My first favorite book is World War Z, by Max Brooks. I love it because of the brutally honest portrayal of the human condition. My second favorite book is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by You Know Who... It was the first book I voluntarily read after high school, and it showed me that books can be awesome. My third favorite book is The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend, by David Gemmell. I love the absolute undying loyalty and fortitude of Druss's character. My fourth favorite book is Mariel of Redwall, by Brian Jacques. I have many fond memories of my mother reading the Redwall series to me as a child, and this book started it all. My fifth favorite book is Dracula, by Bram Stoker. It is unique that all the information of the book is portrayed through letters to/from the characters. I love the atmosphere and story Stoker created. It is a masterpiece.
Describe your desk
My desk is actually a 3x3 folding card table. I have my laptop bag, various writing technique books, a Japanese to English dictionary, lamp, game controller, D&D and MTG stuff all crammed on top of it. I also have a chair! For sitting!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Windham, NH. I spent as much time as I could in the woods, playing, imagining, escaping. The forests of New England are both serenely inviting and dangerously mysterious. They taught me that something can be both wonderful and terrible. My imagination gave birth to all sorts of creatures, which crawled their way into my stories. I love those woods.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote snippets of this and that growing up, but lacked the discipline and skill to really pursue anything. I had dozens of story parts darting around inside my skull. I truly first started putting them to paper when I started college at Full Sail University.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I decided to become an indie author because I had to for a school assignment. In one of my classes, my instructor required us to pick a story and publish it on Smashwords. I am very glad I did. It's been a great experience.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing for me is being able to create worlds and creatures and characters to populate them. I love world building and developing back-stories. I also enjoy presenting different points of view for readers to consider.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on publishing a children's picture book, which is my own unique version of Little Red Riding Hood.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The need to pay bills.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I wrote (and illustrated) my first story in first grade. Robin Hood set out to fight a dragon. But when he got to the dragon's cave it ate him.
What is your writing process?
I usually think about a story idea or concept for weeks, months even, before writing it down. Then, I'll jot down a spiderweb of notes about everything I've thought of for the characters, plot, history, back-story, and ending. Then I'll write a first draft (resisting the urge to edit as I go). I'll leave it alone for a day or two, and then write a second draft, heavily editing, adding, and axing big chunks of the story. I always show my work to my wife to get her valuable feedback. I continue with this process for four or five drafts. Then, I tuck it away for a while and become good and unfamiliar with it. I'll then read it again--no editing--to see if it's still everything I think it should be. I'll probably edit one more time and call it good.
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