1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
Night time I’d say. I try to write in the day, but it doesn’t work as well because I’m doing so many other things and my concentration is broken all the time. On top of that I had to break my addiction to the Amazon Kindle forums so I could get back to writing more.
2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
All done on computer. I will write down ideas that pop into my head, but I start writing on the computer and it stays there. I just got an older Powerbook G4 just for my writing. This makes things work better because I spend a lot time traveling on the CTA so now a long bus or train ride doesn’t bother me. I can chill out with my computer and get some work done.
3: What do you draw inspiration from?
A lot of things, movies, books, situations I know about or have gotten into, even conversations I’ve heard. I come from the comic book industry so I draw a lot of inspiration from there too particularly visual style for the covers.
4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?
Sometimes. I mostly just try to get as much done as possible because I’m doing so many things. Not only am I writing novels, I write comic books too and I also draw one of them plus I’m shooting a movie so I don’t have a ton of time. When I do sit down to write I like to come to the table knowing what I’m going to write about so I can knock it out then go on to something else.
Like a recent chapter of “Midrash Express”. I knew what I wanted to write so I banged it out quickly and felt good about it after rereading it a bit later. It felt and sounded right.
5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art?
I’m self published. All of my stuff is independent under the TimeCode Mechanics label. As for my cover art, I simply think about what the story is about and try to come up with something stylish and attention grabbing that represents that. For my Blackrayne book, I went through several covers. The original cover was really tacky. (Probably one of the reasons no one bought it). Over time I really got down to business designing the current cover for it. The new cover got in iStockphoto’s designer spotlight. I am a graphic designer so that works out well.
6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?
I’ve written since I was a kid and I love coming up with these crazy stories so it’s just something natural for me. Even in Fiction Writing class in college people would be sleep and wake up to hear my stories. I was the only one writing sci-fi and fantasy in the class. Even dreams from my journal involved zombies and robot clones and many other weird elements. Actually one of those dreams will be making it into a book someday. All I’ll say is it involves Moses, his staff, superpowers and martial arts in Mall of America. When I had this dream I was in high-school and it was a lot cooler. Now I actually know somewhere in the Old Testament that staff was actually broken and discarded so I have to find a reason for that staff to exist again.
7: Do you own an ebook reading device?
No, but my friend has an iPad which has iBooks and Kindle for Mac which I can borrow. I’ll be getting my own Kindle soon enough, but I love paperbacks. I like the Nook, but I’m part of the Kindle community on Amazon so that’s probably the way I’ll be going and I’m not going to pay $500 for an iPad. For that I could get an older Macbook. If anything I’d buy another laptop before a tablet.
8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?
My favorite authors include Gordon R. Dickson, whose book “Necromancer” is one of the biggest inspirations for my Blackrayne novels, John Tiegs is up there with “Evil Dreams” and Piers Anthony for “On A Pale Horse” which I never finished, but loved what I read. I found a book called “Resurrection” by Tucker Malarkey to be pretty interesting. It was about Gnostic Gospels. A lot of people compare it to “The Da Vinci Code”, but it was written before.
Currently I’ve just started reading “Wake” by Lisa McMann. The Chicago Borders stores closed this month so I got a good deal on it as well as “Ink Exchange” by Melissa Marr and “The Devouring” by Simon Holt which I grabbed because they all seemed interesting. I’m probably going to check out some of Amanda Hocking’s stuff because everyone keeps telling me she’s bee’s knees and since I’m an indy I need to check her stuff out, so I probably will.
9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?
I think the idea is cool, but no I don’t plan to do any. I do hear they work from some people, but a lot of readers say they ignore them. If anything I’d do something like a movie style trailer, but not the slide show type things I’ve seen a lot of people do. I’ve thought about it though.
10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book?
It was the lead character’s last name and there wasn’t a lot of things called “Blackrayne”, at least not a one word name spelled the way I spelled it. Simple. And when you Google “Blackrayne” my book is in the first five or six things that pop up. I try to title everything in a way that Google searching will send people directly to it. If you Google “Epitaph: Bread and Salt” almost all the major hits are about my project. Google “TimeCode Mechanics” My website is usually the first thing on the list.
11: What are you working on now that you can talk about?
I’m currently working on two novels, including the sequel to Blackrayne called “Midrash Express”. It’s about Jason getting into trouble after a Jewish Midrash is willed to him by an ex foe. And yes, there will be more of the controversial Phoebe and the addition of several new characters including a power seeking mystery woman named Catherine Faust.
My other novel is untitled, but it’s about a guy trying to start a new life after surviving a divorce. Unlike other divorce “survivors” he actually didn’t cause the divorce, but was cheated on. He now writes a blog about being a “good man” in modern society, but a rival blogger, commits suicide after something he writes about her and suddenly he becomes famous. But of course a whole lot more to it, but that’s what kicks everything into motion.
I’m also writing the “Epitaph: Darksiders” and writing and drawing the “Epitaph: Abiding Lilith” comic books. Plus I’m doing the “Epitaph: Bread and Salt” movie I mentioned which is based on the comic books.
What I’m keeping secret is a project I’m working on with another author I met on the Kindle forums. We publish through the same company so we’ve been in touch going back and forward, but that’s stuff later in the future.