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Saturday, May 4, 2013

PROFILE: Bestselling author Stuart Woods

by Cyrus Webb

in the almost 10 years since I have been professionally interviewing individuals there are moments when I have those "pinch me" times. Talking with bestselling author Stuart Woods has always been one of them.

I first interviewed him almost 6 years ago now, and I will never forget the first time I wrote him and how quickly he responded to the request. 

He is not just one of my favorite authors to read, he creates some of the most memorable characters and storylines as well. Through the Stone Barrington series we have seen the best and worst of mankind on display, but the writing is always superb.

This year Stuart is celebrating the release of two books Collateral Damage and Unintended Consequences, and both will have you racing through the pages to see where he will take us next.

In this conversation we run down his career and what he has to say to his fans. 

Mr. Woods, thank you once again for your time. Looking back over your career one of the questions that immediately comes to mind is about your relationship with words. Have you always found it easy to tell a story?
It was harder in the beginning. Experience builds confidence, and confidence is a wonderful thing.

How much do you rely on your feelings about a certain situation or occurrence in the news dictate the story you tell us in your novels? 
I have to construct the feelings to fit the scene.

Your career has spanned many years and has been filled with critical acclaim. Does it ever surprise you that you evolve such a eager anticipation for each new release? 
All the time, but I like it.

The way people read has changed a great deal over the years. What are your feelings about how the general attitude of books seems to have shifted over the years? 
It's my experience that there are more readers and more books than ever. I get a lot of mail from people who tell me they never enjoyed reading until trying one of my books, and now they read all the time. That's very satisfying.

And the electronic age? In talking to librarians in our state, the consensus of visitors are coming to use the internet and not checking out as many books as they would have been 8 or even 10 years ago. In your opinion is that just a sign of the times? 
I honestly don't know what that is. My guess is that those people wouldn't be coming at all, if there weren't an internet.

Tying in your books, there always seems to be a sense of morality, no matter what side of the law the characters find themselves on. Do you think this shows it's true that "There is some good in everyone" and are we being too pessimistic about the fate of our youth? 
Yes. Normally, you need morality to separate the good from the evil, although I once wrote a book, L.A. Times, in which I set out to make not one of the characters a decent human being (it was set in Hollywood), and people still rooted for the protagonist. 

From visiting your site, I know that you get quite a few requests for advice from aspiring authors. Who was inspirational to you in your literary endeavors? 
All the writers I read, particularly Mark Twain.

Some of the authors we have talked to, Mr. Woods, tell us that in the beginning it was surreal to go into a store and see their name on books or posters with their face plastered in stores or in magazines. Has there been such a moment for you when it really hit home the magnitude you have made on the literary community? 
It happened so gradually that I got used to it over the years. It's not like I was all over the bookstores right away.

Without giving away the plot to our readers, are you able to tell us about your upcoming release? 
It brings together most of my continuing characters, including Teddy Fay, in one book.

Thank you again for your time. Anything you want to say to your fans that might be reading this interview?
I thank them for reading my books and making my career possible.

You can stay current with all things Stuart Woods at www.stuartwoods.com

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