Where are you from?
I am from Maryland. I was born in Washington DC, but I grew up and lived in Clinton, Maryland until I was eighteen. Then after moving around the state a bit, my family finally settled in Waldorf, Maryland, and that is where they are currently based.
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What inspired you to write your first book?
“The Last Alignment: Cry of the Scorpions” actually served as my senior thesis. My professor set the assignment for me to write a children’s book, so I started out writing something within that realm. But as I was writing, I found that I wasn’t enjoying it at all. I wasn’t excited about it and it felt more like homework than a display of creativity and talent. So without seeking permission from my professor first, I completely shifted gears and he got quite the surprise when I plopped the first draft of TLA:CotS down on his desk. At first I think he was shocked because he was expecting a kids book and got something that was very much young adult, and after a few days of fearing that he was going to hate it and make me go back to the original assignment, he surprised me and allowed me to go forward with it which inspired me and sparked the drive and desire to finally bring the series out of my head and into existence.
I came up with the idea for The Last Alignment Series when I was fifteen. Over the years I basically gathered information, came up with characters, plot points, concepts, etc., and after I decided that I wasn’t going to write a children’s book, I thought, “Why not?” I had enough information, I had enough of an outline and I had the plans, so why not finally start writing the story that’s been in the back of my mind for years now? It was awesome how it all came together in the end, and I’m grateful that I went with my gut and did what I wanted to do. I’m also grateful that my professor permitted me that freedom.