excitement and big money that these collector car auctions typically garner. Over several years later, that became only a scene or two in a story surrounded by these larger-than-life characters I created.
Q. What makes Kash and Kars so unique?
I think it tells a story reminiscent of those classic car movies like The Italian Job, or Smokey and the Bandit. All of those 60s, 70s and 80s movies had a profound impact on my childhood because of the memorable characters and a great storyline. I wanted to mirror that style in this novel.
Q. How would you describe the writing style in Kash and Kars?
Some might find it reads like a screenplay as the dialog is fast-paced, and the descriptions are written to a specific point that doesn’t create unnecessary filler—stuff that distracts or slows down the read.
Q. What can you tell us about the main character, Thomas Kash?
Kash is really a persevering guy—someone that came from very humble beginnings, fell in love with cars, and later had some great successes as a professional driver. But life deals him a losing hand mid way through his career, and year’s later he’s still struggling to get back on top, but in a different kind of way.
Q. And what about his sidekick business partner, Donnie Kars? How is he different than Kash?
Donnie is a real wheeler-dealer whose actions personify the plaid suit-wearing, used-car salesman. He’s all about the money and keeping the business financially afloat, and does so in many unethical ways that it will make you laugh.
Q. Can you describe the antagonist in Kash and Kars?
There’s really two characters that fit into that category. Dugan, who stems from Kash’s childhood. He’s a loan shark that finances Kash’s business, and he has been hiding a long-time secret. Second, is a character named Chevelle, who at first appears like an unruly client, but he’s much more than what Kash could have ever imagined.
Q. Who’s your audience with Kash and Kars?
It’s geared to people of all ages, but it may be more appealing to adult males, although women are buying the book which I am thrilled about. I also kept the language playful—sort of PG-13—to try and engage the younger generation. This reminds me of one of my favorite writers, Nicholas Sparks, who says his books go to church. I think my books are intended to go to church, but only make it to the parking lot.
Q. What do you believe readers will find most charming about Kash and Kars?
I believe the flawed characters are truly inspiring, and I feel readers will bond with them almost instantly. The story is also a roller coaster ride that will have you cheering in one chapter, and sobbing in the next.
Q. How much of the story is about classic cars?
The cars are really just the top layer to a much deeper underlying story. For example, in one scene, Kash drives his beloved Corvette—a family heirloom—to auction without telling his daughter, because of financial difficulties. So it’s certainly more to do with one man’s struggle, and his unwavering quest to keep his company and crew hanging on. It’s also a story about believing in yourself, fighting the good fight, regardless of your age, or if the odds are stacked against you.
Q. What might people take-away from reading Kash and Kars?
Life is not measured by how many times you fall down. It has everything to do with getting back up, and trying again until you succeed.
Q. Is there anyone that you would give credit for inspiring you to write Kash and Kars?
Without a doubt, Dr. Wayne Dyer. He always said that each of us has a purpose, but forewarned us not to die with the music still in us. I really have to give him credit for that. I even wrote some dialog in the book that has elements of Wayne’s wisdom.
Q. Lastly, any advice for new writers that are trying to make their own start?
Start anywhere you can. As a young, starving artist, I approached a variety of businesses that I thought might be in need of a freelance writer. I ended up with a number of low paying assignments, including writing business cards, pamphlets, newsletters, press releases, catalog copy, and short stories. But, it was a foot in the door. If there is something that you are particularly interested in, such as writing novels or screenplays, always hang onto that and immerse yourself in it whenever you’re not doing the other job that happens to be paying the bills at the moment.