My greatest joy is discovering the unexpected things my characters do. I'll think I have a plan and suddenly a character does something else. I was literally shouting, "What are you doing?" at my computer while working on Hidden Ability when a couple characters took off in a new direction and hijacked the story.
What do your fans mean to you?
It is impossible to overstate how amazing it is that someone takes the time to read what I write. I put a major amount of work into writing and I do enjoy the final result. But, it is knowing that I can put a book out in front of the world and there are people out there that will enjoy it too that makes the effort meaningful. The fans mean everything. What you, reading this right now, think is very important to me. What you like in a story matters. Your enjoyment of my writing matters.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on the second book in the Crown Saga. Hidden Ability is written primarily from Jalan's point of view and highlights his experiences. But he is not the only character with a great story to tell. We get to see the world from the point of view of another talented individual in book two. Don't worry. Jalan's not gone. He's still a very important part of the story.
Who are your favorite authors?
There are so many great authors out there. One of my favorites is Jim Butcher. Harry Dresden is a heck of a character and he lives in a complex and interesting world. I went to one of JIm's public appearances and got a book signed by him. How could I not like the guy after that?
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I learned a secret about inspiration. You don't need it just to start doing something. Inspiration often comes after you start a task. If you muscle through that initial resistance, you can find that the thing you were not inspired to do becomes inspirational.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Someone once said that a writer is either writing or thinking about writing. Whoever said that didn't have kids. I've often claimed that I can always think of something else I should be doing. But, the ultimate best thing I can think of is getting to spend an evening out with my wife. The kids are great, but I saw her first and I still want her all to myself sometimes.
How do you approach cover design?
Being self-published I wanted to limit my expenses. I spent time reading online articles that reviewed existing book covers. I read advice on what makes a good cover. I looked at various designers' websites and I looked at a lot of covers of books for sale. If I could have found a premade cover that seemed to fit my story, I would have gladly paid for it and used it. I could not afford to pay someone talented enough to create a custom cover. Another author, Pete Carter, was amazingly helpful and shared one of his own cover designs with me. It showed me all the layers and images that went into building his cover and gave me a much better understanding of how I could try to create one of my own. Pete was even nice enough to try working on a cover for me. In the end I went with one of my own creation. I do think I'll have a professional cover done at some point in the future, but I like the one I created for Hidden Ability.
What do you read for pleasure?
The last book I read was Inferno by Dan Brown. I'm reading The Day Uncle Jimmy Learned to Fly by Pete Carter right now.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I often read on my Android phone or a Kindle HD. I also read on my PC. I'm actually fine with any of those. I'd probably be equally fine with any modern reader. It's the book I'm picky about.
Describe your desk
What isn't covered by computer equipment is covered by books and papers with just enough open space for the mice (electronic pointing devices not squeaky rodents) and my coffee cup.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
What motivated me to become an indie author? The fact that I could do it. When I discovered that the only thing stopping me was writing the book, there was suddenly nothing stopping me. It is not easy to write a book and self publish it. But, it was guaranteed that if I wrote the book, the book would be published. That is the wonderful thing about being an indie author. Nobody but you can stop you.
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