I'm always interested in normal people doing non-normal things--like giving in to their impulses! My latest book is about an average-Joe named Randall who does just that. He's lived his whole life not giving in to impulse, and when he finally does he finds he can learn to like it.
What are you working on next?
My next story is a high-realism sci fi about an alien father who crash lands in the woods, and must take refuge in a young loner's cabin. Both men must learn from and rely on each other in order to survive and prosper.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is very cathartic for me. I enjoy the relaxation that results when I put words on the page. It's always been my escape, and I hope it continues to be.
When did you first start writing?
I first began writing very young, at around twelve years old. My earliest experiences with writing were of fanfiction. Writing fanfiction allowed be to grow a lot as an author. Without those early steps I wouldn't be where I am today!
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are everything to me! I always want to make sure that they are getting the best experience possible out of my work. If the fans aren't happy, I'm not happy. If someone likes my work, I consider them my most trusted critic. I will listen to them.
What is your writing process?
Most of my writing process takes place in my head! I usually write about 80-90 percent of each story mentally before I even open my laptop. I spend a lot of time thinking and meditating on what I want to happen. I will 'play' the story like a movie in my head, planning each stage of the process. When I finally write, it goes very quickly! I've been known to write ~10,000 words in one day, but that happens only rarely. When a truly inspiring story hits I simply have to write it down!
How do you approach cover design?
Cover design is always a tough one for me. I want something that excites the reader into looking deeper. I prefer clean, simple covers in bright colors. They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but we all do it!
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
The most effective marketing technique I've found is to simply share my e-books with fans of my other works, most commonly my fanfiction. My writing style stays across all the genres I write for, and so people who are interested in the non-original work I write can also be interested in my original fiction.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up poor in a small town in the American Midwest. It influenced me greatly. I tend to focus on differences in fiction, and on how "normal" people react in abnormal situations. The Midwest can be very boring sometimes, and so it is exciting to get a little escapism!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I do a lot of other creative thinking! I am a graduate student currently working on my dissertation research. This takes a lot of time, and is my true full-time job. When not working on school I spend time reading and playing games with friends, in particular tabletop games and board games.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read fantasy and science fiction most often. I prefer stories where the protagonist could be someone who lives down the street from me. Completely normal in every way, but thrust into a world of high fantasy! It is always interesting to see how people interact with a world that is not their own!
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