I don't remember exactly when, but I do know that I was eight years old when I said I was going to grow up to be a writer. I know that some time during my two years at Erik Ramstad Middle School (1997-1999), my life's dream of being an author really took hold of me. Then, during my years at Central Campus High School (1999 - 2002), I started on what would eventually become Dragon Diaries.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I can remember writing was actually a Sailor Moon fanfiction. To say it was horrible would be a compliment to it. But I have to give it credit since it got me into the writing habit.
What is your writing process?
From start to finish, my writing process goes like this: 1. get an idea for a book 2. spend some time doing research (as needed) 3. jot down ideas for plot/subplot 4. craft the outline (I always write them in composition notebooks) 5. write the book (sometimes by hand) 6. edit 7. edit again 8. create cover art 9. advertise book 10. release finished book
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
It is very rare for me to not write, but when I am not, I can usually be found building websites, painting, playing with my puppies, playing video games, or watching Netflix. I've also been known to pick up a book and read an entire day away.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born and raised in Minot, North Dakota, where I literally had nothing to do because I lived out in the boonies. Because I had nothing to do, I made up adventures and wrote about them, losing myself in dream travels.
Describe your desk
The beauty of having a laptop is that I don't require a desk, so I can frequently be found in my recliner typing away. When I am at my desk, its organized chaos. And I never seem to have enough room for all the notebooks, countless pens, reference materials, my tea, my printer, paint and paint brushes, and my laptop.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have a number of favorite authors. That list includes Christopher Paolini, J. K. Rowling, Jean Craighead George, Frank Herbert, Rick Riordan, Michael Crichton, Marjorie Kellogg, James Patterson, Dan Brown, Jim Butcher, and I cannot forget the late, great Anne McCaffrey, who was the woman who actually inspired my writing.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are part of what gets me out of bed in the morning (the other part being my desire for caffeine) and motivated to write. Some of them even help to inspire tidbits of the book, or - in one case with my buddy, Matt G. - an entire branch saga. I want to give them an adventure that keeps then on the edge of their seat.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Like most of the books in The AEON Files, The Bone Prophet started life as just the title. After that, I think my psychotic muse roofied me or something because I can't remember how it evolved into what it is now. I can say that the original idea was most likely lost due to the surprise events that occurred in the last three books. As an example, the Shadow-Fire Cross demon was born out of a random thought that came to me while working on The Lullaby Shriek, and even he's changed since his first inception (I had planned for him to be Jinx's and Sin's brother - changed that!).
What are you working on next?
I'm planning on continuing work on The AEON Files. With the total number of books currently sits at 16, I have quite a bit of work ahead of me just on that series alone. I do have plans of picking back up on Dragon Diaries some day, but TAF is more popular at the moment.
Here's my work load (so far): The AEON Files - 16 books (currently working on the 4, the 5th and 6th are pre-written) Code Name: Sin - at least 1 book (currently working on the pre-write) Dragon Diaries - 9 books (the first 2 are written, the next 5 are pre-written) Mars Chronicles - at least 3 books (interweaves Dragon Diaries) Tomes of Rishai - at least 3 books (merges Dragon Diaries and Mars Chronicles) Total = at least 32 books
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