In some fashion or another, I've always been writing. When I was fourteen, I won a national creative writing competition. I don't think that counts for much seventeen years later, but I've always loved to write.
I began writing my first novel November 2016. My wife was gone to a music festival in Orlando for the weekend, and I kept myself occupied by doing something I'd thought about doing for years—writing my first novel!
What's the story behind your latest book?
I was always a big fan of Dexter—the books not so much, but certainly the television show. (All but the eighth season)
I was listening to the soundtrack one night—a tune called "Astor's Birthday Party"—and I got to daydreaming. Not so much about a psychopathic killer like Dexter, but a young professional who has just as much difficulty interacting with other human beings as he does.
This young professional was perched on a window sill in a rundown apartment, basking in the pale glow of moonlight, articulating his jumbled thoughts in a diary—no, not a diary, but a video diary—trying to make sense of where his life went wrong.
And if you read my first novel, you've figured out by now that young professional is Drew Thomson.
The basis for the story started with imagery as simple as that. Then I got to work by asking myself, "What made Drew that way? And more importantly, what would it take for him to change?"
What is your writing process?
I think I'm still figuring that out.
For my first novel, I wrote detailed bios for each main character and carefully plotted out each chapter. I would write a chapter, revise it relentlessly, then move on to the next.
When I was finished the draft of my entire manuscript, I read it over once and made some significant changes. I then printed two hard copies—one for myself and one for my wife. We both went over it one more time, then I sent it off to an editor. With any luck, it will be published and available for purchase before March 2017.
For subsequent novels, I think I might allow the first draft to come a little more naturally—less plotting.
What are you working on next?
My first novel is going through the editorial process. I hope to self-publish three fictional titles in 2017, and I'm currently working on the second.
What do you read for pleasure?
I'm a fan of crime, suspense, and mystery stories—they're generally quick and easy reads. Some authors that come to mind include Jennifer Hillier, Rachel Abbott, Don Easton, and LJ Sellers.
I will read just about anything that falls into the category of adult contemporary fiction—excluding science fiction, romance, and fantasy—but I have a bit of a soft spot for "man versus self" stories.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I decided to live 2017 with intention. That's my keyword for the year, and a big part of why I left behind my freelance career to dive headfirst into writing fiction full-time.
I start each of my days with exercise. That means going to the gym throughout winter, and going for a bike ride when the warmer weather comes. I'm excited to write, but I'm also passionate about reading, playing the guitar, and boxing, all of which I do several times each week.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle Paperwhite.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I guess we're going to find out, aren't we?
Prior to starting my own freelance social media management business, I spent the better part of ten years in sales and business development. I think marketing is my strong suit, and I'm certainly not afraid to pick up the phone. I can be relentless—sales is a numbers game, after all—and I don't fear rejection.
I'll be developing a detailed marketing plan over the next several weeks while my first novel is in the editorial process.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Oshawa, Ontario, which is a bit like a miniature Detroit in the sense that the automotive sector is—or at least used to be—the biggest source of employment. I come from a working class family, and my early years were largely spent among blue collar types.
I can't say for certain that this influences my writing any, although I tend to have an easier time relating to working class people. Perhaps that comes across in my writing.
Describe your desk
My house has a sort of sun room that faces the road—windows surrounding its perimeter—and I've turned that area into an office. There's a bookcase, a whiteboard and cork board, several storage boxes filled with what I assume are important documents... and my desk.
Nothing fancy about it. I do my writing from a desktop computer. I have a laptop, but I prefer a structured area for working.
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