Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
I’ve always had a creative imagination, happily carrying on entire toy-based campaigns as a child when friends were busy. My first hint that writing would be interesting was when my mother brought home a typewriter for a try at her own manuscript. I remember folding the page and turning it sideways so it would look like a real book. The title I used is still clear, but the actual story has long disappeared from memory.
There have been aborted attempts at novels in the past, all but one withering on the vine, but short stories punctuated my history in sometimes obscure spots. An affection for guitar spawned a need for poetry, writing mostly story-based verse as I struggled to learn my instrument. When dreams gave way to the reality of living, my writing aspirations dwindled to a dull pulse. Reminding me only occasionally that I had imagination, and that I really should be doing something with it.
A long and derelict period of eat, sleep, work finally succumbed to my own self-destruction, and I found myself unemployed. A retirement fund that I had accumulated was surprisingly available to me, despite my age and living status, and I decided to use it for something other than existence. A group of ideas that had been forming in my head on my idle treks to work had congealed into a solid premise, one that I felt was worth chronicling. I would eek out every minute I could get from this windfall and finally put a complete novel to paper.
Tell us about your books.
A Blue Horizon takes place in the near future, the economy is bottoming out and the world is advancing towards a global depression. Outside of one of the last profitable cities, a strange event occurs. The land is turning to ash, taking with it everything that stands on its tainted surface. The story chronicles four souls and their inescapable destiny in this unfolding menace.
How did you go about getting published?
I am completely self-published, and I only recommend it to the absolute masochists out there. It is hard work and never ending, do not tread into it lightly. Self-publishing allowed me the freedom to write the book I wanted, instead of the book that contains the right amount of marketing bullet points. If story integrity is more important to you than having a brand on your copyright page, I recommend it. If you have a mass-market idea already, use the brand instead – it’s so much easier.
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
I write at various times of the day, three in the afternoon or three in the morning. My mind is always working on enhancing and expanding my story, and I write when that happens. I’m a writer who has a general direction, how I get there is nebulous and can change as I write.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
Movies, music, and video games. All bad habits as they promote entropy, but they replenish the creative pool from which I draw. The happy place you run to and unwind in is important to your mental health, and having one that stimulates your imagination is endemic to creativity.
Any advice for authors about book covers?
Don’t judge a book by its cover is a noble, and completely imaginary concept. The real world has never worked that way, and never will. You cover says everything: It’s the first, last, and sometimes only impression one will ever get of you. In many ways, it’s more important than what lays on the inside – but only if you want to sell books.
Be professional, be creative, or be dismissed.
Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
Plan, then plan some more. You need marketing, reviews, and saturation before your book is published. Don’t wait for that button to be pushed, get the buzz out now. Get preview copies into reviewers hands as soon as possible and get confirmations ahead of time – they can be busy people too.
There is no day off, flog your book to everyone – especially your friends. Have business cards to hand out and your phone ready to add contact information in an instant. Make it a habit to tell anyone you meet about your book, but don’t beat them over the head – it will only hurt you in the long run.
What’s your favorite book?
I don’t have a favorite, but one of my top five is Neuromancer by William Gibson.
What are you reading now?
Websites and any promotional help I can find.
What’s your next book project?
I will continue on with the Ashrealm series. The story I have envisioned is far too large for one book, possible even three, but I do have a growing list of other ideas in a to-do document. The world I have created grows daily and I struggle to even take notes on occasion. I will have to empty my idea bucket into this first concept before I move on to another.