Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
Writing for me started out of necessity. I was past of a helicopter rescue unit in the USAF and after a rescue we would have to file a report. I found myself very detailed and actually enjoyed the process. I first attempted a fiction book while stationed in Iraq for a year. There I took a Disney TV show I enjoyed as a child Gummi Bears and whole a novel about their origins. It was fun and I still have the draft.
What makes writing your passion?
I never was much of a reader growing up. Much like most boys I was outside playing all the time and didn't have the patience to read. I found most books didn't hold my attention, so as I retired from my military career I wanted to write a non-fiction book about my career. After finishing that I jumped into fiction. I had a story burning in my mind and wanted to get it down on paper. Most of my motivation was to write a story that appealed to me, or my younger self...well actually both. I wanted something people and kids would enjoy reading that would hold their attention and not disappoint.
How long have you been writing?
I would say I fist took up writing in 2010 while in Iraq. Before that it was just reports and paperwork for the Air Force. Since I have ramped up my efforts and am really enjoying it.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Nervous. It's something I never dreamed I would do, and putting something out there that people could love or hate. Growing up I have dealt with both, people who liked me and those who for some reason or another didn't. You can't please everyone but I was hoping to find a few who loved it.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
There is no denying with my first novel Flat Earth, James the main character has plenty of my traits yet is still his own character. Ariel on the other hand is a very strong female character who I wrote partially on my wife. Other characters have traits of people I have known in my life. I wanted to create realistic characters people could understand and bring them into the story. Art imitates life.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
I would say the marketing. It's not something I have much experience with and like most writers I would rather be writing that trying to figure out the next location to post a discounted book. There are so many options out there and ways to go it can be overwhelming.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I just sit back and think about my character, the situation and what happens in real life. Maybe there's a phone call, or a visitor appears. From there I just go and see where the story takes me.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
I have a multitude of stories and not enough time. I have two series in mind and I want to push through the current one to get to the next. My favorite story is the next one. My advice would be to quote a few famous people and one slogan. "Keep moving forward" Walt Disney. "A good plan violently executed today is better than the perfect plan executed next week" George S Patton. and finally Nike "Just do it" It will never be perfect, you will have roadblocks but getting started is the hard part.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Enjoy every second of life, it goes by too fast. There were plenty of things I didn't appreciate that I wish I could go back and do over.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
Yes, of course. It's fun to read the good ones knowing people are enjoying your writing. The bad ones I laugh at, everyone has their tastes and their opinions. There are things I just can't handle but others love, but I'm not going to tear that person or thing down for my preferences. Most bad reviews I believe come from the reader expecting something different than what they signed up for. I had one review where I sat back and thought to myself did they even read my book or every tenth page. The details where in there just not completely blatant.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Cloud nine. It's fun, motivational, makes me want to write more and get more words on the screen to finish another story. I enjoy seeing people happy. There is to much evil and bad in the world to not enjoy a story. I like to make them escapes from reality and am very excited when someone enjoys the journey.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Nothing directly correlating my my life, but small tidbits here and there. Most are small interactions, but I have a series I'm going to be working on soon which will draw a lot on my life story but with some twists.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
James as I have said is loosely based on my but some of his motivation and thoughts are different than me. Stay tunes and there will be one in the future very much like myself.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Book covers are the first draw. I love a good book cover. With my art background I appreciate a good solid well designed cover, it tells a part of the story. So many covers these days as simple thrown on top and have nothing to do with the story, it's sad.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I occasionally do. I love hearing their thoughts, and interact whenever I can. I have yet to find an outgoing reader who wants to interact a bunch but I'm still new to the writing biz so I'm hoping I'll find a few along the way.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
I love it when people bring up mu work. It still feels weird but I enjoy it. I can't say I'm ever recognized in public I'm not that big of an author but it would be quite the experience that I'm sure of.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
J.R.R. Tolkien. For the obvious reasons, he created such an amazing worlds and has created a entire genre. But a very close second would go to Terry Brooks. His book Magic kingdom for sale is one of my favorites. It's an escape from reality, leaving this world for a fantastical magical kingdom. Who wouldn't want to take that journey.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
Boy, that's a loaded question. I think simply staying out of site and writing fun stories and being able to see my visions turned into movies, or a Netflix series would be fantastic. With that said Ernest Cline comes to mind. Imagine Steven Spielberg taking one of my stories to the big screen would be the ultimate dream.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
I think as I grow as a writer and get better at the craft i think all of them would be fun to go back and tweak. As I've said before getting something down is the hard part, finessing it and massaging it to make it perfect would be great to do someday.