Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Oklahoma. Stillwater is my hometown there and it had a great impact on my life. The towns main industry was the University which attracted people from all over the globe. This made my childhood one of international inspiration. I had friends from nearly every continent, save Antarctica. Such diversity made it easy to bring new and interesting differences in characters. Also, growing up in Oklahoma, I learned what fear really was when I had to run for my life every year. I watched monsters walk the plains every year, they were known as tornadoes. Seeing the seething, boiling skies drop hideous monstrosities that eat entire cities certainly had an impact on my writing.
Describe your desk
Messy. Well, that's the title of my whole writing room. My desk is no exception. I keep a few items on it as inspiration items, a small castle statue, a little lion pride, some starship models, and a pile of papers to write down notes and ideas.
When did you first start writing?
I started in the fourth grade. My teacher gave us time each day to write and I fell in love with it. Though, I never thought for a moment that I would try to make it a career.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It is the full sequel to my first book, The Crystal Needle. I wrote a short Christmas story that gave readers a follow up of the characters shortly after the events of the first book. But now I have written a full length novel that tells the continuing story of the lives of the characters and also addresses a little teaser I left in the last page of the first book.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Traditional publishers ignore me.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Somewhat. The books I currently have published on Smashwords are a series of free short stories that follow the lives of a band of superheroes. I wrote these stories for a game that has since gone away, but readers wanted the books for themselves. After spending a little time speaking with the owners of the rights to the game, we agreed that I could publish the stories so long as I did not make any money off of them. I don't mind, they are just fun little adventures, but they do bring a new audience to my work.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Starting a new story. Its like the first bite of cake, the rest is awesome, but that first bite is the best part.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. I love that I can bring a little entertainment into the lives of people I don't even know.
What are you working on next?
Finishing editing of a fantasy novel that I wrote last year and getting the third Bark story ready for publication.
Who are your favorite authors?
Charles and Wendy Siefken are awesome. I also love John M. Ford for his one book, How Much for Just the Planet.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?