When he's not stuck in an office or doing awesome family man stuff with his two favourite girls, he's busy lifting weights in his basement or training in martial arts. He also enjoys good whiskey and tobacco, and wishes he had more money for extra tattoos and trips with his family.
When he's not doing all of these things, he likes to write dark and violent stuff.
What is your writing process?
Because I'm more of a non-fiction reader, I tend to follow a structured approach as if I were writing an essay. Note that this is more or less a force of habit from my university days and field of studies (social sciences), as well as having previously self-published a work of non-fiction as well.
For my first (and most crucial) step, I create a bare-bones plot structure as the story's foundation, as well as a list of themes that I'd like to explore at some point along the story. Once I'm satisfied with that foundation, I create the appropriate characters who will fit into this structure. I prefer to create characters who get the story going, rather than formulate a story based on some characters that I've created. As far as I'm concerned, the story should be compelling in itself and not rely too much on the characters...the latter are malleable and should be used to reinforce the story itself.
The next step is to reinforce the foundation of the story and toss in the characters who fit best and discard or revise the ones who don't fit in. This plot line is written in telegraphic style and always subject to change.
Once a satisfactory (note: not perfect) plot has been created with characters who complement it accordingly, the first rough draft then begins!
Once the rough draft is complete, it's revised and rewritten a half-dozen times until it's a more polished (but still rough)...then I submit it to individuals whose opinion I trust to offer me honest and useful criticisms. Peer review is as important in fiction writing as it is for any academic treatise!
Following the severe scrutiny it needs to evolve, the draft is reworked and rewritten for an innumerable amount of times until something solid comes out.
That's how I do it. If you have any other method you'd like to share with me, I'd be more than happy to hear you out. I'm always up for improving my writing skills!
What are your five favorite books, and why?
This is a tough one to answer, mainly because I read a lot and I'm mainly a reader of non-fiction. To keep things simpler though, I'll stick to my favourite works of fiction to answer this question.
1-The Epic of Gilgamesh
I never get tired of this story. It's one of the oldest works of fiction and the story is still as compelling today as the day it was written in the dawn age of human civilization. It features all kinds of wonderful myths, a compelling anti-hero who transforms into a virtuous man, and a beautifully positive portrayal of sexuality.
No one can write like Nabokov. It's just not humanly possible to master a language (among the many he spoke and wrote) the way he did, and tackle such an audacious subject matter with that kind of skill. The prose in and of itself is unparalleled. If you consider yourself a good writer, read Lolita and prepare to be humbled.
3-The entire Song of Ice and Fire series of books.
Yes, the books are 1000+ pages each and Games of Thrones does most of the leg work for you. . .but did you ever notice how many book fans refuse to shut up about how awesome the original material is? That's because it's that damn good. Seriously!
4-Crime and Punishment
Exceptional prose even in translation, with highly compelling characters and very profound overarching themes. It's Russian literature at its absolute finest.
It's transgressive, provocative, and at times very funny. Fight Club is one of those rare books that I reread once a year and learn something now. Also as a life-long martial artist, I highly appreciate the subject matter.
Other honourable mentions: Brave New World, Frankenstein, American Psycho, The Alchemist, The Metamorphosis.
on May 29, 2015
I blasted through this novella in two evenings. . .I found it to be a highly enjoyable tale of modern fantasy with a dash of Lovecraftian "Cosmic Horror" thrown in for good measure.
The author's dynamic prose and compelling anti-hero kept my attention throughout the story, and the exploration of the oft-ignored nuances between good and evil were provocative to say the least.
I highly reccomend this book!
on Dec. 14, 2015
A funny, heartwarming coming-of-age story that cleverly hides an endearing sweetness deep under the layers of zaniness.
It's an utterly engaging and compelling read right to the very end.
Silence in Ramah
on Dec. 04, 2016
I like the enigmatic protagonist of this short yet interesting story. A nice work of short prose, and great cover art as well!