MB: I knew from a very early age that I wanted to be a writer, I just didn't know exactly what kind until I was in seventh grade. That year a friend's mom, a librarian, who knew I wanted to be a writer introduced me to Ernie Pyle's "Here is Your War," a collection of some of his World War II columns. In one of them he wrote this sentence: "It was a perfect night for romance or for death." That was, to me, an absolutely perfect sentence that summed up, in a very few words, just what Pyle was seeing and feeling on a night aboard ship on the Mediterranean under a full moon during a time of war. I decided then and there that I wanted to be a journalist and that I would one day write a sentence just that perfect. I never did, of course, but it was a lot of fun trying. Later, about midway through my career as a reporter, I started thinking seriously about writing fiction since I had notebooks full of ideas for stories and characters based upon the notes I'd taken during interviews and while covering news events. By the time I retired I was determined to write as many of those stories as I possibly could.
MB: I currently have five books on Kindle, four of which are mysteries: "Corpus Delectable," "Jacks or Better" - which I co-wrote with my friend Marisa Porto, "Murder in the Rainy Season" and "The Session.") In addition, I have written a Steampunk adventure entitled "The Ashtabula Irregulars: Opening Gambit" that is also available on Kindle.
BBB: Do you ever get writer's block?
MB: I don't get writer's block. I think that's because I spent almost 50 years as a journalist where I had to produce as many as four or five stories a day regardless of whether or not I felt inspired. Runners often say that if they don't get in a few miles every day they feel bad and I'm the same way when it comes to writing. Any day that I don't write is a bad day, plain and simple.
MB: I am currently putting the finishing touches on another mystery, which is set in Fort Lauderdale in the early 1980s when cocaine was so prevalent that people left little bags of it as a tip for waitresses. It's called "Blood Debt." I am also doing the final edit on an historical novel entitled "The Third Servant," which is based upon the parable in Matthew. In that parable Matthew tells us that the third servant, who did not enrich his master, was thrown into the night but we're never told what happens to him. Starting with that, I made the servant a 16-year-old boy and sent him on a 20-year adventure throughout the ancient world including India and Rome. I am also working on a collection of short stories that are loosely based on incidents I witnessed while roaming about the world as a reporter. Finally, for the moment, I've just started working on a mystery about a female private detective in Buffalo who lost part of her leg in Afghanistan. She's been hired to track down a first-edition copy of "Bleak House" that had been inscribed by Charles Dickens. The client is a single mom struggling to make ends meet and since the book could be worth millions finding it would make life a lot easier for her and her daughter. The problem: It has disappeared from a safety deposit box. My heroine is smart, funny and, after spending years as an MP in combat zones, she's really pretty fearless and very, very good at her job.
BBB: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
MB: That was the primary reason for publishing electronically rather than going through the years-long process of convincing agents to represent me, publishers to publish my books and then seeing them finally emerge in print. To check out my books, visit https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/books.