I love my readers. While I write because my choices are "write" or "go crazy," my readers make it all worthwhile.
When did you first start writing?
When I could first get my fist around a crayon.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, both of them. The very first story I ever "wrote" was written in toddlerese and was a mash-up of my favorite fairy-tales. I "read" it to a captive audience of my baby brother and our assorted stuffed animals. I did some more story writing once I could actually form alphabetic characters and had a rough notion of spelling but my first "real" story was The House of the Olde Wryt which was inspired by Stephen Vincent Benét's story "By the Waters of Babylon."
A few years later, while still in high school, I finished my first novel: "Prophecies of Atlantis" which, once I re-read it a few years later, was filed in a drawer to never see the light of day until I can find time to completely rewrite it.
What are you working on next?
My next projects (I work best when juggling two projects) will be The Penitent, an urban fantasy story taking place in the not-too-distant future, and the final book of the Fall of the Lanarian Empire trilogy, Dawn of the Destroyer.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Ooh, that's easy. Reading. Or playing video games. Or watching Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, Broadchurch, The X-Files, or something geeky. I do also enjoy working out or just sitting and daydreaming.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Usually through word-of-mouth. A friend of mine will put a book out or will recommend one they read and enjoyed. Sometimes through a website run by individuals I trust like Instapundit or Sarah Hoyt's site. Rarely it's through a search on a bookseller site or by using their Recommended Reads based on my order history but that has been known to happen!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I've been reading since I was two or three years old so chances are the first book I ever read was a kid's book that wouldn't have had a huge impact on anyone. However, the first non-school, non-library book I read and chose for myself was "The Hand of Chaos" by Margret Weis and Tracey Hickman and it had a huge impact on me. Once I realized that there were people who spent their lives writing fantasy books, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life.
Who are your favorite authors?
Hands down: the late Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. I've been reading Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series since I was in high school. When Mr. Jordan passed away, Sanderson was tapped to continue the series. However, Sanderson is a great writer in his own right. I loved his Mistborn trilogy and have devoured his Stormlight Archive series.
I also adore my fellow indie author friends Dennis Fitzpatrick (This Mirror In Me), Rayne Hall (Storm Dancer), and A. J. Church (The Erebus Files).
What are your five favorite books, and why?
This is a list that changes a lot. Currently, The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, Shalador's Lady, Jane Eyre, and World War Z. The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance make the list right now because I just finished reading them -- they're the two published books from Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive. Shalador's Lady is another book I've really enjoyed and is set in Anne Bishop's Blood Jewels universe. My brother got me hooked on her. Jane Eyre is a long-standing favorite of mine because it's one of the first books with a true female heroine who doesn't completely go against the standards of her era. And, World War Z because who doesn't love a good zombie apocalypse?
What is your e-reading device of choice?
That's easy: my Kindle or my iPhone.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read a lot of different things for pleasure. Fantasy, sci-fi, of course. But I also enjoy reading history books, books on politics and recent events, and legends and myths. I'm currently working through The Chinese Crisis, The British Political Process, British Political History, Write Treatments to Sell, and How Civilizations Die (I have this great idea for a political procedural TV series...)
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Vicksburg, Mississippi. I'm also descended from the bards of Scotland. Those two things together mean that I'm not only interested in history but that there was no way I was getting out of life without becoming a writer. Storytelling is still a form of entertainment in the South and I remember sitting out in the backyard or on the patio with my friends swapping tales. We even give directions in the form of a story ("If you go past the tree that looks like a black bear on account of being lightning struck back when Moses was a babe, then you've gone too far.")
Because of those influences, my stories tend to focus on character over world and plot over emotion (though emotion is important, too).
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