1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
Lately it has been during my lunch hour at my day job. It is nearly the only time of day that I have to be completely by myself. My office has served me well for sure!
2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
Last year a friend and I were stranded at the Atlanta airport. I was in the middle of writing Failing Test at the time, and since I didn’t have my laptop with me, I bought a notebook and some pens and tried to write. I found it nearly impossible. I can type far faster than I can write and couldn’t keep from getting frustrated at the thoughts coming faster than I could get them out. So to answer your question, always on the computer.
3: What do you draw inspiration from?
Inspiration is everywhere. I find it sitting on the porch and watching the sunrise, the drive to work, even in my dreams. Recently, I took my family on a weekend vacation and had lunch at IHOP. The variety of people within this one building was amazing and I caught myself thinking about the possibilities of each person’s background and upbringing. I definitely got some ideas for characters that afternoon.
4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?
I didn’t until just recently, and the only reason I did was simply because I got into a rut and wasn’t getting much writing done. I now have the very modest goal of 500 words per day, although I have been averaging 1500 to 2000 per day in the last couple of weeks. I have a wife and two kids that are absolutely my priority and I try not to let my writing interfere with their needs and wants.
5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art?
I am a self published author. I did have an agent last year that turned out to be the wrong one for me. Unfortunately, she was the only one to even look at me. After playing the querying game, I decided to give it a shot on my own. It was difficult because at one point I was one of those that had been brainwashed into thinking that it was writer’s suicide to self-publish. Instead of being narrow minded, I did my homework and found some amazing success stories. Are those stories common place? No, but neither are huge successes in the traditionally published world. I’m enjoying the community as it is filled with MANY wonderful people. There is no shortage of great and honest advice, as well as that sense of understanding that only someone going through this meat grinder of an industry can relate to.
The cover was something I had in mind from the very beginning. It is actually my hand with a ton of work put into it digitally. I did it myself and actually had considering hiring someone to do a new cover recently, but FT’s fans quickly changed my mind for me when I asked for an opinion. The coolest response that I’ve had to the cover was from a woman that contacted me after she’d read the book. She said that she’d left it sitting on the coffee table after she’d finished reading it, and the next day while sitting on the couch, she looked at the cover and was in awe at how much it matched the vision she’d had in her head while reading. I’m sure it was a subconscious thing, but it was still neat to hear her comments.
6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?
I’ve always been a creative person. My life’s been a series of stages involving writing short stories, poetry, music, lyrics, and now novels. I love the release I get when writing. I can really feel my characters pleasures and pains, and for me, that is what literature is all about. I want to provide that release and disconnect from the real world to my readers. The real world can be such a weight at times that I love the thought of providing for someone else, what other authors have provided me.
7: Do you own an ebook reading device?
Currently I just have Kindle for PC. I am BEGGING Santa for a K3 this year, but would be more than okay with a used K2! I have a good number of books in my TBR right now on the PC, but it is difficult for me to read on the laptop. I do worry about missing the feel of holding a book when I do get my Kindle, but I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get there!
8: Who are some of your favorite authors and what are you reading now?
I love John Steinbeck. Of Mice and Men was the first book I read of his and I really felt every ounce of emotion that his characters were burdened with. For the rest of that year, I was a Steinbeck hoarder and devoured everything that my school library had.
As I grew older, I got hooked on Michael Crichton. I am a bit of a science geek and I loved how everything in his books carried that air of possibility. It was fantastic!
I have honestly enjoyed Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga, though that seems quite the unpopular thing to say amongst most author’s circles; but hey, everyone’s got their guilty pleasures right?
I am currently not reading anything as I am trying to get my current work in progress finished. If I start a book, especially if it’s a good one, then I won’t get any writing done. I have so little spare time that I have to use it wisely. Now, when I’m finished with the book, I’ll be reading like an ice cream junkie eating ice cream in a Baskin Robbins! First up on my TBR is Portal by Imogen Rose, followed by David McAfee’s 33 a.d.
9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?
I do like book trailers…for the most part. I have one, but it isn’t anything that I’m glowing with pride over. I would have to say that the best one I’ve seen in a while was for Amanda Hocking’s “My Blood Approves”. Whoever she got to do it did a nice job.
10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book?
The title came fairly easily after the main characters name, Test Davis, popped into my head. It was a neat play on words and really fit the story quite well. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but by the product description alone it’s obvious that Test’s life is not ideal and not all of it is his fault.
11: What are you working on now that you can talk about?
Up until a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been working on the sequel to Failing Test titled “A Shadow’s Light”. I was approximately 70% finished with it when my muse stepped in with another idea that he demanded be done first! Seriously, I couldn’t stop thinking about this new project so after fighting it for several weeks, I gave in. The book is titled Duality and is in a different vein than Failing Test or A Shadow’s Light. It is a much darker story with psychological twists and thought provoking undertones. It is definitely not going to be for the younger YA crowds. I have already hired a cover artist for Duality and I am striving to have it published in late October, as well as having A Shadow’s Light published around Christmas time. There’s a lot of work to be done, but I think I’m up for the challenge. I have several other idea and starts down on the keys, but need to keep that muse at bay so I can finish my current work in process!
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