Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
I won my first award for writing in 1991, and took part in multiple Young Authors conferences as a child. I have a background in theater, a BFA in film, and an MFA in writing. My work has been featured at USAToday.com, and I’ve been a contributor at Forbes.com. What started me writing were those Young Authors competitions back in grade school. Seemed like something fun. I didn’t win my first attempt, but seeing people do so made me want to come up with better stories. I was already an imaginative kid, but that gave me an outlet.
Tell us about your books.
The book is titled ‘Oddity Academy: Year One’ and is the story of a teenage girl with extraordinary abilities. She can read minds and see memories of others through touch. After going through an extensive process to find the source, doctors can’t seem to pinpoint the problem. The answer, comes in the form of a man in charge of a unique school, for people just like her. However, once there, she discovers a dark plot running just below the surface. It touches on the isolation teens feel, the need for acceptance, and explores the choices we all have to make in regards to our feelings, our prejudices, and our futures.
How did you go about getting published?
I went the self-published route. When the KDP system first started making waves, it seemed like the best alternative to hours and days and weeks sending out query letters. Watching others struggle with the same problem also led to me creating a publishing company to help remove some of the hurdles facing authors today.
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
I have an office, and try to keep office hours. However, story can strike at any time, which means I have to be prepared to write something down at any hour. The typical story process involves coming up with an idea, then writing it’s blurb, before moving to a basic outline and then to starting the project. Once pages have started I do try to refine the outline and add more, but I also like to let the story lead me to the destination. I’m a big believer in letting the writing stay fluid, so it read more natural.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
Being an author is my job. Though, when I’m not pouring over story, I enjoy all other forms of media. Movies, TV, video games, reading. I’m married, and together we like to go on adventures, as well as spending time with our cat.
Any advice for authors about book covers?
Other than the blurb, this is what draws attention, so make it count. High quality, intriguing, pertains to the story, and demands to be noticed. Emphasis on high quality. If it doesn’t look professional, readers will assume the same of the story inside.
Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
It can take time, so don’t rush into anything. Do a little at a time, especially when it comes to paid marketing. Once you find an outlet that works, then you can make a push.
What’s your favorite book?
Tough call. But up there is ‘Firestarter’ by Stephen King
What are you reading now?
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
What’s your next book project?
I’ve got several projects on the slate, but I’m working heavily on the sequel to this story, ‘Year Two’. In it, we delve deeper into problems surrounding the school, take a closer look at the relationships and interactions of the students, and explore a lot of history and how we’ve seen the world and what’s beyond.