When you wake up, I believe you make an active choice to wake up for something specific. You may not know exactly what it is, and it's often not right in front of you; despite that, you get up anyways. People push through for various reasons: for families, crushes, new job opportunities, and sometimes just to survive. The fact remains that you've chosen to survive for something, if only for yourself, and this means you still think an existence on this Earth is still worth pursuing. Having that kind of strength, no matter your size, height, gender, et cetera, takes much more than people realize. It's a strength taken for granted, and so, when I am able to willingly get up and fight through the demands of the day, that strength means something to me.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have a passion for working out--lifting, specifically. There's something about putting on some R&B or Hip Hop or just some classic Soul, enjoying your rest periods between sets, and then diving in for that next heavy lift. It's a test of your own will, and I get a hell of a rush.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. Crime and Punishment: Dostoyevsky is underrated by today's generation even though, thematically, Crime and Punishment is more relevant than ever to an American society. Dostoyevsky had a really developed and piercing understanding of the human psyche; he could really immerse a reader into the desperation felt by his characters, and the end result was a moving piece about guilt and atonement.
2. American Psycho: I've never seen the same quality of prose and comedic writing in any other novel. Bateman's is evoked very clearly in the writing.
3. Rant: Using very little exposition, Chuck Palahniuk creates a very vivid world that encourages the reader to construct it using what small details he actually gives out.
4. The Name of the Wind: Patrick Rothfuss is a good storyteller. While I might have other issues with his "trilogy," The Name of the Wind is the type of story that only existed centuries ago when most everything was orated and passed down generations.
5. The first three books of the Drizzt Do'Urden Trilogy: If only R.A. Salvatore would've just written the last of his entries in a similar fashion. Sojourn contains probably the most emotionally moving story in comparison to every other entry in the series.
What is your writing process?
During Angelos Odyssey, I wrote ten pages a day. It's a nice way to bookmark your progress, and it's something you often have to force yourself through even though you might try to convince yourself that you need a break. Dig deep, build discipline, and you'll feel great about yourself after finishing those ten pages.
What are you working on next?
I'll be writing the sequel to the first volume in my novel series. It'll probably span about 8-10 entries overall.
What do you read for pleasure?
I just finished The Gunslinger and am planning on checking out H.P. Lovecraft for the first time. I like a lot of experimental fiction as well as transgressionalist literature.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Indiana. Quite literally in the middle of nowhere. God, I'm so happy that I was stubborn to explore what was outside of my own bubble. Since the age of fourteen, I've traveled across America. I've also been to Italy. Miami, Florida was probably one of my favourite locations to visit, and the Army saw me going between Georgia, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and Louisiana.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing around... 8 or 9, I think. It all started with a horror short story called "Jack the Horrible," entailing some nondescript dude who went on a wild killing spree. Plus, I loved reading anything that would scare the shit out of me.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've never tried submitting to a publishing company. I don't judge anyone for choosing differently, but it ultimately feels like the wrong thing to do. Here's my perspective:
1. Writer submits manuscript to a publishing company. 2. Regardless of writer's time and effort, that MS sits in a slush pile for months. 3. Writer might get a rejection and also might not even receive a reply. This is already a major waste of the writer's time and talent in and of itself. They could be using this time to write, edit, and revise their next work. 4. Writer's submission is accepted, but with restraints. Writer must agree to a non-compete, sell himself and her created content to a publishing executive, and receive a shitty advance due to being "new." 5. Writer may be asked to make substantial changes to their MS to fit what's selling in the Market and not something thoroughly authentic, i.e. "You can't make this character cry," "You can't kill off this character," and so on. 6. After all this, the writer's book might get a bad cover and be poorly marketed. Following three months, if needed sales aren't met, the writer's book is pulled from all marketplaces.
Logically, it's just a bad deal due to how our contemporary society has adjusted to consumer demand. It's time to engineer a creative revolution rather than stifle the artistic process so that a company can tell your story for you.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Angelos Odyssey is a mix of several different elements:
Multiple high-stakes and increasingly aggressive fight scenes, eccentric horror, characters who essentially power up in a variety of different ways, an assassin's partial biography, a love story in which both characters empower each other, and a post apocalyptic science fiction.
All of this meshes together to form an epic that's also a reflection of what humanity is as a culture while focusing on a series of rather fascinating characters.
When I was in the Army, I kept getting plagued with pretty much the 600+ pages of content readers will see now. One night, as I was considering really putting together an outline of the entire first volume, I was told I'd be put on kitchen detail the next morning during our stay in the field. I asked if I could get out of it by doing 1000 pushups.
I did 842, and the Sergeant over me told me to stop before reassigning someone else for kitchen duty. The next morning, I started writing the outline. My entire body ached in places unimaginable, but at last I was so happy I could just write it all down and get it out of my head.
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