Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up less than a mile from a beautiful white sand beach. When I was six my aunt and I walked to the beach every day before sunset. We'd play in the sand, walk on the islands and collect sea shells.
Much of the writing I do today is from the emotional perspective of that six-year old on the beach watching the setting sun and listening to the waves as his imagination runs wild.
When did you first start writing?
The force of family will power got me writing. At dinner one evening I told a joke I'd made up on the spot, which somehow caused my wife and son to end up rolling on the floor laughing. Encouraged, I fabricated an entire story on the spot and the giggles continued. They family kept urging me to write that story. Eventually I did.
That's how I got started a few years ago.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The Case of the Plucked Chicken is an imaginative chicken book about courage. This story will have you examine the many roles chicken plays in our lives. In the end, you'll realize that life is full of all kinds of chicken. Sometimes you can be the chicken or you can defeat the chicken. In all cases the chicken never wins, metaphorically speaking.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The first agent rejection struck me like lightning. I'd spent two weekends researching the agent and crafting a query. I released the query Sunday. The rejection came the next day. Not only was there no feedback, I realized I could never get those weekends back and I vowed dedicate little time to the querying process.
An author's target audience are readers. With the proliferation of the electronic marketplace, a polished story has an outlet. After the rejection I marched forward thinking to myself "the audience comes first". Its just that simple.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Mark Coker is a visionary helping readers and content providers connect. In that way Smashwords is a revolutionary platform. In many ways the position I find myself today is due to the force behind Mark Coker's vision.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on another magical story which may be my favorite yet. Its about five children enjoying the most fantastic learning experiences of all time and are having so much fun doing it, they almost forget about home.
They don't even know they're in school.
Who are your favorite authors?
James Michener can wrap knowledge inside a compelling story like no other. Stephen King crafts some of the most inventive stories of all time.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
My first was a high school writing assignment that I had to read out loud and I took it very seriously. I don't remember exactly what I wrote, but it must have been hilarious, because my classmates were laughing so loud I couldn't finish.
The assignment was to write an ending to Mark Twain's Celebrated Jumping Frog of Caleveras County.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
James Michener's, Hawaii Stephen King's The Gunslinger series Ender's Game Piers Anthony, But What of Earth Ken Follet, Pillars of the Earth
What is your writing process?
I'll usually write, re-write and refine a story three times before I feel the story's magic. Once I know this, I start at the beginning and make sure the magic flows freely through the story.
What do you read for pleasure?
Science Fiction has a special place for me. I also like character driven stories with intrigue.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.