The idea of a sequel didn't present itself until some time after Era Sinistra was published. I knew the characters and I knew I had an opening. The bad guy survived, so isn't it possible that he will re-emerge sometime in the future? Eleven years was long enough to heal some of the previous agony and to give the main characters new life and new emotions. I believed in it, but it took writing that first chapter to fully decide to pursue a sequel.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I became independent recently. My first six books were released by publishers with questionable reputations and unproven track records. After becoming acquainted with all of the distribution problems and grappling with extreme prices, I decided to sever those ties. Going independent was a far better avenue that promised improved marketing techniques in reaching new audiences.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I have always enjoyed creating memorable characters with real problems. When I get an idea, I take great joy in building the scenarios and evolving the characters--the hallmark aspects of a great story. I believe that storytelling is as much an art as a form of entertainment.
What do your fans mean to you?
You can't build a career without fans. I would like to thank everyone who reads and enjoys my book. My fans are the reason I continue to write. Without them, there would be no motive.
What are you working on next?
I have an interesting project in the works, which promises to be challenging on more than one front. I'm not extremely tech-savvy, so some research will be necessary. Completing the main character and fleshing out his traits will also be a challenge. I haven't nailed down a title yet, but I have been developing an overall theme for the book. The first lines are as chilling as anything I've written.
Who are your favorite authors?
I enjoy Tom Clancy, Jack Higgens, and Tony Hillerman to name a few. I also have a couple of James Patterson books. I'm currently enjoying Isaac Asimov's I, Robot.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
At my day job, and at home with my wife and my daughter.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I was about 13 years old. In my class, I was assigned to write a 500-word creative short story. Meeting the 500 word minimum was too easy. The completed assignment was a 1000 word mystery story called "Baseball Murders." I have never released that, but I did borrow themes and ideas from the story to incorporate into one of the short stories in my first book. I wasn't great at writing then, but I loved it.
What is your writing process?
My ideas usually come from a simple image or sequence of a dream rather than something from mundane life. When I discover all of the hidden aspects of the dream, the image, or the inspiration, I build an outline, which serves as a guide to further development. I write one chapter at a time. After a chapter is complete, I let it rest a few days, print it out, and brutalize it with a red pen. After all chapters are finished, I read over the entire manuscript once more before sending it to a professional editor. While I make the recommended corrections, I check for any last-minute spelling and grammar mistakes that somehow avoided capture in earlier edits.
How do you approach cover design?
I don't touch it. As with most authors, I have a certain vision for what I'd like to see. I relay these ideas to my cover designer and let them use their imaginations. My latest cover was designed by the unbelievable Jeanine Henning. It turned out far better than I could have imagined.
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