We hear that all the time. Since I was abducted by aliens, I wrote the Area 51 series to describe the mothership and what they were like and it did rather well.

Or write what you want to know? The bottom line is write.

For my fifth book, Cut Out, the idea was a combination of things. One was an article I read that said an international treaty forbids militarizing Antarctica. Given my natural sunny and optimistic nature I immediately thought: Okay, how did we violate this treaty? We put something down there, nuclear weapons, and lost track of them. I’ve worked for the government. It can happen.

My wife also worked for the government at the National Records Center in St. Louis. And thus was born our heroine in this story who finds some old photos and wonders what they’re of.

The story, of course, leads to Antarctica with my hero, Dave Riley, who is now a civilian working as a contractor, providing security.

Interestingly, I’ve just realized that Dave Riley can make an appearance in New York Minute, my next thriller. It’s set in New York City in 1977 during that long hot summer. Riley is 17, and that’s the year he entered the Army.

Speaking about “write what you know” New York Minute is a classic example of that. I grew up in NYC. I remember that summer. Son of Sam shot a girl I’d gone to elementary school with. One of my uncles worked for the Fire Department on 138th St. in the Bronx and that was the year of the infamous “the Bronx is burning” and the Blackout. New York Minute is a book close to my heart.

Write whatever you want. But just write!