For me, becoming an indie author developed as the result of several things; The process of approaching agencies and publisher with queries was an arduous task that revealed little reward if any--a bit like playing the lottery, you hope for the big one but you only ever win a buck. Right? LOL... Then there's my flare for being in control, my desire for independence and then my craving for seeing the results of my work. The combination of those three things make the Indie route the best choice for me at this time. Because I can at least control my publishing direction to a degree, I'm free to make choices about that direction and its subject matter, and of course getting to see the results of my work is very satisfying. A good example is this last year, I wrote four books and I'll be releasing them all before year end... So its very satisfying...
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Well, I've discovered many great joys over the years but i have to say that it's the notion that what I'm writing will affect someone else's life in a productive way... and what I mean on a deeper level is this... I might be writing a passage or a scene in a story and its humming along really well and then all of the sudden there's that moment when things come full circle in the scene and a special feeling emerges in you, that says... WOW... that is going to touch the reader's life.... that to me is the greatest joy... So, its basically a feeling of touching the reader's life in some special way... even if that only happens to be a moment of joy and clarity in a fiction story... it's still a quality that touched that person's life and made them feel good or brought them joy and or fulfillment.
What are you working on next?
My next project is going to be the 5th book in my brand new science fiction adventure series; FLIGHT KNIGHTS. If you keep an eye on my website; www.flightknights.com and/or connect with me on twitter @Flightknights, I will soon be announcing the release...so lots of fun coming. After that may come a standalone Middle Grade dystopian novel i'm currently outlining.
Who are your favorite authors?
Oh WOW.... the much dreaded question... Gosh.. well it's such a challenge to articulate because I've never been dedicated to just one genre and I've read so much variety but here it goes; Mitch Albom, Michael Crichton, R.L. Stine, Stephen King, Lee Childs, John Steinbeck, J.R.R. Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, John Flanagan, Susan Collins, Harper Lee, and J.D. Salinger... Those are all the ones that come to mind at the moment.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Well, I'm a workaholic, so when I'm not writing or thinking about writing, I'm helping other people with their own lives. And when I'm not doing that... I can spend hours turning pages in a Great book, or I might pop in a DVD to relax for a while. I really enjoy music... most days I have something playing in the background; John Mellencamp, Diane Krall, Lionel Richie, Hall & Oats, Ray Charles or anything from the 80's. But most of all spending time with my family and doing things we want to do for fun is the best way I spend my non-writing time.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes! A Winter Wonderland. It was my freshman year of high school I had just transferred to a new school and had previously been in a Creative Writing Class in my old school. And when I arrived at my new school the writing class was only offered to juniors and seniors but they let me keep it. So, I was the first Freshman in that class and for my first assignment I wrote A Winter Wonderland. I don't know why I chose to write that... other than to say I was into the outdoors at that age... I had been a cub scout as a kid and then a webelo scout and then I was in the boy scouts by the time I was a freshman in high school so everything I did pretty much revolved around the outdoors.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Yes... This might sound shocking or not...LOL... but as a boy I didn't have a strong relationship with books. And I moved a lot while growing up... 18 times to be exact... reading wasn't really high on my to do list, if at all. But that changed in eighth grade. We had an organization that came to our school and set up a book fair--displaying hundreds of books. And every kid was allowed to pick one book out for FREE. I remembered my English teacher walking us down to the display and telling us to take our time. At first I was bored with it. It felt like a waste of time, until I saw how into it some of the other kids were becoming. So, I became a little more involved and I eventually found a book by Harry Mazer entitled; SNOW BOUND - A story of raw survival. And of course like i mentioned earlier scouting and outdoors was my thing so I knew this was the book for me. Plus it was really thin... LOL... I remember that. Anyway, I read that book cover to cover in a few days time and what an amazing feeling that was. It was honestly the first full book I had ever read in my entire life. And ironically, the book, as the subtitle indicates, was about survival, which for me had been a life long issue in my family life at home (i.e. moving 18 times if you can imagine). So, even though Tony Larporte, the protagonist of that novel, was 15... i really felt like I could identify with his feeling neglected and pushed around in his life. It was a story that left me feeling appreciation for what i had in my life at that time. Interestingly, I should also admit.. i never forgot the title of that book and I actually just purchased a copy of it this year and re-read it now 34 years later... And nothing's changed in Tony or in how it left me feeling.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
My five favorite books are: 1. Snow Bound - A story of raw survival, by Harry Mazer - because it was the first full book I ever read in my life.
2. The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls - because I laughed through the entire read. I could identify with everything she lived through.
3. The Catcher In The Rye, by J.D. Salinger - because it was a ground breaking read for me--just so out there in rebellious language and character thoughts and behavior.
4. The Old Man And The Sea, by Earnest Hemingway - because to me this book was about defeat and triumph through perseverance, and those qualities in the story spoke to me.
5. And I'm not really sure i have a solid 5th favorite. Now we're getting into a wide variety that ranges from children's authors like Gary Paulsen, Kate Dicamillo and R.L. Stine to Adult Authors like George R.R. Martin and Stephen King.
But the first four are my absolute favorites.
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