My desk is a mess, but somehow I know where everything is. I only lose things when I clean! Right now there's a random stack of about 30 pages, scattered things from my Christmas stocking (yes, I still get those), several books (the nearest being Shaara "The Killer Angels), my TV, Xbox360 (semi-retired gamer), and on the right are my paints, painting knives, and a nearly empty water bottle.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing in 4th grade. Computers were fairly new in schools back then, we don't have much beyond DOS. My teacher thought that computers and typing would become very popular, so every day after school I stayed after, a book on baseball pitchers open before me, and I'd type for an hour. I fell in love with the process of typing, and using words to create stories.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I don't like all the bad influences out there for kids (I won't name names). There's simply so much smut, and kids being raised to believe that they have to act like these faux-role models. I also hate the glorification of teenage pregnancies - Teen Mom, and so on. So I wanted to write a 'clean' novel, with a good protagonist, and a pure theme, about having a healthy relationship not based simply on meaningless sex.
What are you working on next?
I am doing the first edit of a novel I finished in December 2013, and then I'm going to do a final edit of an action/adventure book and hopefully publish it the summer of 2014.
Who are your favorite authors?
I actually don't read much fiction; I love to read history. But my favorite author is Clive Cussler. In high school I was very enamored with his novels. Aside from that, I like Tolstoy, Steinbeck, Buck, and Poe.
What is your writing process?
Usually it begins with a character, the protagonist, or the basic idea of the story. I map out the basic plot of the story, usually very vague. I come up with a few characters who will be central in the story. Sometimes I do a full chapter-by-chapter outline, especially for plot-driven books, but for character-driven books I just have the basic plot idea and the hero, and I write whatever I think happens next. When I write, I usually envision myself sitting in the movie theater watching the film-version of my book, and I write down what I see happening in the movie. After the rough draft is written, I print the book out and edit it with a red pen.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first book I read from front-to-back was Clive Cussler "Atlantis Found". I'd just returned from a trip to Eastern Washington, and the cover looked like Grand Coulee Dam to me, so I picked it up. I really liked the book, and read every Cussler book over the next year. This was in 9th grade, my freshman year in high school. I'd never read a full book before that - I'd always just made up stories when giving book reviews before that time.
Are your characters based on real people?
Someone once told me to never let anyone know a character is based on them, so I will just say, "Yes." Sometimes it is just borrowing their name, sometimes their personality. But most of the characters are actually in some shape or form manifestations of myself - a way I view myself, something I struggle with, someone I wish I was more like, et cetera.
Are you right or left-handed?
I'm a lefty! Lefties shall rule the world, and I will be their King.
Do you listen to anything while you write?
Usually I have a movie or music playing, typically something I've seen or heard a million times. If its somewhat new to me, I tend to want to pay more attention to it, which has a distracting influence. I like having something playing that I can kind of tune out; if I just had nothing playing whatsoever, I'd feel too lonely and start thinking aliens are out to get me.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.