I'm constantly thinking of new ideas for stories. For example, I can be watching a show concerning real life crime and think to myself that what I'm watching would make a good horror novel. I like to write a loose outline before I begin the tale. When I'm writing, I don't pull any punches. My characters are a reflection of our world, so they're often profane, lecherous, and less than perfect. I try to be fearless and as honest as possible.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember the absolute first story I've ever read. I'm sure it was something like Clifford the Big Red Dog or The Bernstein Bears. When it comes to more mature fare, one of the earliest I've ever read would be The Giver by Lois Lowry. I remember being blown away by the story and thinking about the tale long after I had finished. It really is a beautiful book. I would love to have that effect on someone through written words one day.
How do you approach cover design?
This is simple. I call up my cousin Dell and ask him to recreate a scene from my book. He's an excellent artist.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Hmm this is tough. I'll give you five of my favorites. One would be Old Man's War by John Scalzi. The story was so amazing that it humbled me. I think I felt every emotion while reading it. Another would be The Green Mile by Stephen King. I love that book, because I was really emotional by the end. I really cared for Big John Coffey. I'll have to put Brian Pratt's The Unsuspecting Mage series here. I may be cheating, but I don't care. The magic system in the series is so imaginative and impressive. I'm talking stuff that I had never read before. Echo Park by Michael Connelly comes to mind. The writing is so superb and the story has so many twists and turns. At the end I was stunned by the excellence of the book. Finally, I'll throw in The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. The prose it contains is so magnificent that I read passages over and over. There are many more, but that'll do I suppose.
What do you read for pleasure?
Honestly I'm quite a geek. I love fantasy and sci fi. I also read a lot of horror, action and detective novels. I'll read anything if it's in the right hands.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing around the age of fifteen. I think it's a natural progression for all bookworms.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing is hearing back from those who have read and loved your work. I like knowing that I scared someone or made someone laugh with my crazy imagination. Being completely honest, it can also be a little scary, because when you write you're bearing your soul and putting your nastiest thoughts on display. I can be quiet, so people who know me are absolutely shocked by the dark, harsh, and sometimes strange things they find in my writing.
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