Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
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. To date, I’ve written 15 novels, and plan on many more in the future.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The book is ‘Oddity Academy: Year One’, and the inspiration behind it is multi-faceted. It draws inspiration from several sources, but also utilizes a lot of history and mythology. Additionally, I wanted to create something that not only has some unique stakes for the main characters, but also presents relatable challenges in a different setting. Problems associated with everyday life for a teenager, but with an added twist.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Every book has a soundtrack that helps to inspire me. Those songs maybe ones I download or create, but I want each story to have a unique sound, a unique atmosphere. On top of that, I sometimes try to pair snacks with books as well. While writing, I may get a craving for a certain item, and I’ve always been a believer in whatever helps put words on the page. So, one story might need salty chips, while another needs chocolate and peanut butter.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I would have to say my primary influences were Stephen King, Michael Crichton, and RL Stein. I’ve loved so many books over the years, but growing up, those three were the authors I couldn’t put down.
What are you working on now?
A full plate. Lots of sequels, and a ton of new ideas. I like exploring things from a new angle, and that leads to some compelling storytelling.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
There’s a lot of tried and true paths out there. A good one is word of mouth, get people interested and they’ll tell their friends, who tell their friends. As for sites, places like Awesome Gang are fantastic.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don’t give up, don’t stop. Chase your dream and practice your craft. But whatever you do, get an editor.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
A mentor of mine passed down advice from his mentor. ‘If you want to be a writer, then write. Shoot for a minimum of five pages everyday.’ Even if you can’t do a lot, five pages is doing something.
What are you reading now?
Re-reading the ‘Harry Potter’ series.
What’s next for you as a writer?
More research and more writing. A glorious, never-ending cycle.
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?
The Bachman Books Collection, Firestarter, and Sphere. And a guide to surviving on a deserted island.