Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Alpharetta, Georgia, a northern suburb of Atlanta. I have a large family with 3 brothers and 2 sisters. In having such a big family, I have a lot of knowledge about unconditional love and funny things that happen to people as we grow and mature through life. I also had some tougher times as a child so some works that I have written tend to motivate people towards doing the next right thing. Humor, however, is a great motivator to keep a positive attitude while going through life so I try to keep that in a majority of the pieces I write.
When did you first start writing?
It's funny, I didn't really start writing for pleasure until last June or July (2013). However, when major projects were assigned to me (in English class, History, and even Real Estate), I tended to present in a rhyming-style. In one case, my entire English class erupted in applause and laughter; the teachers even have a copy of the work to this day! So in the end, I guess I've always been a writer even though I work as a high school educator / tutor in mathematics.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I truly just answered this question for myself last night!
I was busy writing a paper in the mathematics field and was a little irritated by my writing because it takes a lot of concentration, manipulation with computer graphics, and meticulous details to make sure that the ideas presented make sense. Then I thought to myself, "Why do I get so aggravated and waste so much time in a subject that I do not truly love? I should leave work at work."
And so, I began reading some of my previous books, started following appropriate people on Twitter (whose content is similar to my own), and have made a change for the better.
With all that said, I get joy from connecting ideas in a rhythm and rhyme. I love the way the words flow and new ideas come from each reading. I love hearing my son recall books that I have previously written, and I love the idea that other parents will get to experience the same kind of joy with their children.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is about a donkey driving a fire engine. While we were traveling to my brother's house, we spotted a fire engine and heard the sirens blaring. My son and I had recently read a book that gave the sound of the fire truck as "eee-ooo", so I said alound, "A firetruck sounds a lot like a donkey!" And there you have it; a week later I stayed up and wrote the entire piece.
What are you working on next?
I have a few ideas going about in my head.
My first thought was about the infants diet. Written in the perspective of "big brother", little sister eats some pretty strange things (toy giraffes and what not). So the idea is that I'll have a list of foods that the boy eats and then note little sister eating something a little out of the ordinary.
My next idea is to write about how Daddy Drives a Minivan. In this story, the family has expanded and dad is adjusting at the idea. Through picking up the kids and being teased about how fast (or slow) he drives, his style (or lack-of), or his adjustment from being manly-man to the real-deal dad, this one is sure to make us chuckle.
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