Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
I like lying, but I hate liars. This actuality left me in quite a pickle: either I lied and enjoyed it but hated myself, or I told the truth and respected myself but had no fun. Lose-lose. The solution that I came up with: write fiction. It’s brilliant. I can lie all I want, slap a “fiction” label on the book, and I’m covered. Who said you can’t have your cake and eat it too?
Tell us about your books.
Dark comedy with depth. At least that’s what I’m going for. My favorite books/television shows/movies are those that primarily aim to entertain but also manage to sneak in some thoughtful insight and/or societal commentary.
How did you go about getting published?
After being rejected by nearly one hundred lit agents I decided to submit to some small and mid-list publishers on my own. It worked great. I contacted around twenty such publishers and ended up receiving multiple offers, eventually deciding to go with Roundfire Books.
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
For one hour a day during the school year (I’m a professor) and for three hours a day during the summer I sit down and write. Writing isn’t about waiting for your muse to strike, it’s about sitting your ass in a chair, with keyboard or pencil in hand, and putting stuff down on the page. That’s it.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
I like hanging out with my brilliant wife Beth and our sassy daughter Jo. I also love reading (obviously), soccer, running, and Netflix (don’t lie, you love television).
Any advice for authors about book covers?
If you have any friends with artistic ability reach out to them. More often than not they will be excited to do a book cover.
Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
I’m just throwing spaghetti at the wall, trying to see what sticks.
What’s your favorite book?
The Old Man And The Sea
What are you reading now?
Diary Of An Oxygen Thief
What’s your next book project?
I just finished my next novel, Feral Chickens. I am submitting it to my publisher later this month. Here is a synopsis:
After coming into unexpected money, Ingrid Kristiansen decides to leave the frigid plains of the Upper Midwest for the surreal beauty of Kauai. Unfortunately, upon arrival, she learns that her idyllic paradise has one serious flaw: the goddamn chickens. They’re everywhere—pecking at the ground, pecking at each other, pecking at people’s patience. Deciding that the island would be better off without such clucking monstrosities, Ingrid makes it her mission to remove the foul creatures no matter the cost. In the process of doing so, she has run-ins with sharks, sheriffs, separatists, smugglers, hippies, WASPs, family members, intelligence agents, and organized crime. She also grapples with the moral ambiguity of history, the discomfiting tension between pragmatism and idealism, and the complex nature of cultural identity in an increasingly cosmopolitan world.