Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was raised in the US military. We moved all over America, so I didn't grow up in any one place. Finding myself in a new city every couple of years meant everything was new and I learned to see it all in a different way, describing it in my head even as I wrote to old friends and told them where I was now living.
When did you first start writing?
Not until high school. I wrote my first fiction story in an English class as a group assignment to write and perform a Science Fiction play. No one else in my group had written anything all week, so I sat down the night before the assignment was due and wrote the entire script in a few hours. We received an "A" for the play and the rest of the assignment went smoothly.
What's the story behind your latest book?
This story is part of a recurring theme and series about The Many Worlds of the Solarian. The Solarian is a super-powered person in a world with many such people, both good and bad. You know the type if you've watched any of the recent superhero comics made into movies lately. The Solarian is the greatest of all Earth's heroes, but he finds himself in a situation that confounds even him and needs the assistance of his friends and co-heroes to resolve it. Writing about superheroes is my favorite genre and it recurs constantly throughout my work.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
As most people already know the book publishing field is extremely difficult to get into. I hadn't had much success getting my books published until I learned about indie publishing online. Once I investigated it and found what I needed to do I began adapting the books I had already written so they could be published in the various eBook venues. It's great being able to see my stories out in the world where others can read and enjoy them.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords was the first place I published my books. I had heard about a place online where authors could publish their own books without the necessity of one of the Big Publishing Houses that are notorious for turning away 99.99999% of all authors who send their work in. It was a bit of a struggle learning how to format my books properly so they could be published on Smashwords, but once I had it down it became much easier. I now use a professional formatter so I can be free to write. You can contact them at eBooksMade4You@gmail.com if you need help getting your books formatted. Remember to send your book to them in a Word file.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Being able to see my thoughts written down. Before I began writing my thoughts into books I was plagued with all these story ideas swirling around inside my head. Once I began writing them down I was able to get them out of my head one at a time so they no longer drove me crazy. Now I have new story plots driving me crazy, but at least I can get them written and published.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are my life's blood. I'll write books even if no one else reads them, but having others enjoy what I've written adds validity to what I do. It's great to know other people are enjoying the stories I've written as much as I did when I wrote them. I know what it is to be a fan, since I've been one to many other authors my entire life.
What are you working on next?
Currently I'm writing "No More Mr. Nice Guy", a book about a superhero who falls afoul of the justice system and has to reinvent himself and his hero identity as someone outside the law, rather than someone working within the law. This is especially difficult for him, since his daily job consists of being a uniformed cop in a patrol car with a partner. It's especially fun writing a hero from a different perspective than I usually do. This one needs to be a little more edgy and less strict with the laws and rules of society, but he still has to go after his foes knowing that bringing them to justice might also put him in the hands of the law.
Who are your favorite authors?
Originally that would be Robert A. Heinlein, the greatest Science Fiction author who has ever lived and Isaac Asimov, the second greatest in the same field. Now it's Dean Koontz, Robert Crais and many others, too numerous to list. I enjoy crime fiction as well as courtroom dramas, but thrillers and science fiction will always be at the top of my list.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The many voices in my head that insist I get up and write down the stories they bring to me. I wouldn't exactly call this inspiration, but more of a necessity to quiet these voices so they don't drive me completely crazy.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading, watching movies or TV, swimming, doing crossword puzzles and of course spending time with my family.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I like to experience new authors, so I peruse the "shelves" of the eBook sections, looking for a title and description for a book that catches my eye. It needs to be something that sounds exciting and has been written properly. If an author can't take the time to spell everything correctly in the book description I know the book itself can't be any better. The cover plays a big part in my decision to try a new author's book. If the cover isn't eye-catching the book might not be very good either. Everything I've ever read had a great cover on it.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The one I previously mentioned for that English class in high school. Basically it was based upon Star Trek, which was the big deal with science fiction TV in my day, but I wrote it from the villain's perspective, having the "heroes" actually turn out to be smugglers for the black market.
What is your writing process?
My process differs with each new book. Most often I find an idea picking at my brain and I begin thinking about it until I have the basics of the plot. I then consider what to me sounds like the best place to start the story and begin writing the story down. As I write I think of extra characters to be in the book, good guys and bad and often go back and rewrite what I've already written to include some of these new characters in earlier scenes. Often I describe what I think the cover should be to my cover designer and once the cover has been completed I get more inspiration for the book itself.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
That would be a comic book my older brother had and as you know from my chosen genre comic books have impacted my stories more than anything else. But as for a regular book, that would be something from my elementary school reading class. I don't recall the name of the first book or any of those from that time period, but just learning about books and how much fun the stories could be encouraged me to always look for new books. It helped that I always had to write a report on the books I read for class. Writing reports on books can inspire a budding author to learn how to write.
How do you approach cover design?
I think about the action and theme within my books and relay that information to my cover designer (eBooksMade4You@gmail.com). I get to see the cover in various stages and make decisions on its finished look. Making those decisions often helps me in making the decisions on how the story will turn.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I'm not sure I can list only five favorite books. I can list favorite authors and those books will come from those authors, but to select ONLY five from all the thousands upon thousands I've read? I don't think I can do that.
What do you read for pleasure?
These days mostly thrillers and crime dramas.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I still use the second generation of Kindle. One day I'd like to try an iPad or something similar, but currently I still use my old Kindle.
Describe your desk
I write on a laptop that actually sits on my lap while I recline in my chair. Most often its with one or both of my cats snuggled up beside me or trying to get on top of my laptop. That's the most comfortable way I know how to write.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.