My desk has two computer monitors on it, a keyboard, tablet, mouse, and speakers. It's usually a little messy, since I have all the art and writing tools I'll need for the day spread out where I can see them all. Otherwise, I can never find anything, especially if everything is always put away.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
When I was little, my family traveled all over the United States. Later though, we settled in California, in the central desert mountains. My goal is to save up enough money to be able to leave and see something besides the desert. I suppose my writing and art (both my preferences as well as my own style) are influenced by my desire to travel and see the world a bit.
When did you first start writing?
I've always been writing for as long as I can remember. I taught myself how to read at age four, so I've had a lot of inspiration since then to draw from. I remember visiting my grandparents those early Christmases and hiding under my covers after bedtime with a flashlight in one hand and a pen in the other, pouring over a well loved notebook. I was always writing stories about fantasy and dragons and shapeshifters, wishing I could climb from my bed into those worlds myself. So instead I put myself into the characters I created.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is actually a series, DA Shadow Phantom. It's about a boy with a major identity crisis. That's not unusual for teens, but this teen has what he perceives as a curse. Whenever he gets upset or overwhelmed, especially at school, he starts growing blue fur, fangs, and claws. He must figure out how to control this power before it controls him.
My inspiration was, in many ways, my own identity crisis. I've always been an oddball and have never had many friends. But I love reading, writing, and my art. Sometimes my talents seem like a curse, until I can share them with others. Then, everything seems worth while.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
This site gives me the chance to post my work and show it off on my terms, as well as selling it. It is nice having that freedom and this service combined.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy has to be letting my imagination free, as well as expressing myself and my feelings, dreams, fears, and desires through fictional characters. That is why my favorite genre is fantasy, as anything can be possible. I can create an entire world as I please.
What do your fans mean to you?
I love hearing feedback from other people. It is one thing to write and reread your own stories. It is quite another to hear how others interacted with these same stories. Every reader brings a unique viewpoint to the stories. Thus, getting feedback is a whole new adventure for me!
What are you working on next?
I will continue to post the upcoming volumes of DA Shadow Phantom. There is also a series that is Sequel to that. In the future, I will continue on with further North Country books as well.
Who are your favorite authors?
Ever since I was a child in elementary school, I have loved the Redwall books by Brian Jacques. I loved the animals brought to life in a very human like world, having their own adventures. I also love the Dragonriders of Pern books by Anne McCaffrey, the Wheel of Time books by Robert Jordan, the Alanna and Protector of the Small series by Tamora Pierce, and the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. The list goes on and on.
When I was a kid, I enjoyed my first chapter books when I was 7: The Babysitters Club and The Babysitter's Little Sister series by Anne M. Martin. I also very much enjoyed much of the Boxcar Children series by Gertrude C. Warner. As a tutor who has worked with students from first grade to college, I have also enjoyed sharing books by Bill Wallace with them.
I am also very much influenced by Greek, Norse, and Asian mythology, as well as various action and fantasy Japanese mangas and animes, a few of my favorites being Fullmetal Alchemist, Code Geass, Bleach, DnAngel, Rurouni Kenshin, Ouran High School Host Club, and Mobile Suit Gundam Seed.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
What inspires me to get out of bed is being able to do something that gets my brain motivated, that gets me excited. This includes doing physical labor that will help someone else, knowing I'll be able to write and create art for an exciting new or ongoing story, as well as spending time with my family. Of course, my day always starts with me getting into the Bible, the greatest inspirational and storytelling book of all time.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Besides writing, I enjoy drawing, painting, sculpting--any of the fine arts. I also do graphic design, character design, and a bit of animating here and there, though I am a freelancer. I also love taking walks outdoors, especially in the rain, listening to Celtic music, biking, gardening to some extent, and really anything to do with my hands. I tutor students from first grade to college in English and writing and reading from time to time. I have even done some house sitting gigs, taking care of people's yards and animals during their prolonged leaves.
I also enjoy playing video games. Two of my favorites are Tales of Symphonia and Legend of Zelda for the Wii. I also like watching Japanese animes. I have a few of them in my own collection. These have influenced my current art style some.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.