1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
I’ve always been a night person, so I get most of my writing done late at night after the rest of my family has hit the sack. Even if I lived alone, I’m sure that my routine would be the same.
2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
I may be an old-fogy about a lot of things but not about technology. It’s 2011, and I use a computer—period. I rarely hand-write anything anymore.
3: What do you draw inspiration from?
Good writing inspires me. When I read Russell Banks, John Irving, or Ron McLarty—when I am moved by the complexity of their characters and by their wonderful storytelling—it makes me want to write. In my wildest dreams, I could never hope to reach their level, but they do make me want to try. I also draw inspiration from real life. Although I write fiction exclusively, I look to my own experience and knowledge for the basic characterization of my novels as well as some plot details. To me, fiction is always better than non-fiction, but all fiction is based to some degree on real people and events.
4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?
No, not at all. I don’t use outlines either. My wife is an English professor, and it drives her crazy that I rely so little on structure. I don’t like feeling constrained. Specific plans for word counts, page numbers, plot details, or whatever else some folks might be inclined to map out in advance are too restrictive for me. I prefer just to sit down and go wherever the words lead me.
5: Are you a published or a self-published author and how do you come up with your cover art?
I self-published my first novel and will do the same with my second. My POD publisher is Infinity, and their art department designed my first cover. In all honesty, they absolutely nailed it. I truly could not have asked for any better, so I’m confident that they will do a good job on the second as well.
6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?
I don’t know that I make enough money to call myself a “professional” yet, but I do hope that writing will one day be my true career. I’ve had several, and hopefully this will be my last. I’ve always taken great pride in my writing, but I never really thought that I could tell stories. I wrote to inform—not to entertain. Although my first book hasn’t sold particularly well, the reviews have been outstanding, and now that I know that I can indeed tell stories that people enjoy reading, I want to keep going. Career-wise, I don’t think that anything has ever made me feel better than someone telling me how much he or she enjoyed my book. Hopefully they like the second as well—and the third and the fourth and so on.
7: Do you own an ebook reading device?
I just got a Kindle for Father’s Day. I’m such a newbie that I can’t say much about it, but I think I’ll like it in the long run. Like it or not, people are going to have to get with the program. E-books are the future of this industry.
8: Who are some of your favorite authors and what are you reading now?
I have a lot of favorites—Russell Banks, John Irving, Ron McLarty, Joyce Carol Oates, Jodi Picoult, Maeve Binchy, Wally Lamb, and too many others to list them all. I just started Ron McLarty’s Art in America—my very first Kindle read. McLarty has such an incredible gift for creating memorable characters, and this book is starting out very well. I’m already hooked.
9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?
I have a book trailer for my first book, and I intend to create one for my second as well. I like them, but I don’t think that they particularly help sales. There’s only a very weak correlation between my trailer views and my sales. Even so, they’re pretty cool and not very expensive, so I don’t see any reason not to use them.
10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book?
The Education of Clint Buchanan (my second novel, still in edits) is a sequel to The Legend of Sasquatch. Sasquatch/Clint has moved on to the next chapter in his life, which involves attending college, but it involves other life lessons as well—dealing with love, loss, and deception and hopefully learning from those profound experiences. Education (formal and informal) is the underlying theme, so it seemed natural to include it in the title.
11: What are you working on now that you can talk about?
I’m not really working on anything at the moment, although I should be working on the aforementioned edits to The Education of Clint Buchanan. Life has thrown me several curveballs in recent months, but hopefully I can get on the stick, finish those edits, and get the book published sometime this year.
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/txsasquatch
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/-9ix124qXts
Amazon (Paperback): http://amzn.to/kL925U
Amazon (Kindle): http://amzn.to/mtX7P6 (On sale for a measly 99 cents!)
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/12007 (Only 99 cents!)
B&N (Paperback): http://bit.ly/l99kKQ
B&N (Nook): http://bit.ly/kUynwY (Only 99 cents!)