Describe your desk
You really don’t want me to answer that. In fact, I don’t want to answer that. I’ll tell you what is usually in front of me instead; a monitor, keyboard and mouse. A drink. Some painkillers. A twist tie I’ve converted into a single blade propeller. A pencil and some pins to hang stuff on the wall like sketches for my book covers and a list of names I like. You know. Trappings.
When did you first start writing?
I first wrote in high school during halloween for which I dressed up as a journalist. For weeks after I filled the small notepad with words, front and back of every single page. I’ve been throwing words into notebooks and screens ever since. Studying real dialogue, watching classic British drama, imitating my favorite writers and figuring out just how to state the absolute. Not as I see it; as it is.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The joy of watching a complete character in motion, surprising and second guessing you. When Aaran, Buddy or Masurani throws my best laid plans to the wind I know I’m a good place. I am a firm believer in the life of a character who may only stand for a few moments in front of your lens. Everything else is hard: Characters are awesome.
Who influence(s) your writing style?
Who do I most admire? Hastily I point to Harlan Ellison, but he’s such a crass old barnacle. He’d easily admit that and bold honesty is one of those desirable qualities I esteem. Steven King taught me to say the worst out loud, to write when I thought something was terrible. That the gruesome is not unworthy of understanding. To write with hope is to accept that evil is a force we constantly contend with. Anne McCaffery also inspired my passion for b female leads; though I am close to the matter from life experience. Roger Zelazny’s combat banter is my favorite variety, and from him came a respect for knowing your moves, even if you never had any hope of performing them.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My love for God, myself and my family, in that exact order.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I write critiques of games I wish others to play, play games with family, read and basically keep moving.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yeah, I still think it’s pretty good. I like my work more often than I regret/loathe/question it, and I know that attitude encourages me to value what I was trying to accomplish. Still working on it. Nothing in the past should be discarded; instead, understood.
What is your writing process?
I’ve heard that others draft until they’re nearly sick of it. I don’t want to be sick of my own work. I love the characters, and I believe the time spent with them should be welcoming in every sense. I ponder and plan. I research when I need to, talk to people more knowledgeable than myself and never stop learning. I trust my message, I trust my characters and what they’re saying. I don’t plan every chapter, but I know what I’m exploring.
Then I go back over what I’ve written and flesh out what I’ve missed. I recite dialogue in my head and listen for additional information. I make sure I know who’s talking. I check if my influences are skewing my narrative. I watch television that contributes to what I’m projecting. Then I reread again. Then I write some more. Ad nauseam. It’s amazing I ever complete anything.
How do you approach cover design?
Usually some research, a few sketches and my favorite vector program: Inkscape. I’ve been at this long enough I know what I’m after.
What are you working on next?
Bold Curves is “live” on Wattpad for readers, Every One Wish in deep dish mode. I’m looking at the possibility of serializing the Every One Series due to the pacing of each story. Could work. One step at a time.
Interview originally published at Smashwords.