Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story that I read that had a real impact on me was The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe. I was a sophomore in high school and I remember thinking, "Wow, people actually write this kind of stuff." Needless to say, Poe inspired me to write.
What do you read for pleasure?
I enjoy reading science fiction, psychological-supernatural thrillers and Tolkien over and over. Any book that challenges mainstream or traditional perspectives and pushes human understanding and utilization of technology to its limit and beyond is what I crave. Some of my favorite authors are Isaac Asimov, Mary Shelley and Iain Banks.
Describe your desk
A mess and none of it is mine.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Cleveland and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. Growing up there provided me with a writing perspective that is both rural and industrial. I have also cultivated a fascination with storms (I experienced a few tornadoes in my time, and there is nothing better than violent Ohio Valley thunderstorm) and snow (blizzards) which influence my settings and my writing process. Ohio is also (Cincinnati especially) home two older styles of architecture (often juxtaposed with the contemporary) that are eerie and invigorating to a writer seeking something unique, gothic, rich and visual.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The pursuit of the perfect sentence.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are great, but I see everyone (including myself) as a reader. Readers give something unique to a story that in my opinion puts them on the same level with any author.
What are you working on next?
Handfuls of fragments and not getting very far. Wish me luck.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My children. Knowing that everything I do each day has the potential to make their lives better or worse is a motivating force that is unparalleled.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle. It's fun.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Circulating free copies of my books in order to generate interest and get some positive reviews.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I think that the evolution of the publishing industry into corporations that only publish a "sure thing" or an author with a "platform" (i.e. Bill Clinton, Sarah Palin, Lebraun James) has driven many writers to become independent. There is this idea out there that people (readers) can't decide what books they want to read or should read, and so they need a large publisher and/or agents to make that decision for them. This is similar to our relationship with Congress, but that is another story. Sites like Smashwords give the 'power back to the people' to make the choices they are more than capable of making.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.