How long have you been writing?
I began with a column in The Paris News back in August, 1988. My first submission came as a result of a bet with a coworker. During a particularly boring meeting, she bet me that she could write a column during the next hour, and get it published within the month. I took her up on it, ignored the meeting’s speaker and wrote a column which I submitted to Mike Condiff at The Paris News. He accepted it the next day and it was published a week later. I still write for that paper and thank them every day for getting me started.
How many columns have you written for newspapers?
If my math is right, to date I’ve written nearly 1,200 newspaper columns.
How many columns and articles have been published in magazines?
My best estimate is somewhere in the neighborhood of 300.
Where can I find your other published works?
As I mentioned above, you can find columns and articles online in The Paris News, Texas Fish and Game Magazine, Vintage Trucks Magazine, Country World Newspaper, Saltwater Texas, The Rockport Pilot. Google Reavis Wortham and there are dozens of links to magazine and newspaper articles.
Can I purchase any of them?
You can purchase the publications as they come out. At this writing, I don’t have a central bank of columns or articles for purchase. Urge your newspaper to pick it up and you’ll have it in your hands each week.
Is there any truth to your humor columns?
Yes, they all start with a grain of truth, and then I go where the story takes me.
Do you read a lot?
Only to excess. I average at least one to two books a week.
Who are your favorite authors?
That depends. I credit Robert Ruark, Fred Gipson and William C. Anderson for launching my writing career. I’ve read every book they’ve published, including articles and biographies about them. Sadly, they’re all gone now.
As for mysteries, Robert B. Parker and Donald Westlake are my favorite traditional mystery writers. They’ve passed also.
Today I read everything by C.J. Box, Bill Bryson, Lee Child, Tim Dorsey, Douglas Jones, Tom Lowe, Larry McMurtry, David Morrell, Ben Rehder, James Rollins, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Randy Wayne White, only to name a very few.
Is The Rock Hole a true story?
You’ll have to define true. It is very loosely based on my grandfather who was a Lamar County constable as I was growing up. The characters are fictional as is the incident itself.
The area is real, isn’t it?
Very much so. The story is set in Lamar County, in North Texas. I changed the names of several locations, but the Rock Hole exists, as does Sanders Creek, Center Springs and every other physical place in the book.
Do you outline your books before writing?
No. I usually just start with an idea and watch the characters appear and mature as the manuscript progresses. I am always surprised at what happens and what the characters do.
Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes, from the time I learned to read. When I was eight years old, I remember an aunt asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said “an author.” She laughed and said she was sure it would happen. It took a few years, but I finally made it.
I have a story idea, can I send it to you?
Sorry, I can’t accept any magazine articles or story ideas due to legal considerations. Please don’t send unpublished stories, articles or manuscripts. Instead, write them, find an agent and get published yourself!