Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
“The Risen” was my first novel after years of writing screenplays and trying to crack into the film business. It all began when Brian came to me and simply said, “I know you’ve tried writing screenplays but have you ever thought about writing a novel?” The truth was, I had but I’d just never taken that step into that world. From that point he told me he had an idea and laid it out for me. The idea was huge. Too huge for one book, so I proposed we take a stab at one small portion as a first book to see how things worked with us collaborating. And with that, “The Risen” was born.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
As I stated, “The Risen” is our latest release. We’ve now added a short story, “A Shared Fulcrum” to the Lifetime’s War and are entering the last third of the sequel to “The Risen”, called “The Forgotten Few”. We hope to release that book within the first half of 2018 and are super excited to find our readers!
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
My writing habits are simple… I need to shut out the outside world, so I put on my noise cancelling headphones and queue up my ‘Writing’ playlist on Spotify, which features tons of soundtracks from films I’ve loved. I am super picky about selecting a set of scores that will fit the mood of what I’m writing.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
As I said, I didn’t start out intending to write novels but have found it very rewarding. Wherein a film requires tons of different voices, working on a novel exists in my head… I mean, I always have Brian’s voice there, speaking to me, so that I stay true to his original story idea.
However, if you’re asking what authors I love, that list would include… John Irving, Stephen King, Anne Tyler, James Elroy. Beyond that, I’d be remiss not to mention the films that pushed me into studying film and pursuing a career in that field.
Being a child of the 70’s, it goes without saying that “Star Wars” and “Jaws” made a massive impact on my as a young boy, but growing up in that era created a deep love of film that reaches from 70’s films like “The Last Picture Show” and reaches to my true geek obsession, “Citizen Kane.” I guess you could say Orson Welles and his pursuit past the obstacles in his way (often due to his own faults) have influenced me the most.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently pushing hard through the last third of “The Forgotten Few”, the sequel to “The Risen”. It’s proven to be a huge step forward in the story of The Lifetime’s War, evolving the story and explaining much of the world beyond the first story.
Beyond that, I’ve started to begin thinking about adapting many of the screenplays I wrote in years past into novels. Those stories will reach beyond the dystopian settings of The Lifetime’s War books, touching drama and horror. And I can’t forget, that the third book in The Lifetime’s War is looming over me.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Wow… that’s a big one. All of us in this indie publishing world struggle to find that magic solution. So, for Brian and I, it involves looking at a site like kindlepreneur.com and their list of sites to use for promotions. It’s a huge list and ranges from free to paid, so take advantage of it!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write. It’s as simple as that.
All of us struggle with getting the job done, doubting our efforts and our creations, but the truth is, you can’t really doubt what you never create. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to write crap. You’re going to have days when it doesn’t flow. BUT…. just do it. Write. Find your voice.
Beyond that, read books… watch movies… learn storytelling and how others tell their stories.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Don’t think of yourself or speak of yourself as an aspiring writer. You ARE a writer, so tell yourself and those that ask that you are. Success doesn’t make that any more truthful. Be yourself. Be proud of yourself.
What are you reading now?
“Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline.
It was given to me by a friend a couple of years back when I had back surgery and I completely forgot about it until recently. With the release of the films trailers, I jumped into and love it so far. Cline’s style is something we can all aspire to attain; streamlined and an easy pleasure to read.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’m hungry to step beyond The Lifetime’s War and write other genres. I’m currently mulling over if I should write book three immediately after “The Forgotten Few” is completed or if I should take a break and write something different.
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?
That’s pretty simple for me….
“The Cider House Rules” by John Irving
I’ve never identified more with a character than I do with Homer Wells. I grew up the son of a doctor and never wanted to be a doctor myself. “Cider House” spoke to me in ways that no other book did or has since.
“LA Confidential” by James Elroy
I LOVE pulpy type detective tales and I LOVE Elroy’s writing. If you loved the movie, you’ll adore the book even more.
“This is Orson Welles” by Peter Bogdanovich
As I mentioned, I love Orson Welles, and this book is a delight for any fan. His bombast and his genius are on display on every page!