Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
I started writing when I was 13. I had always been a huge reader, and I had recently gotten into Stephen King. I read his novella 'The Body' (aka STAND BY ME) and was enthralled by it. I finally tried my hand at a short story in a similar vein; it wasn't very good but the experience was enough to make me want to write again, and get better.
What makes writing your passion?
I love the creation aspect. Making characters and worlds, and putting in ideas and seeing how they play out, and really just getting to be a storyteller is why I do it.
How long have you been writing?
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
I don't know if there's anything like it. You have this idea in your head, and your develop it and think it out, and you write it down. But having a physical copy of it in your hand... I can't describe what's that like
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
For SILENT PANTHEON, I was trying to explore my love of mythology in a modern context. My criteria was to have a small cast, from very different regions of the world, but also ones that could feel very human at the same time. I settled on Nordic, Greek, and Egyptian very quickly, and then added Hindu and Navajo myths so that I could touch on five unique views. I also made sure they were gods that could be humanized and could actually fit in the real world. Beyond that, I also choose characters that I personally liked and were familiar with,because I felt I could explore their characters without too much research.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
The difficulty of getting your work out there. I've worked with publishers that were a total bust before, and even with a good one, it's hard to really do all that marketing yourself.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I tend to do outlines that leave room to play around in. So even if I get writer's block, I usually have another, better realized scene I can work and then come to the 'problem scene' refreshed.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
I keep going because I love doing it. I think new authors should also do that, but I would also tell them to be careful, set realistic goals to start with, and above all, keep writing and polishing. You will probably suck at first, but you will get better.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I do. With bad reviews, I try to be objective. Often times, a negative review may contain something that an author can work on. And of course, I know I can't write a novel everyone likes, so I remember that everyone has their opinion, and they're entitled to have it.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
I did put my experiences in retail into my early books. I had characters working in a retail store, and even had some real customers and co-workers I put in.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
I try not to base any characters on myself, because I don't want to write a 'Mary Sue'. But there are elements I can relate to in my characters. For example, I relate to my character Mustapha, because he balances out compassion, with also being something of a loner.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
The phrase about judging a book cover is somewhat misleading. Certainly, a good story can exist inside a bad cover. But as a writer, I've learned that visuals are important in pushing your work. So it's not as important as a quality story, but it certainly is important.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I like getting to talk with readers. It's great feedback, and I think all writers should have a healthy relationship with their readers.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Vindicated and grateful. Nothing works in a vacuum and knowing that people appreciate your work is an amazing feeling.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
This a three-way tie between Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and Terry Pratchett. King taught me about character and visuals, Gaiman showed me dialouge and imagination, and Pratchett gave me humor and depth all at once.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
I'd really just like to be succesfull from my writing. It would be great to be as big as my heroes, but I would be happy just living comfortably from my work.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
Probably my first series, THE LIGHTRIDER JOURNALS. I"m still very proud of it, but I think I just added too many characters, and made it more ful then it needed to be.