Do you remember the first story you ever wrote and what inspired you to write it?
As a young boy my hero, Captain James T Kirk unabashedly went ‘where angels fear to tread.’ I wanted to go along, but my mother said I was too young to travel the universe until I learned to ride a bike, so I decided to write about the stars instead. My first novel (in theory only) was finely crafted of pages torn from a stack of paper grocery bags, contained at least 100 sentences, was hand written and later used to start a fire. It was simply about a boy and his dog that floated into space and found cookies - come a long way since then.
How do you approach cover design?
The images need to 'feel' honest in relation to the story world. The spacecraft looks like the one in the story, the planets and piece of the universe the characters inhabit must be reflected and represented on the cover. I want my readers to feel an honest connection between the cover and the story. I write for them and they expect and deserve to get what they pay for. The cover is the window into the story world.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Where the Wild Things Are - Simply beautiful on all levels - Freedom from parents, dancing around fires and being crowned King of the wild things. What else is there in life?
Darwin's the Origin of Species - Simple chain of events that takes a species in a certain direction. Creatures, civilizations on far off planets need a story and how they became what/who they are. Darwin had a great roadmap.
Heinlein's Starship Trooper - Combat in space never felt so real, but then again I have never been in combat. Gritty fun to the writing and story building.
Dr. Seuss's Oh the Places You'll Go - Take almost any Seuss book and you realize that bending and breaking the 'rules' of writing is fun. Gave me the confidence to write with my own style without always looking over my shoulder. Thank you Doc!
David Weber's Honor Harrington Series - Just great space opera with fantastically rich characters.
Describe your desk
Sits in front of a huge chalkboard, antique globe of the earth sits on one side, iMac in the center and 'Monster Blocks' stand in strange arrangements in odd places. Somewhat organized piles are pushed to the side, each representing a current project. I designed and built the desk of salvaged cedar from an old barn.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Salt Lake City, Utah. Grew up in an incredibly diverse (yes, even in Utah they do exist) urban neighborhood called Glendale. Our street alone had immigrants from a dozen countries with a broad spectrum of languages from Tongan to Mandarin. It was a fascinating place to live and learn. Surrounding Salt Lake City was the polar opposite Mormon communities that added a whole other 'take' on the universe.
My stories reflect the experiences and people of my childhood. Tibetan engineers, Yemeni Commanders and everything in between are all based on neighbors and friends.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When someone asked what I did and I was brave enough to say, "I'm a writer," without a pause or explanation.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Title: the DARKNESS - book 1 in the Jack Falco series
Year 2025, humanity finds peace after decades of war and begins to explore their solar system only to find that an ancient civilization surrounded by a vast cloaking system called "The DARKNESS" has existed just beyond Pluto for billions of years. What begins as a 'First Contact" quickly escalates into a full-blown battle with deadly consequences for earth.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Had a voice that I needed to share and story worlds that needed to be created without being "poked, prodded & packaged" into a traditional publishing box. My fans are diehards that push me to be a better writer and I love them for it. The 'Indie Format' is as authentic and honest as writing can get and the relationship between fans and authors is genuine as nothing stands between them.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Realistic, tough and gritty with strong characters and vast story worlds. I want my readers to feel the iron torn from damaged cruisers, smell the smoke of battle, laugh and cry with the plight of the characters.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans our why I write. They push me to do better and they let me know when my work is great and when it sucks. Perfect working relationship as I always know where I stand and what I can do better. I love them all and have saved every email with every reply.
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