Do you remember the first story you ever read that had an immediate impact on you?
I fell in love with reading when I was introduced to the SciFi/Fantasy genres. Before that, reading was more of a chore and it tended to make me sleepy. The first book I read that I couldn't put down - and kept until the cover was falling off and the yellowed pages had begun to get quite musty - was a Ray Bradbury collection. My favorite story was "A Sound of Thunder" because the ramifications of that one simple mistake spurred my imagination to new heights. Even though I'd later read some of the great classics of literature, and without intending any insult here, SciFi/Fantasy simply moved me more. I've been a sci fi geek ever since.
When did you first start writing?
I actually started writing songs and knew I had an overall knack for writing by the time I hit sixth grade. It was always a strength and while the creative side of me wanted to pursue that path, the practical side of me insisted that I probably couldn't make good money doing it. Decades later, the creative side of me is attempting to prove the practical side of me wrong.
Describe your desk
Neat freak. Very shui. Nuf said.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Independence is a beautiful thing, a solid foundation to build upon or pillar to uphold any endeavor you launch - artistic or otherwise. It's powerful in that it allows you to control your artistry, integrity and destiny without any influence or sway save your own. Who could ask for anything more?
What do you read for pleasure?
These days I have very little time to read and the fact that I write and look at words all day moves me toward that which is quickly consumable and/or absolutely holds my interest. Truth be told, I'm on the ESPN NFL homepage almost religiously. Holding equal time with my football interest is my quest for wisdom, and finding a way to reach a true state of grace in this dynamically diverse world we live in. Think everything from the I Ching, to Gatty's Finding Your Way Without Map or Compass, to The Starfish and Spider, to Dolly Parton's Dream More.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing for me is being able to connect with people. To capture an audience and move them in some way. It doesn't have to be profoundly because I'll be the first to tell you that I strive to entertain - I can't necessarily pull of that which is clever or brilliant because that takes an inordinate amount of effort and I'm fairly casual in everything I approach. So if I can get a knowing grin from someone, an affirmation of understanding, a slight chuckle, a tear or two if it moves you that much or just distract someone from realizing just how tight airline seating is these days, then I've achieved what I set out to do.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Aegis Warlord: Evolution at it's heart is really about the darkest hour just before dawn. It's an awakening, a testament to staying true to yourself in spite of the harshest circumstances and being rewarded with the promise of a new day, a new life and a new beginning. It is perhaps a more subtle version of the old adage, "triumph over darkness", in that it speaks more quietly to surviving the darkness, putting it behind you and moving forward with life.
How do you approach cover design?
I have always been a great lover of scifi/fantasy art. From comic books to film, the associated art was nothing less than stunning to me. My love affair began with Marvel and DC comics, then grew with Star Wars, D&D artists (was never a player but absolutely loved the art), Boris Vallejo, Anne Stokes, H.R Giger and so many more great artists who have contributed to the genre. I simply can't get enough of the imagination that goes into capturing the essence of a story with a cover. So with that as my benchmark, I work diligently to articulate my concept or visualization of what I think I want but I also try to give the artist some creative license because I consider their input invaluable as well.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Any device that allows me to present myself to the reader is my device of choice. To me, devices are like art - it's all interpretation so stick with the preferences that please you.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Marketing. Hmmmm. Please replay Charlie Brown's teacher's voice in your head. If you need a more current version for this particular marketing discussion, please switch to Kenny McCormick's voice in your head. Okay, all kidding aside, the best answer is to download "Smashwords Book Marketing Guide". That's what's been most effective for me and why reinvent the wheel?
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords provides an opportunity. That's four very simple words that don't look like much until you begin to ponder the possibilities. Then multiply that by, oh, start with a thousand. Multiply that again and keep going until you hit a number that reflects a global population. Now, factor in all of the knowledge they arm you with to succeed (FOR FREE PEOPLE!) and how could you not be inspired and motivated to take that opportunity and make it your own??? How could you not have anything less than a laureate level of respect, appreciation and downright admiration for an organization that has so painstakingly created this avenue for success??? It is a rare and wonderful thing to foster the individual artist in all of us and provide the portal to share our creativity with a worldwide audience.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.