Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am the Director of IT at Warner/Chappell Production Music in Nashville, TN. I used to enjoy lots of free time before I started a daily writing practice, which quickly absorbed all of that respite and resulted in “The Century Cube,” my first book. It’s a time travel science fiction book meant to entertain young folks and warn adults about what might happen if kids found a magical Rubik’s Cube.
I lives in Brentwood, TN with my wife, two sons, and a smallish, rescued dog. Aside from reading and writing, I enjoy photography—I’ve meticulously taken a picture every day since 2004 and has posted them on my website—and being in the outdoors, whether going for a walk, riding a bike, throwing football at the park, watching the sunset, or relaxing on my screened porch.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
“The Century Cube”
A couple years ago, my two sons became interested in the Rubik’s Cube. Turner, my older son, was more persistent about learning to solve it, so he always had a slight edge over Weston. I’d printed out a solution guide from the Rubik’s Cube website and made it into a small booklet. Turner would scramble his cube and work through the steps in the guide to solve the puzzle, over and over, until he no longer needed the guide and could perform the algorithms from memory.
The boys took their cubes with them everywhere, especially to school. In the mornings, I stood with them at the bus stop and watched the kids gather around Turner as he solved his cube in under a minute, then toss it aside coolly as if reaching the solution had been a simple, monotonous task. Over the next few days, the other children brought their Rubik’s Cubes to the bus stop—the little puzzle cubes seemed to be multiplying as if they were part of an infectious disease. Many of the kids weren’t able to solve their own cube, so they asked Turner to solve it for them. It was his first brush with fame. He was King of the Cube.
I became motivated to write a story based on a puzzle cube that did something significant when it was solved. That’s where the magic happens—at the puzzle’s solution, at the completion. I wanted to encourage my sons to continue seeking solutions and answers to the problems they run into in life and to be persistent at completing a task and finishing something.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I usually wake up early in the morning, around 4:00 am, and take my dog on a short walk before my wife has to leave for the gym. Then, I sit with my laptop on our couch, with my dog laying near my legs, and write until I reach my daily goal.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
The authors who have had the biggest impact on me are Robert A. Heinlein, Stephen King, Arthur C. Clarke, Terry Pratchett, and C. S. Lewis. With Lewis especially, so much of his work is accessible for all ages, so I’m able to read his books with my young kids. That’s what my goal was with “The Century Cube,” to make a story that both young and old can enjoy and share together.
What are you working on now?
The next book in “The Century Cube” series.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Currently, my book is only available on Amazon, so many of my promotion efforts are focus on driving traffic there. I utilize the sites I spend the most time on, such as Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, and Facebook. LinkedIn has also helped me spread the word through my professional contacts.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
I’m a big fan of having a daily practice. Set a goal, whether it’s a word or time limit, and work to hit it each day. If you miss a day, no big deal. Just get back to it the next day. Little by little, the work builds up. Don’t get overwhelmed or distressed. Just keep at it!
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
There’s a story about Jerry Seinfeld encouraging someone to get a big calendar, hang it somewhere prominent, and put a red X over the days when you accomplish your daily goal. “After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.” I followed this advice to get started writing, and eventually completing “The Century Cube.”
What are you reading now?
I like to have a few different books going at the same time. I’m reading “Wonder” by R. J. Palicio with my kids, a great book for all ages. I’m finally getting a chance to read “2001: A Space Odyssey” by Arthur C. Clarke, and am trying to get through “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy this year. I’m also enjoying the audiobook of “Einstein – His Life and Universe” by Walter Isaacson.
What’s next for you as a writer?
To continue writing the rest of the books in “The Century Cube” series, and then opening myself up to other subjects or genres that might be appealing to me.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
“A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson, “The Complete Calvin & Hobbes” by Bill Watterson, “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl, and the complete Discworld collection by Terry Pratchett.