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 ‘Star Runner: Journey Beyond’, the first in a long series. I’ve always loved big sci-fi epics, and this is mine. Like all my stories, it’s not just a space opera, but it comes at things from a new angle. Not only did I want to look at the politics behind war in a galactic setting, but I also wanted to address some of the emotions that come with it. Not only is the main character adopted, but his family was deeply affected by the war. What would a person’s mindset be in that case? How would they approach missions? Could they still fight if they knew the cost?
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?
Lots of sequels, and a ton of new ideas.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Review websites are an author’s greatest tool. Places that will not only spread word of your book but will also encourage people to read.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Make yourself stand out in the marketplace. How you do that is something only you can discover, but it’s something you need to do. A great story, a great premise, an intriguing cover. Grab people’s attention, and don’t let them go.
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?
Game of Thrones
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.