Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Lawrenceville, Georgia. In the area I lived, there were a lot of forests and lakes that helped with the imagery while putting together most of my stories. Most of the co-workers and people that I interacted with everyday influenced a decent amount of the actions and dialogue I use for some of my characters as well.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing when I was seventeen years old. Well, maybe a few years before that if you include writing music and lyrics with the band I was in at the time. I remember back in high school I wrote a science fiction novel that I absolutely loved, but it was given a lot of criticism which put a damper on my abilities to even write a proper novel. One memory that really sticks is when a teacher actually tossed it in the trash when I asked for guidance and help to write it. It wasn't until I was in college though that I had a professor that really encouraged me to continue to create these stories that were bubbling in my imagination. She even gave me a notebook that I still keep next to my bed to jot down all of my ideas.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I decided to jump into indie publishing because traditional was not a comfortable venue for me. I hate deadlines that are set by other people, and I want control over my own story and creation. For me, it's being able to write something that I truly believe in and to not have someone else taint it with their own ideas of where the story should go. Yes, I love to please people but this is MY story, these are MY characters, and if someone else dumped money on my lap to do it their way, it wouldn't be as enjoyable as it is now.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love the planning process. When I sit down in my office for eight hours in the beginning stages, it's fun playing with maps and characters. The timelines really give me an opportunity to see how each plot point can connect and it's fun when surprises appear along the way.
What do your fans mean to you?
I really do have utmost respect for my fans. I especially feel humbled to even have fans that enjoy reading my stories. The best part of the whole process would be when I don't even ask someone for a review or their opinion on my book, and they just do it themselves. They say whether they love it or hate it, and add in a few ways to make it even better. It's just a joy to know that people are inspired by my writing and can have conversations about it.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on a novella series about one of my character, Daghen, in "The Temperament Scepter". The novella is called "Awaken Within the Darkness". It is a coming of age story about how Daghen rose to power in the Gambien Tribe.
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King was a huge influence for me in high school. If it wasn't for his novel "Salem's Lot", I probably would have never found an interest in attempting to write stories. I've also enjoyed JRR Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings". I was not into his writing until I saw the movies. I went back and read his books, which now that I grasped an understanding of the world, the books were even better than the films. Another author is Steve Alten and his "Meg" Series. When I discovered Steve, I was wanting to become a marine biologist and reading these books really brought the fear in even wanting to venture in that path.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm either out on the golf course or creating cinematic trailers. I have always loved the art of film and audio, whether it is the music or the sounds that people don't normally notice.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was about an alien race that used mirrors to come to our world. Eventually a cult was created in the story that followed this alien creature that looked like a demon. It was a trippy story but it ended up in the trash on multiple occasions by outside readers.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I can't remember what the first story I read was, but I remember the book that impacted me. I remember reading a book called "The Perks of Being a Wallflower". Everything this teenager went through in the story was exactly what I was experiencing at the time. It was back in high school, and I was love drunk on one specific girl. She ended up being with someone else at the time and the book really reminded me of all of those emotions. It pushed me to want to write lyrics and music, which brought me to becoming an author.
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