Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have written 3 books to date and working on several more – fiction and non-fiction.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The Misadventures of Mallory Malo. Quite a few years ago I was writing for a site and every week I wrote “The Saga of Bayou Billy” stories. It was aimed at adults but one of my biggest fans was a young girl (her bother would read the stories to hear and skip over the stuff she was too young to hear.) When I heard about this, I started to include her in some of the stories (she was called “the kid”) and then I wrote a story that she could read herself without her mom “editing” it as she read to her.
I wanted to write a book that I would be proud to let my grandchildren read, so I started reworking that story I wrote so many years ago. Writing a middle-grade book was a lot harder than I thought, and more rewarding than I could ever have imagined.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I need absolute silence, which is rather ironic considering I am a musician.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
My grandfather was my biggest influence. Ever since I was young I could remember Papa typing on his manual typewriter, writing his stories. When I became a teen he lent me his typewriter and I have been writing ever since.
What are you working on now?
The sequel to “The Misadventures of Mallory Malo” as well as a couple of non-fiction books. Many people will tell you not to work on several books at the same time, and I agree… I “rotate” my work-in-progress books. When the draft is sent off to beta readers I use that time to work on a different book. When that is sent to beta readers I go on to the next book until I am eventually back to the beginning and making changes according to the feedback I received from my beta readers. Then it’s rinsie in repeat.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Word of mouth. Initially, I used free audiobooks to help spread the word about my debut novel, and it was quite popular, but I found that getting sales was difficult because they could hear it for free. Not to mention, a full-cast audiobook with close to two dozen voiceover actors was a lot of work. Now I am just using word of mouth and testing a few Amazon ads.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write every day and every day your writing will get better.
Write the first draft with your heart – write the second draft with your head.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“The worst feeling you will ever have is being on your deathbed with your music still in you.” My grandfather before he passed away.
What are you reading now?
Books on independent publishing
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’m also an independent filmmaker, so there’s always the possibility that I might turn Mallory into a movie.
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?
I know you’re probably looking for favorite fiction books, but if I was going to be stranded, I’d rather survival books. I can also make up stories to entertain myself so I’d rather books on finding edible plants, purifying water and stuff like that.