Interview with Thegn

Fitness? Fantasy? Philosophy?
Yeah, I know. It's a weird combination.

Basically when I was a kid I was really into video games/fantasy and sci fi stuff. When I went through high school, I ended up suffering from depression and anxiety disorders, and was totally unable to function as a human being. My therapist recommended exercise. At the time, I had been in the cross country team for a couple of years and hated it, so I decided to give lifting weights a try. I immediately loved it, and ended up getting pretty serious about it to the point that I now work as a strength coach and do powerlifting and other strength stuff for fun.

Bruce Lee was always the model of what I wanted to be, a small guy who packs a huge punch. Well, I never really liked fighting and my body isn't cut out for it anyway, but strength has stayed with me. Plus, I get to be more like the heroes of the fantasy stories, which is always a plus. Anything that increases my chances of being picked to play Conan in the next Conan the Barbarian movie is fine with me.

In college I ended up double majoring in English and Philosophy, because I have the kind of mind that really enjoys reading and mapping out concepts, and I read philosophy for fun. I'm not sure how it all fits together, but I guess it does. I tend to write philosophy-minded fantasy and sci-fi, and I've certainly mixed some philosophy stuff in with my fitness writing on my blog.

It's definitely weird. I'm not sure how I ended up here either, but here I am.
I don't get it.
Yeah, me neither.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
As a fitness junkie, I spend a lot of time working out, generally 1-3 hours per day based on what that day calls for in my cycle. When I'm not doing that, I'm playing video games or catching up on shows via Netflix, the nerdier the better. I tend to love RPG's, and play League of Legends way too much, even if I'm no good at it. I also spend an absurd amount of time on Twitter and Facebook, and love to interact with people as much as possible.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Generally, I ask friends for reading recommendations. If it's a particular topic I have in mind, I'll ask a friend who I know to have good taste on that topic. I generally read ebooks a lot more than print ones - I'm the opposite of nostalgic, and while I enjoy print books for certain subjects (philosophy and academic criticism, generally) I prefer ebooks or audiobooks for everything else.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do, though it's really embarrassing. I once wanted to make video games with RPGMaker, a program designed to help you make your own games easily. At the age of 13, I cobbled together some very poorly constructed plot for a game I wanted to make, but eventually realized I hated the process of coding it. I worked the story into a novel outline, and spent about four years revising it over and over again until I eventually was forced to admit that it was no good. However, it did inspire another story that I hope to finish some time in the future, so it wasn't a total waste.
What is your writing process?
I tend to be very bad at getting started, yet once I get started I can write for hours without taking a break. Generally, I hate revising and so I just sort of get everything out in one go and then come back later to undo all the awful stuff I left behind. Generally I sketch out general notes for what the shape of a plot will look like, but sometimes I'll go into specific events within that plot with no clue about what I want to do. Also, I often listen to the voices of my characters - sometimes I'll begin writing a scene, only to realize that it wouldn't happen that way because that character would respond differently to that situation. Since I'm very character oriented, this generally means I'll go back and revise.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Honestly I have no clue. I've been reading books passionately since I was a kid. I used to go to the library and come back with a stack of books so tall I had to carry it with my hands on the bottom and my chin on the top. I read Lord of the Rings in grade school for a reading competition. I used to polish off Hardy Boys books one a day. I would literally read anything I could get my hands on in the kids section at the library, and my local library did actually reach a point at which I had read most of the kid's books and I lost interest because they didn't get new books fast enough for me to read them. Of course, at that point I just started moving on to much tougher books.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Oh man. Oh man. This is in no particular order, but here we go:

1. The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand - I've gotta preface this by saying that I 0% believe in her philosophy, since that's always the first thing that comes up. Fountainhead is generally (but not always) more defensible than Atlas Shrugged, focuses on topics I appreciate more, and above all I think Ayn has a certain gift for descriptive writing that I'm always envious of.

2. Squat Every Day, Matt Perryman - One of the best fitness/training related books around, and written by a supremely intelligent dude/fellow philosopher who's excellent at making it conceptual in all the right ways.

3. Stranger in a Strange Land/The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Robert A. Heinlein - I really couldn't pick between these two, because I love them so much. Probably my two favorite scifi books of all time, though Stranger is definitely a hatchet job towards the end in the shorter version.

4. #Accelerate, the Accelerationist Reader - Variety of authors. Probably the most astoundingly new and interesting philosophy to come out in the past... fifty years, maybe?

5. All of HP Lovecraft - Time hasn't been kind to old HP, and he's certainly a curmudgeon with lots of problematic stuff going on, but his work remains some of my favorite of all time.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I've got an old Nexus 7 tablet that's getting slow but otherwise works great. Doesn't work well outside, but if I plan on getting some sun I just bring a physical copy of something.
How do you approach cover design?
My cover designs are generally very abstract and non-literal. Many of my stories are concept/philosophy heavy, so that makes sense. I've got a guy who does covers in exchange for fitness coaching, so that's pretty cool.
Describe your desk
A mess! Computer surrounded by used plates, containers, bowls, cups, etc. I'm a little untidy, but I know where everything is and I still clean once a week or so.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a pleasant suburb of Detroit where not much happens. Honestly, it wasn't the location that mattered, because the biggest stuff in my childhood/adolescence was dealing with depression and turning to exercise as a way to escape that. That had some huge impacts on my writing as well as my intellectual development afterwards.
When did you first start writing?
Probably when I was 13? I can't remember very well, but I know that by the time I graduated high school I definitely knew I wanted to be an author.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I just don't like going through the publishing process, and don't feel that I could really produce the work I want to if I had to. I've got weird tastes, so I'm better off creating my own niche than trying to sell something to other people's conceptions of what a book should and shouldn't be.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Oh man, I love telling stories. I have too many stories. I'm never gonna get a chance to tell them all, I think. I'm just way too ambitious with the scope of stories, and by the time I've finished one the way I want to I've got two more good ideas in the wings.
What do your fans mean to you?
I love my fans! Please, don't hesitate to reach out to me via social media. I love to interact with people, although I'm very often busy and don't have time to do so. Trust me, I appreciate and listen to your input.
What are you working on next?
I'm always working on new stuff. A traditional love story, a norse-themed fantasy, and a short story series are all in the works right now, with plenty of side projects on top of that...
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My alarm clock.
What do you read for pleasure?
Philosophy, fantasy, sci fi, critical theory, a pop anthro book here and there... I have a pretty eclectic taste.
Who are your favorite authors?
I'm so bad at this stuff.

Nietzsche, Butler, Zizek, Lacan, Sartre, Lao tzu, Chuang tzu.

Robert Howard, HP Lovecraft, Heinlein, Ayn Rand, George RR Martin, got really into Murakami for a bit, Dostoyevsky, Proust,

probably a bunch of others I can't think of.
Published 2015-04-20.
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Books by This Author

Endless Days
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 25,460. Language: English. Published: April 18, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Spiritual & metaphysical
For their arrogance, two brothers are cursed to walk the Earth forever, unable to have the death that would free them from their torment. As they go their separate ways they take very different paths through history, resulting in an ending that pits brother against brother for the fate of the world.