I have been a storyteller as long as I can remember, but it is only now that I recall at age eight I knew I wanted to be a writer, but the culture I grew up did not believe writing could be a real job. Thankfully, the limiting ingrained belief has been ousted and replaced with the freedom to be the writer I was born to be.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Grew up in southern Ontario in Canada six miles from the St. Clair River dividing Canada and the United States among farmers' fields, factories, American boating tourists, Catholicism, a Native American reserve, and on the Underground Railway Trail. As part of an "invisible minority," my life reflects the complications, seriousness, and tragedies of being different from the majority and/or the preferred dominant group. As a result, my experiences and subsequent research resulted in my developing a concept to transform respect from a value to a principle in order for all people, not some people, to be valued ... respected. Just completed my book, Broken Compass and recently recorded my first podcast for my social business venture, Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
No. A lot of my childhood memories were and still are blocked because of the traumas I experienced because of my personality type and subsequent experiences that crippled my potential development until I finally recognized and worked to overcome the limiting, debilitating mindset and effects.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Second to my deep inherent drive to help people, writing is my other deep inherent drive in my life.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I recall writing was an essay for a junior high English class. Unsurprisingly, the story was about horses, not just because I like horses and riding, but because of what they did and still do represent to me: power, beauty, grace, freedom, and vulnerability. My ebook, Dark Horses, uses horses as a metaphor to share a story of abandonment and the struggle to choose life or death.
What is your writing process?
Depends on what I'm writing. Non-fiction is driven by the message I want to convey so it is structured. For nonfiction, observation, research, news, and beliefs fuel a message's direction, sometimes initiated with longhand writing or a visual layout, but more often now I head directly to my personal computer for the ease of writing and editing. Fiction to-date has been more of an outpouring as it was with both my short story Dark Horses and my Little Jack children's series.
What are you working on next?
Just completed, Broken Compass, my story as one of the "invisible minority" that inspired the creation of the social business venture, Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle. Recently recorded my podcast and am preparing for more. Also revamping a business plan and working on securing financial support in order to recruit the team to help me roll out the various books, products, and services "To transform respect from a discretionary value to a global principle ... because everyone matters."
What's the story behind your latest book?
"Broken Compass" presented a unique, difficult challenge to write because I knew my experience needed to be shared to help other "invisible minority" people and those who are supposed to raise and care for them, plus deal with them as adults, yet respectfully, I did not want to tell other people's stories, nor lay blame or point fingers when what is most needed is awareness and change in order to not harm first and try to fix later, which is seldom successful as statistics prove.
Have you won any awards?
Yes though only a few because I have not entered many contests. Early writing resulted in an Honorable Mention, Literature, adjudicated by a university English professor for an early short story and a few contests for poetry, though it is only now I acknowledge myself as a serious writer and therefore continuously work to enrich my skills.
Describe your desk
What do you read for pleasure?
Now spending so much time on writing and building a social business venture, I read a lot of writing, business, and personal development books, including the Bible. For relaxation and for future reference as a writer and director, I enjoy watching movies and series.
Who are your favorite authors?
Harper Lee, Alice Miller, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Shakespeare, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Anthony Robbins, John C. Maxwell and all the contributors to the Bible come to mind right now.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Helping others, time with loved ones, creating, personal and professional development, plus getting outdoors to walk, hike, cycle, horseback ride, motorcycle, swim, surf, stand-up paddle board, and yoga ... which I have either done, do, or look forward to doing.
What do your fans mean to you?
I write to help people ... to encourage, to inspire, and hopefully, when appropriate, to entertain.
Do you create the artwork for your book covers or do you hire someone else?
As a professional visual artist, designer, and merchandiser I enjoy working on the visual parts of a book, mostly the book covers at this time, though I do expect to contract an illustrator.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The wonder of life.
How do you approach cover design?
With an open mind supported by design, communications, and visual art studies.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I am revisiting book marketing techniques.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The diversity of my writing, plus the choice to retain control and rights, especially of the family of "Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle" books, products, and services that will financially support the social business venture of the same name and the future foundation.
Why have you chosen to self-publish your books as ebooks?
To reach more readers.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords provides a wealth of knowledge, assistance, and opportunity.
What is "Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle"?
A for-profit social business venture designed to transform respect from a discretionary value to a global principle ... because everyone matters.
A for-profit for self-sustainability.
A for-profit to retain all intellectual capital.
A for-profit, currently a sole proprietorship, that will become a limited partnership in order to retain focus on goal first, profit second.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.