When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
If I'm not working at the day job or spending time with the family, I'm reading. I do enjoy some television, and still think movies are a form of magic despite being old enough to know better.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Usually by looking at the recommendations when they come up for an author I've already read. A lot of the authors I search out were from print books that I want to see if they've been converted, or if they have something else out new since those print books came out.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was back in Primary School, and it was called "The Son of the Slug that Ate New York". I actually found a copy of it not that long ago stuck in a box in the attic. It's just as bad as it sounds like it would be. Hopefully I've gotten better since then.
What is your writing process?
When it's decent weather (i.e. Spring, Summer, even early Fall), I go out to my back patio with a laptop, a couple beers, and a pack of cigarettes and write until the chapter's done. If it's colder out, I go into my home office and do it, facing the back wall where I can't see anything and have nothing to focus on except the laptop screen. Still, I write until the chapter's done. That's my goal: a chapter a day. I'll think about how it should start all day, then sit down at write it later that night. It might be a short chapter, but it's always a chapter a day. As for days off from it, what are those?
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember the first story I ever read, but I remember the first one I read that had an impact on me. It was Stephen King's Pet Sematary back when it first came out. I was 8 or 9 I think, and I remember feeling the potency of the story, the reality of the characters, and was blown away by the whole concept that someone sat down and came up with this. I wanted to do the same.
How do you approach cover design?
Pure feeling. Does it fit the mood and tone of the story? Does it give away enough or too much about the story? Does it look like a three-year old did it (if so, scrap it)? Does it catch my eye? Do the fonts compliment the story or detract from it? Does the composition make sense? Of course, all of that is subjective. Besides, my art's the writing. I'll leave the cover art to someone who knows what they're doing. I just know what I like.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Stephen King - Pet Sematary for the memory of being my first serious horror novel; Neil Gaiman's Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes - even though it's a graphic novel, it showed how the form could be elevated to actual literature; The Scream by John Skipp and Craig Spector - the first "Splatterpunk" book I ever read, and one that combines rock and roll with horror and carnage. Like Alice Cooper in print form; The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss - a story about the stories inside of stories. So many layers, so much texture, I'm still finding new things every time I re-read it; and finally On Writing by Stephen King, because it told me I actually could do this, all I had to do was sit down and do it.
What do you read for pleasure?
Whatever I can get my hands on. I tend to gravitate toward Horror and Fantasy, but I'll read pretty much anything.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
It varies based on mood and situation. I have a Nook HD+, and have Kindle on my phone and my Surface tablet. I use all three regularly. In fact, it's possible I'll have a different book loaded on all three at the same time.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I'll let you know once I get one out and market it.
Describe your desk
My writing desk is empty other than the laptop and an ashtray, possibly an empty beer bottle if I didn't clean up the night before. Anything else can be distracting.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Middle Tennessee, where there wasn't much to do other than escape into stories. I think that's what gave me such passion for reading them, and by extension, telling them.
When did you first start writing?
Off and on all my life. I got serious about it a few times, but this last go-round seems to be the one that did the trick.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Wait till it comes out and read the Author's Note at the end....
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