Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Ohio. The town was Eastlake, a quiet suburb about 30 miles east of Cleveland. I read A LOT during my childhood at the cusp of the 70's science fiction movement. I read anything I could get my paws on. I also was influenced by the Hammer Studio movies of the late 60's early 70's and any and all science fiction movies, as bad as they were back then. I read quite a bit of Bradbury, Dick, Nelson, Heinlein, and many others. Most of these great authors are now a part of the Trinity Series and I pay homage to them in my novels. I was encouraged to read all I could when I was younger and it really developed my affinity to science fiction and my love of John Carpenter style sci-fi/horror.
When did you first start writing?
I started to write when I was young but I never pushed it much until college. Creative Writing classes were my favorite although I was a robot junkie by this time. I learned every aspect of robotics and programming while I continued to jot down ideas for stories in journals. I thought one day I might have to opportunity to actually write something I had never read. Tragic as it may seem, my opportunity to write began when I lost the use of my lower lumbar when I left the Navy and had to have ten surgeries and three fusions to fix it. Since these surgeries I have not been able to stand erect. So, I needed to do something positive with my life, fuse a tragedy into an opportunity, and I began writing everyday. That was five years ago and I have not stopped writing since my first surgery. I have twenty-eight book ideas ready, willing, and waiting to be written. Cobalt was conceived coming to me as a dream one night lying in bed. The entire Trinity Series flashed before my eyes and I immediately began writing notes in a journal. Always keep a journal with you wherever you go. Always.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have one answer for you: Independence! You have the independence to write the way you want to, what you want to, and have my beautiful covers designed by one of the top graphic artists in the world, Katerina Ventova.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Emerald is a fusion of Cobalt, the first book, and Crimson, the second book. I decided to meld two of my favorite subjects, the 'infamous' Corona UFO crash and genetic engineering in Emerald. This book is very 'Heinleinesque' in its approach to the whole 'Rabbit Hole' concept and time displacement. There is a rabbit hole inside of a rabbit hole inside of another rabbit hole which was a blast to write. I love the concept of reading a four-hour novel and only three-minutes has actually gone by in real time. I try to screw with your head quite a bit in this one. Some of the information might take a while to process and I love that about a book that makes you think long after you have put it down.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
They have actually made the entire process of uploading, formatting, and distribution very easy and smooth. It does not get much easier than right here. Smashwords is very flexible when it comes to every aspect of the publication process. You can set your own prices, or no price, or "reader sets the price", which is very convenient for us authors and readers. No other site allows you to do this. I love the links to the paperback editions, the links to social media, and this current interview. Another giant in the publishing industry does not come close to Smashwords flexibility. If you work hard on a book for years or months should you not be rewarded for your days of toiling over a keyboard? Smashwords does this in so many ways.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It is definitely hearing from readers who have loved this series. They tell me that some of them were not science fiction fans before they read Cobalt. Now I cannot write fast enough! It is so much of a pleasure to have someone read what was in my head and get a smile, a chuckle, or a "whoa I was not expecting that!", out of it. All of the "ah-ha" moments and the twists and turns in these novels are my gift to all of you. The more you write the better you get, and the more creativity comes out of your grey-mass. Like I mentioned earlier there are twenty-eight more books coming your way.
What do your fans mean to you?
Without any of you I would not continue to write. If my first book Cobalt would not have been such a big success I do not think I would have continued this series. I would have started on something different. I would not have given up writing but I would have changed the narrative. Hearing from these fans and people who have read this series is my greatest pleasure. It is the reason we write. Without you I am nothing.
What are you working on next?
Heliotrope. This is the Tetra Addendum to the Trinity Series and wraps up how all of "it" got started before Cobalt. This will be the last book in this series. Indigo is next and it is a standalone book in the Pseudosilicon Universe. Indigo is actually a spinoff of Emerald. Onyx is coming after Indigo.
Who are your favorite authors?
Without a doubt, Philip K. Dick and Ray Nelson. They were such HUGE influences on my younger years and every story has stuck with me. I conversed with Ray Nelson before I started Cobalt and asked him if I could write Cobalt as a tribute to him and his friend Phil Dick. He loved the idea. I also asked him if he would mind if I could use him as a character throughout this series. He obliged me and he told me he loved the idea of being a 'bad guy' if that was possible. Cobalt was born and Ray Nelson became the ever evolving antagonist in this series. I owe all of the early pulp writers a huge debt of gratitude for where we are today with the science fiction genre. It was agony to have to pump out a million words a year to put food on the table back then. The greatest pulp writer of all time, L. Ron Hubbard, is also a part of the Trinity Series homage in many ways.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My beautiful wife Jackie, caffeine, and writing. I need the first two before I can get to the writing. Having so many back surgeries makes it hard to sit up and write. So, we have to be ingenuous about where and when I write. I normally write between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. I draw my inspiration from all of my journals and ideas come easy to me when I am NOT writing. The creative part comes after I am done writing for the day. That is when the juices flow and I get out the journal.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Visiting doctors, doctors appointments, and getting back injections. Another surgery may be possibly coming up in November 16, number eleven. When I am not at the doctor, giving him another Porsche, I love old science fiction and horror movies. I am a junkie when it comes to the genre.
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