Yes, but I finished the first draft of this book in 2006, three years before Glee swept the world.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was in junior high. Grade 7, I think. My teacher's name was Mrs. Patton. It involved a secret hidden inside a piano that could only be unlocked by playing the proper sequence of notes. This story beat was later used in Grand Piano (a film starring Elijah Wood) and the remake of Total Recall.
What is your writing process?
I brainstorm and outline for ages before I ever put anything down on paper. Then I write, write, and rewrite.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
A read a lot as a kid, but the first story ever, I don't remember. The ones that stand out in my mind are The Three Investigators series, Gordon Korman's books, Eric Wilson's series about stories all over Canada, and John Bellairs' works.
How do you approach cover design?
I have a talented graphics design artist friend who helps me. I don't have the imagination for visual art, sadly.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Memoirs of a Geisha, because I honestly felt like I was in Japan when reading it. I loved the story, the details, the textures, and the history.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It gave me a new outlook on the world, and I remember feeling like I was hit in the gut during one of the more major story beats.
The Great Escape. A brilliant (and true) story of engineering and bravery.
Lord of the Flies. Complete and utter anarchy. I'd love to write something like that, but it's a bit played out now (The Hunger Games, etc.)
Jurassic Park also comes to mind. The story is pretty basic when you get right down to it, but Michael Crichton's research is staggering. I couldn't tell the real dinosaurs from the fake ones.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My iPad mini. It's great because I can read anywhere, and at night, and not worry about filling up precious shelf space in my apartment. Plus I can instantly look up the definitions of any words I don't know.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing as a child, but I didn't write my own stories. I remember being infatuated with my mother's old typewriter and typing out song lyrics on it, like Bryan Adam's Summer of '69.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I get a sense of euphoria when things are going well. Psychologists call this being in a state of flow. I get a similar feeling when I'm playing music.
Describe your desk
My desk is a mess. I have books and memory sticks and papers in a haphazard pile, but somehow it all comes together in the end. I could probably be more efficient. Hmm.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.