It's the Raistlin origin story. If you are a fan of Dragonlance, this is where the story begins. Raistlin's journey is unparallelled in the high fantasy genre. If you dont know who he is, I recommend you pick up Soulforge right away. Dragonlance is a must-read for any true fantasy fan. It's now a classic.
2. Black Sun Rising - CS Friedman
There is no greater anti-hero than Gerald Tarrant, except for Raistlin Majere in the Dragonlance series. CS Friedman's epic Colfire Trilogy is one of the greatest series I have ever read.
3. Dune - Frank Herbert
The only sci-fi book I ever truly fell in love with. Watching Paul Atreides go from son of displaced royalty to messiah of the universe was an enlightening experience on a daring scale. it's one thing to be the messiah of a world, it's quite another to be the chosen one of the universe.
4. Pet Sematary - Stephen King
The only book to make me put a nightlight in the bathroom and make me terrified of my younger brother. (He was 3 when I read it)
5. The Screwtape Letters - CS Lewis
You almost cant call The Screwtape Letters a book. It's not in chronological order, and the story isnt totally cohesive. Nor does it follow any formula for a novel. It's a series of letters from a greater demon to his apprentice. Brilliant. It feels like a look behind the curtain of death and faith and how the devil pushes us toward hell.
What do you read for pleasure?
It almost feels like I cant read for just pure pleasure anymore. Im always studying the author and the story looking for ways to improve my own writing. But when I do manage to disconnect myself from my own work long enough, it's almost always an epic fantasy of some sort. The last book to force me out of writer-mode was Song of Ice and Fire. Typical, I know, but RR Martin is a genius.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Im old. lol I love books that I can smell the binding glue and fresh ink. Nothing quite like the new book smell. But if I read on a device, it will probably be my laptop. :)
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Great question. Im still learning the marketing end of things. So far, the only success story Ive had with marketing is BookDaily.com. I used them when my book was free on Amazon and hit the top 10 in 4 categories. It was a great feeling, but fleeting...
Describe your desk
It's an old-school wooden desk stuck in a corner of my living room filled with things I will never use, and a stack of child drawings from my 5 year old daughter that I cant and wouldnt ever throw away. It's usually a mess.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in NY. With so many cultures and ethnicities surrounding me, it taught me to be open minded and look at things from other people's perspectives. I never thought about it, but it was that influence that made me turn the typical Hero's Journey on its head with Dark Communion.
When did you first start writing?
I had to take a writing test in fifth grade. It was supposed to be a few pages of notebook paper. Most kids were done within a couple of hours. By the end of the school day, I was on page fifteen and nowhere near done. I received a perfect score, even though Id barely gotten to the rising action of the story. I should have realized then that I wanted to grow up to be a writer, but I didnt. It took me till my 30s to figure out what my dream was. Wish I had realized it sooner....
What's the story behind your latest book?
Im working on Book 2 of the Godswar Chronicles, Rise of The Shadowalker. It picks up eighteen years after Dark Communion ends and starts the Godswar. Cant tell you much more than that without spoiling book one - you'll have to wait until May for more. ;)
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The process of finding an agent and publisher is long, tedious, and outdated - not to mention dangerous. I remember when Margaret Weis had her series taken from her by her publishing company. Dragons of the Hourglass Mage was almost published by another author. If you know anything about the Dragonlance series, from the very beginning, that was Weis and Hickman's baby. I think I would have a melt down if someone took my characters/story away from me, or if someone else owned the rights to them. I poured my heart and soul into these characters. The rights to them will stay with me.
What do your fans mean to you?
Why else write a book but for others to read? I only have a few right now, but their enthusiasm is the bit extra I need when I dont feel like it's possible to become a successful author. Their love of Ayla, Deetra, Alex and the rest of the characters is something that binds us together like family. I hope I can keep the same level of interaction and personal relationships as the number of fans grows.
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