My e-reading choice is mostly my phone, which is currently a Droid Turbo. I am able to read all sorts of writing on it. From actual books to online works that others have posted to get out their ideas.
Describe your desk
My desk is always covered in notebooks or sticky notes. I scribble down any ideas that come to me so that I can use them later on. My desk is also covered in sketch books and notes for the comic book I am currently working on.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the Midwest. Not a lot of things happen there, but it has been quite interesting in my opinion. Growing up my mother introduced my younger siblings and I into horror movies, detective shows, action and suspense movies rather early on. This caused all of us to really 'think outside the box' when it comes to anything creative, some more than others. As kids my younger sister and I had a pack of friends for a couple of years, before we had to move, and we had this club house. I remember how amazing it used to look, large, bright, and colourful. In my mind, everyone had their own little room and section of the club home. In reality, it was just some large willow tree that we used to climb and hang out under. I have always had an over active imagination growing up. Instances in my life as a child is far more extreme than they really were. This has caused me to think a little more wild when it comes to working up ideas. If there's no extreme feelings or atmosphere around the writing or art, what's the point?
When did you first start writing?
The first thing I ever remember writing is a goofy little story from second grade. It was about a dust bunny that had gotten out of my house when I was in the middle of cleaning. It was so odd and just hilarious that I thought dust bunnies were dangerous. This little dust bunny got out and crashed cars and set a dumpster on fire. I suppose it was my own way of convincing myself that dust bunnies were the reason I had to clean.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The story behind the book I'm currently working on is that all the old fairy tales that we all have grown up hearing are actually real but are kept away from us. The characters from the books and stories are kept in a different world known as "The Library". The Library is a world where all the story book characters live. They have made their own lives, but some still try to get out of the world, irritated that they've been reduced to nothing but make believe for children. Aesop, Brothers Grimm, Carlo Collodi, and other authors of these fairy tales, are all part of a secret group of people known as The Book Keepers. They were in charge of making sure that no 'story book' characters escape into our world. Well, when these Keepers pass away, their children, nieces, or nephews pick up the family business and take their place. Edmund Grimm is the nephew to Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, one of the best junior Keepers there is. The story begins with Edmund chasing down, none other than, the Big Bad Wolf and runs head first into am eighteen year old boy, named Miguel, walking home from last classes. This causes Edmund to fire off the device that makes him able to travel between our world and The Library, taking The Big Bad Wolf and Miguel with him. This opens up so many things to Miguel and Edmund decides that maybe it wouldn't be so bad teaching someone else about The Library, thinking it would gain more people to the Book Keepers' small member numbers. Miguel is shown into a world of pure fantasy and he can't help but want to learn more and understand how things work. Of course the Keepers and Miguel are unaware of a darker power growing under their noses, in hopes of breaking The Library and allowing the more 'villains' of the story books to run our world and take over.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing to me is a way for me to put out all ideas, stories, and characters I have made up in my own mind, and sharing them with like minded people who will enjoy and adore them as much I do. Sharing adventures, love, and wonder with others out there that just enjoy a good book like I do.
What do your fans mean to you?
To me, fans are a group of people that share the same love and thoughts as I do. A fan base to me is a family. It brings people together and is unbelievably strong. Fans are so creative and curious about any thing and everything that has to deal with what they are interested in. They take these characters, these stories, and make music, art. It's amazing to me what these people can do when they get inspired by words on a page or when they fall in love with a character. They take characters from a book and they can make a whole other plethora of ideas for them. Fans make blogs, fanart, and side stories for these characters and it has always amazed me that they can string things together like that.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I can remember having a huge impact on me is R.L. Stine's How I Got My Shrunken Head. I reread the book so many times growing up and I just fell in love with how he wrote this particular story. It had been set in a jungle and he described the hot and sticky feeling of being stuck in a rain forest. I still remember him describing a cold can on soda and I couldn't help but actually go and fetch one myself because he had made it sound so good at that moment. The boy in the story ended up getting stuck in quicksand and I too felt as if I were stuck with him. Since that book, I have always wanted to work on trying to get my writing to the point of letting my readers, my supporters, the chance to feel as if they are also in the book as well.
How do you approach cover design?
Cover design for me is something that only gives you a glimpse of what exactly is going on in the story. I sketch out all my characters before deciding who I want and who I don't want on the cover. I incorporate elements into the cover that I feel as if the readers would know to pay attention as the story unfolds, peaking their interest and wonder on what exactly these elements will do to the characters later on as the story unfolds. Approching it is getting into the mind of the reader and thinking about what would grab their attention, thinking about what kind of thing would look interesting enough to make them stop and go 'wow, this looks like it would be interesting to experience.'
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I am not writing I'm either working on my comic books or sketching. I do travel around and it's really helped me get a fantastic view of the country so far. I love spending time outside when the weather is cool and watching the sun rise as well. When I'm not doing any of those, I tend to spend a lot of time with my family. They are huge supporters for any projects I work on.
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